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30 stats for Messi's 30th birthday

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

We gave our lives - Angel Di Maria

Angel Di Maria scored Argentina's winner in extra time.

Argentina match-winner Angel Di Maria said he and his teammates gave their lives to progress past Switzerland into the World Cup quarterfinals.

- Delaney: Argentina finally break down Swiss

Di Maria slotted home the only goal of the game late in extra time to secure his side a 1-0 win and a place in the last eight of the competition.

And the Real Madrid player feels Argentina were worthy of the victory as they refused to give up with the match seemingly set for penalties.

Match 55
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"We gave our lives. We left our souls [on the pitch]," he told Argentina's official Twitter account. "We kept trying to play, we never lost hope. The victory is even more deserved."

Midfielder Javier Mascherano also felt the Albiceleste deserved the win and was thankful that Lionel Messi and Di Maria were in the right place at the right time to create the winner.

"We came, we searched and we got our reward," Mascherano said. "We deserved this victory. By luck, with the last ball, Messi and Di Maria appeared."

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella felt his side struggled in the first half but from then on controlled the game.

"The first half was for Switzerland. After that it was all ours," he said. "This is a match we deserved to win within the 90 minutes. We were clearly superior in the second half and during extra time, we had more chances."

He insisted he was satisfied with the overall performance of his team.

"Winning is the most important thing," he said. "The world is leading us to saying that winning is the only thing, but we have to analyse other things. You just don't win because of winning.

"You have to find a strategy and the team today, with a few exceptions, played a wonderful match against a hard team. I congratulate every player. They never lost their balance. I don't have any criticism against them, although there is always room for improvement."

On Lionel Messi, he added: "He has the freedom to move anywhere, wherever he needs to. Just like any opponent, he is covered by several players when he gets the ball."

Argentina will face either Belgium or United States in the quarterfinals and Sabella is hopeful of keeping the dream alive.

"Our dream is to work for the next match and to make it to the semifinals," he said. "We don't think beyond that. We have to be sure of taking the first step, one at a time."


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