22 Jun 2014

Messi wonder goal sends Argentina into World Cup last 16

7:45 am on 22 June 2014

A stunning injury time strike from superstar striker Lionel Messi spared Argentina's blushes as they qualified for the last 16 of the football World Cup with a hard fought 1-0 win over Iran in Brazil.

The South Americans had been thankful to three fine second-half saves from goalkeeper Sergio Romero just to be level heading into stoppage time, while Iran had also had a strong penalty appeal waved away when Pablo Zabaleta appeared to foul Ashkan Dejagah inside the area.

However, despite having endured a quiet game by his standards, Messi produced a moment of magic when his side needed it most to register his second goal of the tournament.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz also praised Messi's match-defining contribution, but claimed his side had also been undone by Serbian referee Milorad Mazic's decision not to award a penalty when his side were on top in the second half.