Argentina's Lionel Messi, back left, scores the opening goal past Iran's goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi during the group F World Cup soccer match today at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. ASSOCIATED PRESS
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Lionel Messi scored a superb goal in stoppage time to give Argentina a 1-0 victory over Iran on Saturday and secure his team’s place in the second round of the World Cup.
Iran had defended solidly throughout the game and also took the match to Argentina in the second half, creating several chances to win the Group F match and cause a tournament sensation.
But Iran was punished for those missed chances when Messi picked up the ball about 20 yards out and curled a shot into the left hand corner.