Previous
Getafe
Valencia
0
3
FT
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
Ipswich Town
1
2
FT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Estoril
2
2
FT
Game Details
Real Madrid
Elche
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Celta Vigo
Deportivo La Coruña
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bayern Munich
SC Paderborn 07
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Eintracht Frankfurt
Mainz
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
TSG Hoffenheim
SC Freiburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Werder Bremen
Schalke 04
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Empoli
AC Milan
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade de Reims
Marseille
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade Rennes
Toulouse
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal
Southampton
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cardiff City
AFC Bournemouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derby County
Reading
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Sheffield United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Liverpool
Middlesbrough
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Bradford City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Norwich City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sunderland
Stoke City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Swansea City
Everton
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Fulham
Doncaster Rovers
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Newport County
Swindon Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Aberdeen
Livingston
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Falkirk
Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kilmarnock
St Johnstone
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Partick Thistle
St Mirren
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ross County
Hibernian
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Clyde
Montrose
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Brescia
Lanciano
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cittadella
Pro Vercelli
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Crotone
Catania
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Frosinone
US Avellino
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Livorno
Varese
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Modena
Perugia
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ternana
Bologna
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Trapani
Virtus Entella
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
US Pescara
Latina
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vicenza
Bari
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Ingolstadt 04
FC Erzgebirge Aue
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SpVgg Greuther Furth
VfR Aalen
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
St Pauli
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SV Sandhausen
TSV 1860 Munich
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AC Ajaccio
Le Havre AC
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Angers
AJ Auxerre
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Arles
Stade Laval
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Nancy Lorraine
Tours
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Dijon FCO
Créteil
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Nimes
Chateauroux
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Orléans
Ajaccio GFCO
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Sochaux
Brest
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Troyes
Niort
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Capelle
FC Volendam
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rijnsburgse Boys
Sparta Rotterdam
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Scheveningen
Lisse
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VVSB
Vitesse Arnhem
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Spakenburg
NAC Breda
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Achilles '29
Twente Enschede
Postp
Game Details
Ajax Amateurs
NEC Nijmegen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Almere City
ADO Den Haag
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Deltasport
Willem II Tilburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Exelsior Maassluis
FC Emmen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Flevo Boys
DOS '37
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
HHC Hardenberg
RKC Waalwijk
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Kozakken Boys
Sportlust '46
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
ONS Sneek
Dordrecht '90
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
FC Utrecht
Postp
Game Details
VVV Venlo
FC Eindhoven
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Roda JC Kerkrade
Heerenveen
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Real Estelí
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Portland Timbers
Alpha United
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
César Vallejo
Universitario de Sucre
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Cerro Porteño
Independiente del Valle
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
San Martín de San Juan
Argentinos Juniors
11:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
Mérida
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
At. San Luis
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Lobos BUAP
Oaxaca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
Dorados de Sinaloa
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Monterrey
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
Queretaro
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Toluca
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Veracruz
Chiapas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
ABC
Goianiense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Boa MG
Luverdense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Bragantino
Icasa
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
América Mineiro
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Avaí
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vila Nova-GO
AA Ponte Preta
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
América RN
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Náutico
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
CR Vasco da Gama
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Oeste
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Vantforet Kofu
Vissel Kobe
9:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cerezo Osaka
Nagoya Grampus Eight
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Kashiwa Reysol
Sagan Tosu
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Rangers de Talca
Palestino
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Universidad de Concepción
Colo Colo
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Corrigan: Another Atleti 'derbi' win

La Liga Sep 13, 2014
Read
 Posted by Andy Mitten
Jun 21, 2014

Three Points: Argentina defeat Iran

Our ESPN expert panel discuss Lionel Messi's leadership and game-winning performances in the World Cup thus far.

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- Reaction to Argentina's 1-0 Group F win versus Iran.

1. Messi makes the difference

Argentina's media were direct in their assertions to coach Alejandro Sabella that he was getting things wrong before the game. They criticised his 3-5-2 starting formation against Bosnia-Herzegovina, and criticised him further when he admitted that he'd discussed the formation with Lionel Messi at half-time before switching to the 4-3-3 that Messi favours.

Did Messi have too much power? Was he the one calling the shots rather than the manager? Argentina started with a 4-3-3 against Iran. Overwhelming favourites against a team who are 750-1 to win the World Cup, the alignment brought them possession but little fluidity. It didn't help them carve open a defence so stubborn that it survived one of football's best attacks for 90 minutes.

