Alejandro Sabella, after playing four friendlies of dubious importance, finally had his competitive debut as Argentina manager on Friday evening, and it could hardly have gone better. Chile provided tricky opposition and deserved more for their own efforts, but Sabella’s side read the game well, created and took their chances and ran out 4-1 winners against Claudio Borghi’s men. Higuaín was unforgiving in scoring his second hat trick in a week, Lionel Messi ended his two-and-a-half year goal drought to claim Argentina’s second, and even Ángel Di María put in a good shift on the left wing. All the goals are right here.
World Cup Brazil 2014 South American qualifying, Friday 7th October 2011
Argentina 4 – 1 Chile
Argentina’s first goal came at the end of a swift counter-attack following a Chilean corner, and after it Chile imposed themselves in possession but were unable to prevent the hosts doubling their lead after Messi beat Di María to Higuaín’s superb through ball to poke home. In the second half Di María set up Higuaín for the second time, before the one moment of defensive indecision – something we’re familiar with from Alfio Basile’s, Diego Maradona’s and Sergio Batista’s spells in charge in the last five years – allowed Chile to briefly sense that there might be a way back. When, a few minutes later, Messi blocked a clearance from the goalkeeper and exchanged passes with Higuaín, the Madrid man was able to complete his hat trick and settle any nerves Argentina might have felt.
Next up for Argentina is a trip to Caracas, where they’ll play Venezuela on Tuesday.
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