Saturday, June 12, 2010
Road to the 3rd World Cup : Argentina 1 - Nigeria 0
Stats normally don't lie, so when we see a 7-1 in "shots on goal", it means that Argentina was far superior than a poor Nigeria team that only remembered to attack during some minutes of the second half.
Nigeria's goalkeeper, Vincent Enyema was without a doubt the man of the match as chosen by FIFA itself, saving some amazing shots by Messi.
An old coach in Argentina always said that any tactic in football is like a short blanket : if you cover your face your feet will get cold and if you cover your feet your face will be cold.
In football, if you play defensively you will have problems attacking and attacking too much means that you will take risks in defense, and this last option was what happened to Argentina today.
Jonas Gutierrez had problems covering Ogbuke Obasi in the 1st half, and Tevez wasn't helping as needed, so Argentina will have to fix this for the match vs South Korea next Thursday and for later stages, because not all teams will be as harmless in offense as Nigeria.
In offense things were much better, with Messi playing one of his best games with the national team, opening spaces for Higuain who had a bad night. Tevez also opened spaces playing on the right side, similar to what Eto'o has been doing for Inter this season and had a good game although not one of his best.
Di Maria on the left was well covered and was almost a no-show for Argentina so Maradona will have to work harder on getting him involved in offense.
Overall a promising start for Argentina. Starting with a win is very important to raise confidence and gives time to work on tactic issues.
One win...six to go ?