An extra-time strike from Ángel Di María ensured Argentina got the better of Switzerland and advanced to the last eight of the FIFA World Cup.
The Albiceleste only sparked into life with half-an-hour of normal time left, yet a breakthrough in Sao Paulo was not forthcoming. That was until 118 minutes were on the clock, when Di María produced a classy finish to stave off Switzerland and book his side a quarter-final date with either Belgium or the United States.
Ottmar Hitzfeld's men had threatened first courtesy of Xherdan Shaqiri's studied cutback from which Granit Xhaka warmed the palms of Sergio Romero. The South American team responded through Di María, whose inswinging corner flashed across goal and beyond the despairing Ezequiel Garay.
Shaqiri was the architect shortly before the interval, releasing Josip Drmic through one-on-one with Romero. The finish, an attempted chip from inside the area, lacked conviction and Romero comfortably gathered. The Argentina keeper had more trouble clawing away Shaqiri's free-kick five minutes into the second half as Switzerland turned up the heat.
At the other end, Diego Benaglio was almost deceived by Marcos Rojo's poked effort from the left before adjusting his feet to save. The Switzerland custodian was thrust into action again moments later, turning Gonzalo Higuaín's powerful header over from point-blank range.
As the pendulum swung in Argentina's favour, Lionel Messi broke his silence by sending a thunderous volley narrowly off target. Everything was now going through the FC Barcelona talisman, who found Benaglio in fine form after displaying fleet of foot to create a shooting opportunity.
Di María tormented a tiring Switzerland reaguard in extra time, stinging the fingertips of Benaglio with a left-footed drive. The Real Madrid CF winger was getting closer and broke through with two minutes remaining, collecting Messi's precise pass and slotting in on the angle. There was still time for substitute Blerim Dzemaili to hit a post, but Argentina weathered the late storm.