Frustrations became apparent as Argentina tried to come up with a plan B. They didn't have one, save for punting high crosses. They came close -- Messi from free kicks, Sergio Aguero from headers and shots -- but they couldn't break Iran's defence down in normal time.

ArgentinaArgentina
IranIran
1
0
FT
Match 27
Game Details

Only a moment of genius was going to decide this. And it did, from the best player in the world, as Messi curled a shot from outside the area beyond goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi. Sport can be so cruel, but Messi's brilliance was an apt decider. Argentina's performance will be criticised, Iran's praised.

In the bowels of Tehran's national stadium, three posters of the Iran teams who've reached previous World Cups take pride of place. The current team overcame substantial political, logistical and financial problems to reach Brazil. They've earned the right to be remembered, but can they become the greatest ever Iranian team by advancing from the group stage? That became much harder after Messi's magic, but Iran are still in the World Cup going into their last group game.

2. So close for Iran

"Opponents can be intimidated by Iran, but some of my young players can be shy and humble in the outside world. They don't travel a lot, they speak Farsi, not a language well-spoken in the world," explained Iran coach Carlos Queiroz before the tournament.

He's sought to change that mentality in the three years he's been in charge, leading Iran not only to their fourth World Cup, but from being the seventh-ranked team in Asia to the first. Beating Asian powerhouse South Korea away showed that they weren't for buckling.

Despite the influence of Iranian players raised in the west, "Team Melli" remain the subject of much speculation, yet Iran want to be judged on the field. Queiroz maintained that his side weren't coming to Brazil for tourism, and on the anniversary of their only World Cup win -- an epic 1998 triumph against the United States -- they defended resolutely in Belo Horizonte.

Nobody expected any different -- Iran had drawn four previous games, including the opener against Nigeria, 0-0. Argentina enjoyed 73 percent of first-half possession, but couldn't find a way through.

Only a moment of brilliance from Messi denied Iran a deserved point.

When Argentina threatened, Iran's central defensive pairing of Montazeri and Sadeghi, who play their club football in Qatar and Tehran respectively, soaked up everything their opponents' glittering front line could throw at them for more than 90 minutes.

It wasn't a game for the purists, but the Brazilians in the crowd admired Iran's resolve, partly because it irked their rivals and neighbours so much. By half-time fans were singing: "Ole, ole, ole, Iran, Iran."

Queiroz's Iran didn't tire, they didn't wilt, and they created chances of their own as Sabella's side were profligate in conceding free kicks. But the focus was always on a defence that lasted until the 91st minute. Iran came so close to causing a great shock. So close.

3. Crowd almost witnesses a shock

They began singing half an hour before kickoff and never really stopped. The massive Argentine contingent, 30,000 strong inside the Mineirao, were melodic, lilting and passionate. In the presence of their spiritual leader, Diego Maradona, they waved their blue and white shirts and scarves, danced around and waited for the goals to come.

And waited. By the end, after Messi had saved their day, they refused to leave the stadium, and sang so loud you couldn't hear the public-address system. For 20 minutes. Many had come on the charter flights that filled the arrivals board at Belo Horizonte airport with the words "Buenos Aires." Others are following their team by road on what they hope will be a month-long pilgrimage.

Aside from hosts Brazil, Argentina are the best-supported team at the World Cup. Tickets for their matches are also the most wanted, for several reasons. Demand for any game in Rio de Janeiro is higher, as that's where most visitors are staying. Argentina's opening game was there, and Brazilians want to see Messi.

So while tickets for Colombia versus Greece in Belo Horizonte were relatively easy to get hold of, those for Argentina versus Iran were not. Thousands of Argentines travelled to Belo Horizonte and didn't get in the stadium.

With such numbers comes immense pressure from enormous expectations. If Argentina fail to reach the semifinals it would be considered disastrous. Iran had nothing to lose; Argentina had everything to prove after what many considered to be an underwhelming opening win. With the score level at half-time, their fans became as subdued as their attack.

As Iran grew in confidence and had good second-half chances, their 2,000 supporters grew louder -- helped by 10,000 Brazilians. What had started as a three-way singing contest became two-sided as neutrals thought they were witnessing Belo Horizonte's biggest shock since the United States beat England in 1950. It nearly was. It so nearly was.

Andy Mitten

Manchester-born Andy Mitten founded United We Stand in 1989, at age 15. He has written 11 books since his career began in 1995 and visited almost 100 countries while working for numerous magazines and newspapers worldwide. Follow him on Twitter @AndyMitten.