Monday, April 26, 2010

Argentina vs. Serbia and Montenegro - 2006: A look back



If the England game from 1998 was difficult, the group stage game against Serbia and Montenegro at the 2006 World Cup looked like the complete opposite. Never has Argentina looked so dominant against an opponent in recent memory. And that includes against Greece in 1994 and Jamaica in 1998. We all knew the story heading into the game... the 2002 World Cup. And this was a chance for our players to put that behind them. And did they ever!

It was the first time we had faced Serbia and Montenegro(in a World Cup) under that name. And I say at a World Cup because two years prior, we had defeated Serbia and Montenegro by a score of 6-0 at the 2004 Summer Olympics. The last time we faced Serbia and Montenegro(at a World Cup) was in Italy in 1990 against Yugoslavia. The first match(of two) for us which went to penalties. A match in which Yugoslavia played very well and a match where Diego MARADONA missed his penalty against the now defunct country.



Serbia and Montenegro had allowed only 1 goal in their World Cup qualification and lost their opening group game against the Netherlands. However, it wasn't to be for them as our boys had an inspiring game to say the least. Juan RIQUELME got awarded the FIFA Player of the Match, Javier SAVIOLA had 2 assists, Maxi RODRIGUEZ had his coming out party with 2 goals, CRESPO netted his second of the tournament(and had one goal wrongly disallowed for offside), TEVEZ came on as a substitute and scored a fantastic goal and the reigning World Player of the Year came on with 15 minutes remaining to set-up CRESPO and score a goal himself.

However, it was the second goal which took the breath away of the entire futboling world. Esteban CAMBIASSO finished off what was an absolute exquisite world class play of the highest order. A play which consisted of 24 passes, that absolutely carved Serbia and Montenegro wide open. On the Guardian's website, they described the goal as: "Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Back-heel from Crespo. Cambiasso... goal!"



This match helped Argentina reach a Goals for Average of 2.2, the highest of any team at the 2006 World Cup.

23 comments:

John said...

Another great article Roy, thanks!

And certainly another match that will rekindle a lot memory about the yesteryears.

Still remember how nervous I was for days prior to the match. Can’t really say that I was very confident about out chances as we played against Ivory Coast earlier and it wasn’t like we had a dominant performance against the African side.

The fact that we were playing against S&M in an indoor stadium brought back some scary thoughts about our match against England at the Sapporo Dome. Plus the fact which was highlighted by Roy that S&M had the best defensive record in the qualifiers only triggered my fears even more.

I left office that day sharp 5.30 pm (it was on a Friday and the kick off time was 8.00 pm I believe) so that I can meet up with my friends to watch the match at a nearby restaurant. The owner of the place knew we were Argentina’s supporter ( the three of us were the ONLY ones to be exact) judging by our jersey’s and the only thing he can say that “IT’S GOING TO BE TOUGH GAME FOR YOU GUYS!”

After 90 minutes, we realized that we were the only ones who were making all the noise pollution in the shop. Pretty much the rest of the people in the restaurant were pissed of with us. Hahaha!!!!

As for CAMBIASSO’s goal, we were going like WHOA!!! WHOA!!! at every single pass and right after CRESPO back flicked to Cuchu we all went wild, REALLY WILD!!!! It was a fantastic feeling all the way.

When the restaurant owner came back to give us our bill and collect our money, he never even had the decency to say “Thank you for coming or anything like”, what a moron! Guess he must be really embarrassed after he said to us before the match.

The other day we were talking about that goal again and this time we tried look at back at which was the defining moment from all those moves.

Though CAMBIASSO finished it off, but all credit (just our opinion) must go to CRESPO as it was his all important backward flicked that made it all happen. I mean he could have tried to take shot at goal (maybe or maybe not he might have scored, you’ll never know) but rather than what most hit man would have done, he decided to do otherwise.

Another wonderful feeling about this particular match is that when I got back home, even my whole family (my Mom especially!) couldn’t even stop talking about the game and they keep telling me how good Argentina was on that day.

Hopefully, we can another great moment like this in South Africa come June.

Roy said...

Back in 2006, I was still in High School and my last exam of the year landed on the same day as this match. Normally, my exams were at around 11:00AM, with only one exam at 7:30AM. The matches that year started at around 11:00AM as well(except for the odd matches, I remember a few started at 7:00AM or so). When I got my exam schedule, I saw that on June 16(the day of this match), my exam was at 7:30AM. So I thought "Sweet, I'll go do my exam, come back and watch the game at 11:00". Then I checked the schedule for the game and saw that it started at 8:00AM! What are the odds that out of all the days that Argentina plays early, it lands on that one day where I have an early exam!

I got home just as the first half was finishing and saw the highlights during half-time. I remember not being able to concentrate on my exam.

Anonymous said...

i watched it on a big screen in the city in germany, after the cambiasso goal i knew Argentina would win. I wish this trashing would never had happen. the team peaked too early (particularly they were forced to play their best from the first match because of the tough group).

and then everybody was like: "Argentina will win the cup, no one can stop them" the usual hype. of course this game was not the main reason why Argentina lost against Germany, but still i can;t be happy about this game (i don't deny the quality of Argentina's play).

i hope this time Argentina save their forces for the big challenges, there's no need to shine against south corea or greece. do it like italy, and everything will be fine.

