On day ten of the tournament, fans were treated to a feast of action in a World Cup that is providing ceaseless entertainment. Lionel Messi’s brilliant strike provided Argentina a narrow 1-0 victory over Iran, Germany and Iran battled it out to a 2-2 draw and Nigeria knocked Bosnia out with a 1-0 win.
We now pick out the best players of the day.
Goalkeeper – Sergio Romero
Considered Argentina’s weak-link by many analysts, Romero was called into action far more than he would have anticipated prior to his nation’s game against Iran, but proved his doubters wrong.
He made a series of excellent saves to keep his side in the match, with his diving stop from Ashkan Dejagah’s header being a particular highlight.
Messi may have scored the winner to help his side avoid a huge upset, but Romero was arguably even more important.
Left-back - Kwadwo Asamoah
The energy of Kwadwo Asamoah is what earned him his place in the team of the day.
The defender was non-stop in his pressing and harrying of Germany’s intimidating attacking quartet and one recovery tackle on Thomas Muller, to keep the scorelines level, was nothing short of breathtaking.
Centre-back – Mats Hummels
A commanding figure, Mats Hummels is Germany’s rock at the heart of their defence and he had to be on top form again to stop an impressive Ghanaian front-line.
His partner, Per Metersacker, struggled with the pace of the opposition side, but Hummels seemed far more comfortable and dealt with their threat well throughout.
Centre-back – Kenneth Omeruo
The Chelsea youngster spent last season out on loan, but his performance tonight may have convinced Jose Mourinho that he has a part to play for his Chelsea team next season.
He was a major reason in helping his Nigeria side keep a clean-sheet against Bosnia and dealt with Edin Dzeko well.
Right-back - Pejman Montazeri
The Iranian defence was almost perfect against Argentina. Until the 90th minute they put up a valiant attempt in keeping out the best attacking unit of the competition, on paper, but Lionel Messi made them pay for their one mistake.
Nobody offered more to the Iranian cause than Montazeri, either, as he threw himself in-front of everything that came towards him. An excellent display from the defender.
Left-Wing – Andre Ayew
The vision of Andre Ayew turning to his team-mates and passionately gesturing to them to raise the tempo after scoring the equaliser may be one of the enduring images from this tournament.
It summed up what the World Cup meant to the players that are privileged enough to take part in it and he was a major reason for his team’s unlikely revival.
Centre-midfield - Andranik Teymourian
The Iranian midfielder’s career may have been unremarkable, but he performed to the highest level today.
A defensive midfielder by trade, he was solid throughout, but also linked the play up excellently and one run, past four Argentine players, was particularly eye-catching.
Centre-midfield - Sulley Muntari
The Ghanian midfielder was at the heart of everything good Ghana did. A destructive force in the midfield, he also set-up Gyan’s strike with a wonderful pass.
Unfortunately for the side he is suspended for their decisive final group game against Portugal, after picking up a booking for a rash tackle in the final, but it was still a fine performance.
Right-wing – Mario Gotze
Mario Gotze was expected to shine before this World Cup began and so far he hasn’t disappointed.
His full repertoire of abilities was on display today. He scored Germany’s first, and was one of his side’s most dangerous players throughout.
Striker – Asamoah Gyan
Asamoah Gyan’s finishing prowess can never be doubted, given his goalscoring record throughout his career, and he proved how comfortable he is in front of goal again today.
He took his goal expertly, tucking the ball beyond the imposing Manuel Neuer is ultra-composed style, and his pace was a constant threat to a rather sluggish German backline.
Striker – Emmanuele Emenike
The powerful front-man proved a potent outlet for his side during the match. His pace troubled the Bosnian defence throughout and his assist for Peter Odemwingie’s opener displayed his full skill-set.
Emenike is currently at Fenerbache, but has been linked with a move to the Premier League for some time now, and if he keeps performing like this then it is likely he will get his transfer.
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