Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Argentina won. Not much more to add

Until we play a team that can really give us a contest. I'm not being arrogant here or disrespectful towards Guatemala. I'm just stating facts.

This match (they made us watch at 1:30 AM) was a fluke. No parity. Not a contest. It was played to see how many goals could Argentina scored. It's not the kind of test we need, if we want to prepare accordingly to the importance of the Olympic tournament we will play in a few months.

Guatemala had nothing to stop Argentina or to compromise our defense.

They did have a nice try through a header by CABRERA that USTARI did well to smother near his left post with 7 minutes gone.

But 7 minutes after that, BANEGA tried to shoot and the ball found Gonzalo HIGUAIN. The Real Madrid striker took only 14 minutes to score his first goal for Argentina.

With 33 minutes gone, Argentina hit on the counter-attack and after Roman fed LAVEZZI on the left, the Napoli forward fooled the Guatemalan keeper and sent a cannon-ball with his left foot, when everybody expected him to cross the ball from a rather tight angle.

I was good to see ESCUDERO doing a good job at left-back (since we don't have many options in that position). HIGUAIN's debut was promising but he needs to be tested against a better team.

MASCHERANO was his usual self and won a lot of challenges playing alongside BANEGA. The two made a good holding midfield combo as FAZIO and DEMICHELIS made a solid and very physical pair of central defenders.

In the second half, it was more of the same. Guatemala just couldn't stop any of our players when they decided to go for it. Like Ezequiel LAVEZZI did when he ran from the left, all the way to the goal line and send a back pass to HIGUAIN, who twisted, turned and scored in a 1-2-3 move to score his second of the game and give Argentina a 3-0 lead with 68 minutes gone.

Cristian ANSALDI (another option at left back) and Jonathan MAIDANA played a few minutes in the second half but they didn't have much to do to be honest. ANSALDI replaced SOSA, pushing ESCUDERO to a left midfielder role, while MAIDANA took ZABALETA's place as right back. Marco RUBEN took LAVEZZI's place in attack. Augusto FERNANDEZ also made an appereance. And to be honest...I lost track on the substitutions. I'm really tired and I don't know what am I doing awake!

I said MAIDANA didn't have much to do. Well, he didn't. So he decided to join in the attack and boy he did it right! MAIDANA received from HIGUAIN and fired a rocket towards the left top corner of the goal to put the match 4-0 to the Albicelestes.

A few moments later, Marco RUBEN combined with Ever BANEGA before sending a low shot under the keeper's body to put it 5-0.

Man of the Match: If it wasn't because HIGUAIN scored two goals, this prize was going to MASCHE's hands. The Liverpool midfielder played such a great game that it is still hard not to give him the MOM award. But "goles son amores" ("goals are love") is an old saying in Argentina and Pipita gets the edge because of that.


John said...

Before I go into this article further, glad to know Seba that you've enjoyed my previous article on the futsalbiceleste.

Now about the game, there is good news as I've manage to catch the game live at around 11.30 am. Furthermore today happens to a public holiday here in Malaysia (Chinese New Year to be exact). So to all our Albiceleste supporter celebrating this Lunar festivity, a happy prosperous Chinese New Year.

Now back to the game, I have to agree with Seba that this is not a result we should be proud of considering the quality of our opponent.

Firstly I'm very impressed with ESCUDERO especially on his over lapping on the left side and I believe we may have found someone who can be SORIN's successor.

BANEGA and MASCHERANO were solid in the central midfield. About FAZIO and DEMICHELIS, yes they were solid at the back but how much were they tested in the game. There is still a lot of question that needs to be ask especially when Guatemala had two clear header.

USTARI looks promising and I would love to see him taking over the goalkeeping mantle from PATO soon, for both club and country.

Apart from that I felt the rest did a pretty good job and HIGUAIN (what a great start for him, 1 cap 2 goals) was at least effective in taking those chances.

My personal choice for the Man of the Match award, MASCHE indeed simply because he makes the art of winning the ball looks even more beautiful.

johnny said...

Thanks for the recap Seba. The match was not shown in Mexico. ESPN carried poker and ESPN2 had mexican baseball. Ouch. Even if it was a mismatch I would have liked to have seen it. I'm pleased that Higuain and Lavezzi had a chance to shine and the rest of the boys got a cap. I think we all realize you can't have too many players with international experience, even if Guatemala is not a powerhouse.

Roy said...

While watching the match, I heard the commentators say something about Argentina vs. Brazil later this month(or next month or something). I checked the FIFA website and it says our next match is versus Hungary in JUNE. So I have no idea what they were saying. Though I'm sure we'll get more matches before now and June.

As for the match, no competition. Ustari was there when called on, Mascherano is amazing, Riquelme was decent and if Higuain keeps playing like this for NT, then I think we found a new #9.

andaman said...

Hi all.

Nothing to really brag about but all the goals are really nice. I love football when there's cool goals like these to be enjoy, even more when they scored by the team you supported.


Seba said...

Roy, don't believe what those commentators said. Our next match against Brazil will be for the WC Qualifiers in a few months.

I don't know if they were the commentators from the same broadcast we've got here in Argentina but the one I watched had the results of the international friendlies as:

Poland 2
Checoslovakia 0

And I guess we all know it's called the Czech Republic now for a GOOD NUMBER OF YEARS!

That says it all about the quality of these dodgy coverages.

Like one of the Argentine commentators (and one with a big name here) said: "European teams are preparing for the next round of the Euro after several matches of this tournament have already been played"

Jesus!!! And he's being paid big bucks!

Roy said...

Seba, I think we got the exact same feed! It was showing the scored for all the matches and it said Czecoslovakia. I was thinking like "WTF? Isn't it Czeck Republic?" So same feed. During half time they kept showing the fans while they kept talking about God knows what. Jesus, you would think they would ATLEAST be able to get decent commentators!

Anonymous said...

All these about Czecoslovakia is very funny. Who knows what those ppl were talking about. The game itself( I went to!) was pretty fun, some singing and etc. The Guatemalans were pretty good people, not as bad as the mexicans when ever Argentina comes down and boy oh boy, feels like you are in Mexico it self, being out numbered maybe 7-1 or even more. But overall no real troubles, both sides fans and players knew the outcome, and it could of been a lot worse. I have never been a fan of Pipita but if he scores for his country and not for club I am all for that. He will def come of the bench for the Olympics, as Messi and Aguero will take full flight in attack. Back to the game, for a 5-0 game it felt quite boring, I know Argentina U-21 C team would of likely beat Guatemala. When you see the game up close and see the little touches Argentina has you go wow, these guys are really this good, and its not just on TV(Sounds Strange but its true). So Olympics here we come... See after the Olympics it is back to the qualifers, then a friendly aganist Hungary???? No need for that game, then after that a friendly vs Belarus??? Hmmm, can Argentina play a quality team maybe just maybe Portugal or Holland or even a Ivory Coast team or somewhat. Only teams that really nag Argentina is COL, Paraguay and ofcourse Brasil, and away to Bolivia. WC is about 2 and a half years away, that will come in no time, so I think we should a certain squad pretty soon.