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Van Buyten Plays Final Match for his Country as Belgium Lose 0-1

Gonzalo Higuaín's strike fizzles by him as "dark horse" Belgium is knocked out in the quarterfinal

Jamie Squire

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

In what ended up being his final game of his country, Daniel van Buyten's efforts came up short as Belgium lose 0-1 to Argentina.

The only goal of the game happened right in front of him, Gonzalo Higuaín collecting the ball off of a deflection from Jan Vertonghen. Higuaín slotted the ball inside the far post on a first-time shot, not allowing van Buyten or Vincent Kompany to even bat an eyelid before the ball was by them.

Argentina were seldom in the penalty area after that, van Buyten bottling up Higuaín for the rest of his shift. In front of him, Belgium's youthful attackers could not muster menacing chances against the Argentinians. Belgium completed 65 percent of their passes in the final third, getting only one shot on target the entire match.

Closer to the death of the match, Marc Wilmots threw van Buyten forward as a giant among dwarfs, at points higher than substitute striker Romelu Lukaku. His presence, while drawing attention from former mate Martín Demichelis, could not imprint the game as much as he, and Belgium, wanted. He could not bring down the balls that were thrust into his viscidity, and his teammates could not find him when he mades runs into the box.

Van Buyten said before the tournament that this World Cup would be his last action in a national team shirt, so his 85th and final cap comes to a disappointing end to the best run he has made with his country. Argentina moves on to their first semifinal in 24 years to face the victor between the Netherlands and Costa Rica bout.

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