Walking pace

Away in Caracas against a Venezuelan side who surprisingly won their first qualifier thanks to what some are calling the greatest free kick of all time, the selección may have been more concerned with getting the job done than with doing it in style, especially with so many of the players in for a long flight back to Europe today.

And so it proved, with Argentina not shining and at times trying to patience slightly, but winning comfortably courtesty of two goals from their two Barcelona players – Gaby Milito and Lionel Messi. There were some minus points – Carlos Tevez again ran a lot and put in a lot of effort but failed to find a finish, whilst Hernán Crespo’s back in Milan and Germán Denis again watched from the bench.

Another point the Argentine press have made today is the team’s lack of a left-sided midfielder once Esteban Cambiasso’s out of the equation. They might be overcooking the pessimism a little bit with that one – Lucho González, oddly left out of this squad, operates equally well on either side, and Cambiasso himself is hardly nearing retirement age just yet.

But the positives outweighed the negatives far more – Argentina have scored four goals in two games, conceded none, and have a maximum six points, sitting pretty at the top of the South American qualifying group and with only Uruguay who can overtake them (on goal difference, if they win) after tonight’s matches have been played.

Messi also scored his first goal in the qualifying campaign, so his star continues to maintain its already scarcely credible altitude.

Venezuela 0 – 2 Argentina

G. Milito: Venezuela 0 – 1 Argentina (15th min)

Messi: Venezuela 0 – 2 Argentina (42nd min)

7 thoughts on “Walking pace

  1. Good point about Lucho – I remember him working really well with Roman in our last qualification campaign. Of course, back then we also had people writing articles claiming that Figueroa was the new Batigol. (Ah, the media.)

  2. We played against “NO-ONE” both matches. I wonder what’s gonna happen with Argentina’s squad when they have to play with Brazil or Uruguay. We aren’t playing nice (don’t let you get hypnotised with a few tricks…) the team doesn’t seem to find conexion yet. Enough of “star” players! Let’s make a team!

  3. They certainly are, Justin. I tried to link to this when I posted the story but for some reason the internet cafe I was writing from wouldn’t let me:


    And Noe, we’ll see. I didn’t see the Venezuela game (it was 2:30am here in Spain when it kicked off, this report is ripped off from Olé and El Gráfico), but against Chile, although it was ‘only’ 2-0, Argentina totally controlled the ball and the rhythm for long periods of the match. Unspectacular performances from players who know they’ve got a long flight back to Europe the next day aren’t anything to get too angry about…

  4. The press here, as usual, fell in love with the team’s performances. Maybe a few people wondered, as I wondered, what’s gonna happen after Chile or Venezuela. The team didn’t play GOOD football. Brazil isn’t the 8th wonder playing football (lately, since Dunga is the coach) but we have to face reality and think about bigger things. Or maybe we just have to get used to win all the matches in the previous and then, in the BIG tournament, come back home in the second round. Now you can tell why I’m angry. I don’t want Argentina to play phenomenally NOW: a cup at home would be appreciated. And about the players in Europe…it’s their job and they earn more than they should for it. So, no excuses.

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