Football

Published: Sunday July 6, 2014 MYT 1:17:02 AM
Updated: Sunday July 6, 2014 MYT 1:18:00 AM

Messi-inspired Argentina lead Belgium 1-0 at halftime

Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain (2nd R) kicks to score a goal past (L-R) Belgium's Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen, Daniel Van Buyten and Axel Witsel during their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia July 5, 2014.  REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain (2nd R) kicks to score a goal past (L-R) Belgium's Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen, Daniel Van Buyten and Axel Witsel during their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Argentina were leading Belgium 1-0 at halftime thanks to an early goal from striker Gonzalo Higuain in Saturday's World Cup quarter-final with Lionel Messi again providing their inspiration.

Higuain fired Argentina ahead after eight minutes with a right-foot shot on the turn from the edge of the area that gave keeper Thibaut Courtois no chance, while Messi constantly teased the Belgium defence and went close with a free kick.

Belgium's best effort came midway through the first period when midfielder Kevin De Bruyne let fly from 25 metres, stinging the hands of Sergio Romero, and Kevin Mirallas's diving header flashed just wide of the post before the break.

(Writing by Ken Ferris; editing by Ed Osmond)

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