Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So long perfect record

We've lost. That's the quick analysis. The undeniable fact.

Behind that defeat there were many stories. Many moments that have changed and conditioned the match. The first that comes to my mind is TEVEZ seeing the red card with only 25 minutes gone.

He showed his usual movement and he had a couple of efforts before making that rookie mistake (one stopped by the keeper, the other one went wide).

But before we had time to suffer that impact, RIQUELME played a quick ball to MESSI and Lionel did the rest. Four players in the way and a shot to the far post to put Argentina 1-0 up in Bogota.

It could have been two in the final minutes with a couple of moves from IBARRA and then RIQUELME but none of them were able to take a shot.

I was surprised to see Argentina coming back to play the second half without making substitutions. The plan was to hold on to the 1-0 result and it started working.

GAGO sent a beautiful long pass to MESSI who got to the box with only one defender and the keeper to beat. He started moving to the left, trying to get a good angle and when he took the shot, I thought it was in. That near miss could have changed the game. But it didn't.

Soon after that, DEMICHELIS had no option but to foul Wason "What kind of name is that?" RENTERIA after RIQUELME was fouled but the referee ignored it.

Ruben Dario BUSTOS, a free-kick specialist, gave us a taste of our own medicine and had no problems to curled the ball over the wall and out of the reach of Pato ABBONDANZIERI. 1-1 and the home crowd started singing again.

Only after Colombia equalised, Coco pointed to the bench and called Maxi to take CAMBIASSO's place. That didn't change a whole lot. We were harmless up-front because when MESSI received the ball, he was always on his own and he was sometimes stopped with fouls. He needed someone to join him and make his life easier. Roman did OK, but both of them needed support from the moment TEVEZ saw the red card.

The worst came near the end. MORENO ran from a very dubious position and after a combination with RENTERIA he put Colombia 2-1 up.

Seven minutes to go and yet no substitutions made by Coco. I was hoping CRESPO could come in and replace IBARRA (for example), so we could have a shot at scoring an equalizer.

It wasn't to be. Ironically, in my opinion, this was our best performance in the World Cup Qualifiers so far. We will shake this off and build for the future.

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