What is wrong with this picture:
Uruguay v Peru
Venezuela v Paraguay
|I hope things are better in 2014|
What about Argentina? Much like Brazil in 2014, they were hosting a big international tournament on their turf. Add to this the pressure of a soccer powerhouse that has not won silverware since 1993, an eternity! They were playing at home and had the world's best player - Messi - as well as an embarrassing pool of talent - Tevez, Aguero, Higuian, Zanetti, Mascherano etc. Granted, next to drawing Brazil, pairing up against Uruguay at this stage was tough draw, least we forget Uruguay was the highest finisher at the World Cup. Now Argentina also ran into Muslera who made some ridiculous saves to keep Uruguay in the game, most noticeably his double save on a Tevez deflection, of a free kick where somehow the keeper kicked out the deflection and then had the reaction to make himself "big" on the Higuain follow up...
Save of the game no doubt! He made another fantastic reflect save on another Higuian shot when the Real Madrid man took a silky pass from Messi, controlled, turned and rifled a shot that called for a fantastic reflect save from the Uruguayan keeper. But the keeper notwithstanding, Argentina spent most of the game with a man advantage (after a silly second yellow by Perez) and had chances. They had a goal disallowed (so did Uruguay) granted, but Messi - Aguero - Di Maria - Higuain seemed out of sorts, they were able to put pressure on the Uruguayan defense but were not able to be clinical in front of goal. Argentina were even getting good width at times from their fullbacks - mainly because with Zanetti and Zabaleta they had NATURAL wide fullbacks, Hey Diego were you paying attention? Uruguay seemed to look to foul high up the pitch, slow down any breaks and if that did not work would just slide deep to protect their 18 yard box - always shadowing Messi. Argentina seemed frustrated by this, noticeable when the likes of Higuain dropped way back to get the ball. Add to this the unexplainable fouling by Milito, that lead to a host of Uruguay free kicks - the only time Uruguay looked very dangerous of scoring. In the end, the game went to penalty kicks, and in that lottery the Albicelestes lost.
|And to think...could have played for Spain|
Both Argentina and Brazil have some retooling to do, at least Argentina have qualifiers to ensure they get a run of serious games to work out their kinks. Brazil will have a host of friendlies, not sure that will allow a true test. Should be interesting 2 years for these South American powers.