Vitalij

johnny said...

Jesus Roy, you are making me feel old !

Anonymous said...

Well technically Argentina had played S&M before, which was former Yugoslavia. Also played Croatia in 98, but you have to throw in 5 other countries to be Yugoslavia. The Serbs were the majority.

I also remember this day, I woke up so sick and could not go to work(lol) I was like this is my luck(being pretty sarcastic right). I believe we hit 3 goals within a 10 min span in the 2nd half. Oh well....

pablo.d said...

i was watching this with about 200 poeple and their was ths twat of an englishboy giving it large to me and others,he left at 1-0 and came back at 6,i saw him held up the 2 hands and counted off "6" the look on his face was priceless and he had nothing to say at all except leaving with his tail between his legs hahahaha

ARGENTINIAN777 said...

WOW THAT WAS A GREAT MATCH... HOPE ARGENTINA CONTINUES TO WIN IT LIKE THAT MATCH (ALWAYS) N YES GUYS ITS REALLY COOL THAT WE CAN SEE "COUNTDOWN CLOCK" HERE

John said...

Johnny, don't worry too much. Just don’t say old, say CLASSIC!

ARGENTIAN777, glad that you'd like the countdown clock thing. Looking at it from time to time has only made me feel more excited and just can’t wait for the real thing to start.

totti said...

I loved that world cup. I remember how unlucky I felt when we got our group. Before that, I really picked teams in the pot, who I didn't want. And suprise suprise - WE GPT THEM ALL.

Cote d'Ivore game was shaky, Serbia was fantastic and after the Holland game, I was 100% sure, that Argentina will finally win World Cup. I REALLY WAS 100% Sure. I was sure until the injury of Pato....

Rick said...

My dad is a big Johan Cruyff and 1974 Holland fan. He mentioned after the Argentina-Serbia 2006 match, that even the Dutch maestros of 1974 were probably picking their jaws off the floor after that performance. Bloody awesome classy football!!!!

Anonymous said...

The best match in WC 2006. What's a pitty we can't continue performance against Germany. Pekerman made an tactical error when Argentina leading 1-0 by pulling out Riquelme in second half.

johnny said...

Are we going to see passing like that in this WC !!?? Not bloody likely !!

Argentinian777 said...

Hey guys whts happening???? i m really fed up wid this... check out this http://www.goal.com/en/news/1863/world-cup-2010/2010/04/27/1897001/world-cup-2010-catania-star-maxi-lopez-makes-italy-plea

Argentinian 777 said...

this guy lopez wants to play for italy and he is hoping for Argentina's call up !!!!

GK said...

Who could ever forget Argentina's performace in 2006? I remember watching this game at my dad's house with about 15 other people (we always have big gatherings for any important Argentina match). To me Argentina were the best team at the World Cup, not Italy, not France and certainly not Germany. When I knew (or thought) Argentina were going to win the World Cup was when we scored first in the quarter finals. We all went nuts and I had tears in my eyes and I remember my little sister asking me why was I about to cry and I said 'because Argentina is going to win the World Cup'.just typing this and remembering the Argentina of 2006 is giving me goosebumps. Unfortinatly we all know how it ended for us and how unlucky we were. I just hope I have a chance to tell my sister those same words in June/July but this time I would like to be right about it....

johnny said...

OFF TOPIC-Interesting and funny article today on England's troubles and WC problems. In the NYTimes online sports section.

Anonymous said...

So it looks like it will be Munich vs Inter for the CL final. Shame that Chelito and Licha did not reach it but Micho will get a chance to win it.

Anonymous said...

I ACTUALLY RECORDED A RECORD ON PC FOR THE KICKS

THERE WAS A RAP SONG BY BLAZING SQUAD I BELIEVE CALLED 24 SECONDS AND THEY WOULD RAP COUGH SING WTFE

I GOT 24 SECONDS TO GO GOT 24 SECONDS TO REGARDING TO HAVING 24 SECONDS EACH IN WITCGH TO RAP THRU THE TRACK


SO I RECORDED MYSELF RAPPING


24 PASSES TO GO 24 PASSES TO GO GUNA PASS IT FAST GUNA PASS IT SLOW WE GOT 24 PASSES TO GO

AND SO ON MY SON FRIGGING LOVED IT IT WAS FUNNY AS FUUK I GOT IT STILL SOMEWERE AND EVERYTIME I WATCH THAT 24 PASS GOAKL I GOT THE DAM SONG IN MY HEAD

TRUE STORY

batigol9 said...

i really think that if we had won against Germany we would have won the WC.We were better than Germany and Maxi had a clear penalty that wasn't given,but I felt that we were gonna loose the match only because we r playing in Germany against Germany.As for the Serbia match,everyone was scared it will be another 2002 first round exit but at least that didn't happen

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