A virtual spectator as Costa Rica defended for the entire match. Demonstrated excellent concentrations levels to make his one save, from a Cubero header, in the 88th minute.
Looked to get forward from right-back into the space regularly vacated by Messi as he drifted inside. Put over one excellent cross for Aguero, who headed wide, in the 40th minute.
Crashed a 26th minute header against the junction of the post and crossbar. Had little to do defensively, however.
The veteran picked up his 144th cap. Played at left-back and made occasional bursts down the flank to support the attack. Calm and composed throughout, and was only really troubled once when he was booked for a barge on Mora.
Cautioned for a poor tackle from behind on Campbell in the 22nd minute. Like Burdisso, he was largely untested as Costa Rica played with ten men behind the ball.
A peripheral figure as his role as a sitting midfielder was almost rendered unnecessary by his team's total domination. Kept things ticking over with short, simple passes to more attack minded players.
Á. di María
Played on the left of midfield, from where he scored his side's third goal with a powerful finish and provided an attacking threat with his direct and pacy style.
Played a key contribution in the opening goal, when his powerful volley rebounded to Aguero to score. Was a particularly influential figure in the opening 20 minutes as he constantly looked to get on the ball and drive his team forward by zipping the ball into his strikers.
The whole of Argentina breathed a huge sigh of relief when he popped up in the perfect position to tap home the opener after Gago's volley was parried by Moreira. Was a lively presence throughout adding a second goal with a well-taken finish in the 53rd minute.
Tonight witnessed the reappearance of the mesmeric Messi who terrorizes defenses in Barcelona colors. Provided assists for Aguero and Di Maria with delightful passes. Also presented Higuain with a hatful of chances, but the Real Madrid forward failed to take them.
Brought in as a focal point up front. Caused the Costa Rica defense problems but, crucially, failed to hit the net as he wasted a series of excellent chances.
Was very unlucky to see Aguero tap home after he had made an excellent reaction save to block Gago's volley, which had taken a significant deflection off of Calvo's outstretched boot. Made other impressive stops to thwart Higuain and Lavezzi.
Looked nervy in the Costa Rica defense. Caught out of position on a couple of occasions - one of which presented Higuain with a gilt-edged opportunity to score. Was also booked late in the half for a cyncial foul on Di Maria. Unsurprisingly hooked at half-time.
The Costa Rica captain played like an old fashioned sweeper, reading the game to tidy up any danger behind his fellow center-backs before stepping out with the ball. Couldn't really be faulted for any of Argentina's goals.
Was competent in the first half, but extremely suspect in the second after his side reshuffled its defensive pack. Two of Argentina's second half goals came from passes which split him and Salvatierra. But did make one fantastic interception to flick a Messi cross beyond Higuain.
His work rate was impressive, as he battled to prevent Argentina from breaking through the midfield, but he had little answer to the intricate, incisive Argentine link-up play.
The distinctively bald-headed midfielder was a driving force for his team. Put himself about in the middle of the park, using his physical approach to try to unsettle Argentina. The pick of his side's players.
Like team-mate Duarte, he seemed to be unsettled by Ricardo La Volpe's half-time changes and was exposed by Messi for both of Argentina's second half goals.
Anchored the Costa Rica midfield but struggled to plug the gaps that Messi, in particular, exploited.
Substituted at half-time after an ineffective display beside Campbell. Had little to work with, to be fair to him, but he never quite managed to impose himself on the game either.
His side's only real attacking threat. Showed flashes of quality, including a late free-kick which grazed the crossbar on its way over.
- 12 M. Andújar
- 1 J. Carrizo
- 17 M. Rojo
- 2 E. Garay
- 13 N. Pareja
The Anderlecht man made an impression in his 10 minutes on the pitch, sparking the move which ended with fellow sub Lavezzi hitting the post.
- 5 E. Cambiasso
- 19 É. Banega
Demonstrated his ability with two fine runs in the closing stages.
Replaced Aguero in the 85th minute, and in those five minutes he struck the post but also ruled himself out of the quarter-finals with a silly booking.
- 11 C. Tevez
- 22 D. Milito
- 13 D. Carvajal
- 16 K. Fajardo
- 15 J. Gatgens
Replaced Elizondo in the 57th minute, fought for the cause but made little difference in a positive sense.
- 14 H. Araúz
Almost put through on goal when Campbell spotted his fantastic run with a visionary pass, but Romero was alert to the danger and raced from his line to gather.
- 7 A. Guevara
Came on at half-time in place of Calvo but, if anything, contributed to a change that saw his side get progressively worse in the second period.