Sunday, June 25, 2006

After Watching The Replay Of The Match, Argentina Is Not Unbeatable

Maxi Rodriguez Stunner Breaks Mexican Hearts


Argentina 1 - 1 Mexico

After Extra Time:

Argentina 2 - 1 Mexio

ARG - H. Crespo (10min), M. Rodriguez (98min);
MEX - R. Marquez (5min);

What a cracking match! Missed the live match yesterday so sat down to watch the replay and I must say it's a fairly enjoyable game to watch, with both teams playing fast paced football and neither of them playing negatively. Credits to where it's due, the Mexicans as the underdog for this match, stiffled Argentina's attack very well and it was they themselves who found the net first, through their omni-potent captain, Rafael Marquez.

The Barcelona defender / midfielder / forward / whatever position he's playing in scored after early pressure from the Mexicans. They started off REALLY well and pinned the Argentinians back into their own half for the first 5 minutes and never allowed them too much time on the ball. A perfect free-kick was floated in from the right and it went over everyone's head, but Marques was the obvious target at the back post as he loosed his marker, Heinze and smash the ball past helpless Roberto Abbondanzieri.

But as the red hot favourites for this World Cup, it wasn't long before they themselves found a way past the Mexican defence, this time round its another set piece. Riquelme whipped in the corner and the ball was flicked on by the head of Jared Borghetti and then off the shin of Crespo into the net with Oswaldo Sanchez stranded. It was at first thought to be Borghetti's own goal, but later replay shows the ball did touch the shin of Crespo, as he desperately tried to claim the goal for himself.

The match then became a cagey affair when both teams sought to tighten up abit and not let the opponents score the second. The Argentinians passed the ball well in the middle of the park, but the ball often fails to find the target after it reaches the final third of the field while the Mexicans showed that they're no pushovers. I was very impressed with them after watching them play as they're not technically inferior to the Argetinians and some of they players are quite a handful I must comment. Rafael Marques was imperious throughout the match and as I've mentioned just now, that he's looks as if he's omni-potent, everywhere. He starts as a defender, then suddenly he'll appear in the opposition penalty area or anywhere on the field. Someone that Rio Ferdinand tries very hard to be, a ball playing centre-half.

Gabriel Heinze of ManYoo was lucky to escape with only a yellow card to be honest. Abbondanzieri passed the ball to him and his lack of concentration nearly costed him a red and Argentina. His poor touch enabled Fonseca to steal the ball and Heinze had no other options but to trip him. To me, it should have been a red card, as he was clearly the last man and Ayala was quite some distance away. The Mexicans worked really hard throughout the game and closed down every single inch of space and that rendered Riquelme inefficient for much of the game, as everytime he got the ball, more than 2 players will put him under pressure and as we all know, he's not the fastest player and couldn't shrug off his marker easily.

The struggled continued and it was 1-1 at normal time. Even by bringing on Messi, Tevez and Aimar, Argentina still couldn't find a way past the stubborn Mexican defence, well marshalled by Ricardo Osorio and Marquez. But when the breakthrough came, it was from a moment of brilliance. It was once again Maxi Rodriguez, the Athletico Madrid man, whom had a back facing the goal on the right hand side of the penalty area. He turned and volleyed the ball beyond the despairing dive of Oswaldo Sanchez.

From then on, you knew the Argentinians are through already, although there was stll 20 odd minutes to go. There were some scary moments for the Argentinians defence, but they held on and will now meet Germany in the last 8. What a cracking match that'll be. I can't wait!

Quater Finals #1:
30th June
Argentina vs Germany


bwahaha DUMB BLOND!

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