World Cup 2010: Chile 1 – 0 Argentina

After finally ending a run of six matches without defeat in a 2-1 win over Uruguay on Saturday, Argentina followed it up on Wednesday night by losing to trans-Andean neighbours Chile for the first time ever in a competitive match. It was a win Marcelo Bielsa’s team thoroughly deserved, and followed on from Paraguay’s one-goal victory over Peru to leave Argentina seven points off the top of the South American qualification table. Diego Milito in the first half and Gonzalo Bergessio in the second couldn’t contribute anything, Sergio Agüero struggled throughout, and Lionel Messi was practically anonymous. Fabián Orellana scored the match’s only goal, ten minutes before the break. It was a beauty, and you can see it here.

It was a deserved win for Chile, and the goal, when it arrived, was a worthy winner, Orellana sweeping home from ten yards at the end of a glorious, flowing passing move that travelled the length and width of the pitch. Throughout the match, the home side closed their opponents down unceasingly and controlled the ball better when they won it back. For Argentina, the Javiers Mascherano and Zanetti gave it their all, but the players ahead of them simply weren’t clicking. Gonzalo Bergessio replaced Diego Milito at half time, but the problem was the service to the front man, not his own performance, and that didn’t change in the second half.

José Sand came on late on but also found himself unable to gain any real foothold in the match, with Argentina never at any point looking like they were going to score. Marcelo Bielsa has remained quiet all week, but his brother said a few days ago that he considered Alfio Basile’s style as a manager to be ‘old’. On the day of the match Olé countered this – perhaps jokingly  – by revealing that Basile was playing with a triple cinco, and a doble nueve (three defensive midfielders, two target men). Although that’s the first and probably last time we’ll see Sergio Agüero described as a lump of muscle up front, it summed up the style Argentina played in for the match, if not the original intention. Those of us who’d like to see the selección rely a little less on Juan Román Riquelme will hardly have our cause helped by performances like this in his absence. And yes, señorito Messi, I’m afraid that includes you…

World Cup South Africa 2010 South American qualifiers, Chile 1 – 0 Argentina:

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One thought on “World Cup 2010: Chile 1 – 0 Argentina

  1. In my opinion Argentina should have included Veron in the squad for these two qualifiers, and given him his chance against Chile instead of Christian Ledesma. Excuse my igornance if Seba is injured, The midfield was far too pedestrian throughout the whole game and like Sam says neither Milito or Bergessio did much either they deserve there chance but maybe this game wasnt the ideal oppurtunity. It would also maybe be an idea to occasionly include a striker with more of a presence for the smaller more skilful players to play off and crete chances for.

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