Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kun-Licha-Jesus: The Russian connection

We won the game Diego didn't want to play in the first place.

That's one of the possible readings from the friendly in which Argentina defeated Russia 3-2 in Moscow.

The truth is, this result is pretty much irrelevant. I would have said the same if the result was negative, but in that case I would have probably been criticized for supporting Diego or something like that.

Watching Brazil play in Estonia, I noticed they played their Confederations Cup-winning side almost entirely. The only exception was that KLEBERSON started in place of ELANO/RAMIRES. The rest were all there.

It means that DUNGA has found his preferred lineup and only wants to give them more time to play together.

Diego, on the other hand, is still looking for the best tactic to use with the ideal lineup.

This time around, because of a very long list of injured players, we saw new players and we saw a combination of a strong forward (MILITO) with a small, more skilful kind of striker (AGÜERO) and it worked. It could have worked better -and you'll hear all about it in our next podcast-, but it worked and that's a great sign. Of course it'd be a better sign when AGÜERO decides that Diego MILITO is a team-mate and pass the ball to him too. It was very evident that he was not passing it to him.

After a shaky start and an error from HEINZE who was cheap on the ball, Russia scored the opening goal inside the first 15 minutes.

We feared for the worst. Russia are a very well organised team, typical of those teams coached by HIDDINK and Argentina looked out of their game.

Russia enjoyed some moments in which they managed to make almost (if not more than) 20 consecutive passes and Argentina would just run around, unable to intercept or even get near the Russian players.

Argentina started creating some chances and began to enjoy more possession. BURDISSO almost scored using the back of his head after a good cross from Maxi. RODRIGUEZ himself had another header from a HEINZE's cross but it was easy for their GK.

Kun wasted a couple of chances from MILITO's passes. One of them was deflected by AKINFEEV but the referee didn't give us the corner kick. The other was a move in which MILITO was wide open but Kun decided to shoot straight at the keeper.

When the first time was dying, HEINZE sent a horrible cross. The ball was roughly knee-high and then the defender got it all wrong, tried to clear the ball but left it bouncing for Kun, who was just outside the box and the Atletico Madrid fired it home in off the post for a great goal.

For the second half, MARADONA introduced Cata DIAZ to replaced the injured BURDISSO (he's got a minor knock, should be available for Brazil), Emiliano PAPA took over from HEINZE as a left-back and the former Manchester United and Real Madrid (how did he get to play for both of those teams???) moved from LB to CB. OTAMENDI was the one replaced by PAPA.

The midfield stayed the same and Lisandro LOPEZ replaced Diego MILITO upfront (in a move that was anticipated by MARADONA way before the game).

It only took a few seconds for Licha to find the back of the net. He scored on Sunday to rescue a point for Lyon in his League 1 debut and this time he sent it home after a pass from PAPA and a good move to get rid of a defender before his low left-footed strike put Argentina up 2-1.

Jesus DATOLO replaced Maxi on 57 minutes and again, it only took him a few seconds to leave a mark. Only this time we are talking about his absolute international debut. He received from Kun just outside the area and then he rifled it with his left foot to make it 3-1.

Roman PAVLYUCHENKO scored from a deflected free-kick for Russia to get a late consolation goal.

MARADONA said after the game: "We are alive and we will give our people reasons to be happy"

1 comment:

johnny said...

Interesting comments from about the match:

1.Aguero says he was comfortable "as the only striker". D Milito obviously invisible to Aguero.

2. The guy who reviewed the players savaged Otamendi and had praise for Cata F*****G Diaz for shoring up the backline in the second period. Go get 'em Cata !!!