Argentina advanced to the semi-finals of the Olympic Football Tournament in China on Saturday, after beating the Netherlands 2-1 after extra time in Shanghai. Barcelona star Lionel Messi was the key man for an Argentine side who found it hard, at times, to get out of first gear, but who still created more good chances than their opponents.
Messi opened the scoring with a surging run past two opponents plus the goalkeeper, followed by a good finish after charging down a defensive clearance in the 14th minute, and the Dutch equalised ten minutes before half time through Otman Bakkal after a driven shot from a free kick spooned high into the box. In the second half Argentina continued to press, but goalkeeper Oscar Ustari had to be taken off injured after pulling up short whilst chasing a ball which had gone out of play for a goal kick. Sergio Romero replaced him and had little to do as the Netherlands struggled to get in any shots from closer than about 25 yards.
On the very stroke of half time in extra time, Messi turned it on again, this time turning provider as, from a deep central position behind the strikers, he fed a perfectly weighted through ball into the left channel for Angel Di María to run onto. The Benfica man took it in his stride and drove it low under the opposing goalkeeper for the decisive goal. In the semi-final, Argentina will face Brazil.
At the time of writing, only Messi’s and Bakkal’s goals are online, but presumably the Di María winner will follow shortly on this post on Mighty Football.
I know the Netherlands field a very talented, tough team. So, congratulations is in order to our boys. But, I really fear Brazil. I understand that Argentina is the reigning Olympic champion and Brazil have never won a gold medal. But, the Brazilians scare the crap out of me right know. AGUANTA ARGENTINA! VAAAMOS!
brasil scare you because they score against cough new zeland and cough china its called shit teams argentina would have 6 nilled the per of them
argentina got group of death brasil got a very very easy group FUNNY THAT THEY ALLWAYS DO
Aud Lesta – I suspect the reason Brazil scare Argentina supporters is this: it doesn’t seem to matter what comparative level the two sides are on at a given moment in time, what form they’re in, who’s out injured or on top of their game. If they meet in the finals of a tournament, with a trophy (or gold medals) at stake, Brazil win. It’s as simple as that.
You’ve got a definite point in your post, and I personally agree, by and large, but the fear is a little more understandable when you bear in mind the history between the teams…
I personally can’t wait for this match – this Brazil team is playing much better football than the senior team has for a few years, but they still seem fragile defensively.
Messi, in this form, can punish anybody. There was a moment in the 2nd half today when he beat three players and passed to Riquelme, who was himself surrounded by three players. He twisted out and returned to Messi, who went on a run, nutmegged a centre-half and nearly scored. This Argentina team seems obdurate, willful, which makes me confident about the result. I like that about them. Hopefully it’ll be a high-scoring Argentina win…
The problem is that Riquelme can’t play a full game anymore, he does not have the physical endurance as he did 2 years ago. The man can’t play more then 60 to 70 minutes at high level before running completely out of gas. Brazil knows this, they will try to tackle the SHIT out of him again untill they feel he is no longer a threat.
Chirst when’s the last time we’ve beaten Brazil in an international tournament? World Cup 1990?
Seems that Ustari is gone for the duration of the Olympics, and will miss the entire season in Spain.
The BBC’s 25 minute highlights of the Holland game: