"The Sampdoria keeper who played on loan for Monaco last season followed up with another good save, stopping Stephan Lichtsteiner's long-range rebound outside of the box."
Rio de Janeiro, July 2 - Both Belgium and Argentina fought off hard challenge in extra time to squeeze into the World Cup quarterfinals Tuesday.

Belgium pulled out to win 2-1 over the United States with two goals in the extra time in Salvador while Angel Di Maria's late winner three minutes before the end of extra time helped Argentina oust Switzerland 1-0 in Sao Paulo, reports Xinhua.

The two sides will meet each other to fight for a semifinal berth Saturday.

After the breathtaking regular time of 0-0, Belgium midfielder De Bruyne opened the scoring just three minutes into the extra time. Romelu Lukaku burst down the Belgian right with his first major contribution and passed inside. De Bruyne took the ball past several U.S. challenges and squeezed the shot inside keeper Tim Howard's right-hand post.

In the 105th minute, Lukaku lifted Belgians to 2-0. He received the ball inside the penalty area from De Bruyne and the Chelsea forward hit a powerful effort past Howard.

In the 107th minute, American Julian Green, a 19-year-old substitute who had been on the pitch for a matter of moments, scored in the box where the ball was lofted. Green watched the ball over his shoulder and volleyed towards goal. Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois got a hand on it but couldn't keep it out.

The Americans also created two great scoring chances in the last minutes, but one was denied by Courtois at the goalmouth and the other was squandered by the bad touch of the ball.

Despite conceding two goals, Howard, who played brilliantly with countless great saves, was the most eye-catching man of the match. He was named the Man of the Match.

In the day's first match, Di Maria's solo goal came in the 117th minute. Meeting the ball in the middle, Lionel Messi dribbled past his defender and fed the ball to the Real Madrid winger in the right of the box. Di Maria's one-touch low shot went past a diving Swiss goalie Diego Benaglio and into the bottom corner of the net.

Switzerland could have earned an equaliser in the 120th minute, but substitute midfielder Blerim Dzemaili's close range header hit the post. The rebound was too quick for Dzemaili to respond before it bounced off his leg and went wide of the post.

Di Maria also had a chance to double their lead in the dying minutes of the match. But his long lobbing ball missed an open goal as Benaglio stayed in the Argentina's half desperate to level the score for Swiss.

Switzerland concentrated on defence through the match and only left one striker in front waiting for counter attacks with the others retreating to their own half for most of the time.

Their best chance in regular time came in the 38 minute when Bayer Leverkusen forward Josip Drmic found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Sergio Romero at the edge of the box following a fast break. However, the 21-year-old's hasty shot caused no threat since Romero caught the slow shot at ease.

The Swiss wasted another good opportunity in the 26th minute. Granit Xhaka met a reversed pass in the area after a good dribble into the box by Xherdan Shaqiri near the base line. Xhaka's shot looked like Switzerland scored but Romero blocked it out with his foot.

The Sampdoria keeper who played on loan for Monaco last season followed up with another good save, stopping Stephan Lichtsteiner's long-range rebound outside of the box.

Messi, who has scored four goals in the group stage, was still in-form and proved to be the most dangerous man for the Swiss. The Barcelona superstar broke down the opponents' defending line from time to time but failed to receive enough support from his teammates.


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