SAO PAULO (AP) — Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld promised to slow down Lionel Messi, and he nearly kept his word.
For 118 minutes in the second round of the World Cup, the Swiss frustrated the Argentine superstar. But with a penalty shootout looming, Messi broke free and set up the winner for Angel Di Maria.
Argentina won 1-0 in extra time.
Messi had scored four of his team's six goals in the three group wins, but for most of Tuesday's match he was stymied by the Swiss defense.
Double-teamed and sometimes even triple-teamed, Messi only managed a pair of quality shots.
Hitzfeld, whose older brother died shortly before the game, had called Messi a "problem" that could be solved, and said his team would show the world how to stop the Argentina forward.