It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Argentine representatives against foreign opposition on Wednesday night. The selección kicked off against Mexico in San Diego minutes after the final whistle was blown to end Boca’s Copa Libertadores campaign, and made Alfio Basile’s experimental 3-4-1-2 look like the most natural system in the world as they blew the Mexicans away. Can they play and win without Riquelme? Can they ever…
Whilst credit needs to go to the defensive unit, who worked hard and gelled well in an unfamiliar set-up, it was the three main men of the attack who really sparkled. Fabricio Collocini came in for Gabriel Heinze as many had expected at the back, and alongside Nicolás Burdisso – who opened the scoring – and Martín Demichelis he worked well under not much pressure.
This match, though, was primarily for Basile to examine how Argentina’s attack will look in the event of Juan Román Riquelme’s absence. The answer – in a friendly, admittedly, but against a decent international side who are familiar with the selección and would have wanted to impress their new manager Sven Göran Eriksson – appears to be quite promising. After Burdisso opened the scoring with a header from a set piece early on – his second in as many matches for his country – Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero took control to devastating effect at high speed. Thereafter, in two almost consecutive attacks, Argentina tore the Mexican defence apart.
Messi then started a brilliant team move which saw the ball passed between Maxi Rodríguez, Agüero and Julio Cruz before the Barcelona forward finished it off, but he wasn’t done there; next he laid on a ball for Maxi to score another stunner against Mexico to go with the phenomenal winner in the 2006 World Cup second round match. 3-0 to Argentina, just 28 minutes in.
When Mexico clawed one back through Zinho in the second half, it was obvious that the match was long since over a contest, and in the 70th minute Messi and Agüero combined again for the third, finished by El Kun. Next up are the United States on Sunday. The hosts must be looking forward to that one…
I can’t get onto any video sites from the work computer, so for the goal videos, check back later on today.
<> Didn’t he kick the ball in?
For highlights of the match (until Sam gets a video from somewhere), you can visit: http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com
I’ll let you know when I’ve actually seen the goals. If you say so, I’ll trust you. It was an assumption based on the fact that he ‘scored from a set piece’, which was all the detail I had to go on (and I wanted to vary the wording a little bit rather than just a straight word-for-word translation). The match kicked off at 4am my time remember, so I haven’t actually been able to see any of it yet (getting up for the Boca game nearly killed me because I couldn’t get back to sleep afterwards and I’m dead on my feet at work now…).
Staggering performance from la Seleccion, with the exception of Pato Abbondanzieri, who made a hash of the little he was presented with. I’m still looking at the behind-the-goal replay of Mexico’s goal to see how he contrived to let it in. Been a great servant but it’s time to get Carrizo installed.
I suscribe to your every word, Justin!
Bring on Carrizo!
I agree about Pato, and I didn’t even see the match last night ! Watching his meltdown against Bayern Munich was enough for me, and the reports here confirm that his best days are in the past.
Thank you so much to all you for making me feel that I’m not alone in this world when it comes to Pato.
We have to start grooming some new blood in the goalkeeper position.
I hear rumours that Pato could heading back to Boca and maybe it’s time for Ustari to shine for Getafe.
Yes, it was Pato who announced he’d like to return to Boca. I know he was a hero there, but surely these days Caranta is the better goalkeeper? And by World Cup 2010 surely it will be Ustari and Carrizo.
goal keeper is always the weaker part of argentinial foot ball…
and i thing we are lacking a world class midfielder
(riqulime is enough but i dont thing he will be in next wc)
bye bye Carlitos…hello Kun