In a display of total dominance, Argentina booked their place in the last eight with a comfortable 2-0 victory over an Austria side who went unbeaten in their group containing Brazil, Costa Rica and Slovakia. Argentina peppered the goal throughout, and kept Austria at bay with the European side not registering a single shot on target.
Argentina named an unchanged starting XI from their 3-0 win over Egypt, while Austria made two changes: right-back Daniel Bock coming in for Patrick Farkas, and Zlatko Junozovic taking Christoph Leitgeb’s spot in the centre of midfield after the Salzburg man picked up a knock in training.
First chance of the game fell Matías Silvestre’s way in the 11th minute, but Manchester United defender’s header grazed the top of the bar after Lionel Messi floated a free-kick in from the left. Ten minutes later, a great piece of refereeing allowed an advantage after Sergio Agüero was brought-down by David Alaba, but Marcos Rojo absolutely thundered a shot home from 22 yards.
Despite the majority of possession, it took until first-half stoppage time for Argentina to add a deserved second and put the game to bed. Agüero got away down the flank, rode one challenge and beat another man for pace before pulling the ball back for Francisco Fidalgo who slotted home from eight yards.
After the break, Austria tried a pair of long-range efforts but save for taking a goal-kick now and then, it was a quiet day at the office for Argentinian ‘keeper Sergio Romero. Argentina will play the winners between Chile and Scotland in the last eight.
FIFA WORLD CUP: SECOND ROUND ARGENTINA 2-0 AUSTRIA Rojo 21 Fidalgo 45+1 Peruzzi Kavlak Fernández Mascherano