Thursday, June 17, 2010

Road to the 3rd World Cup : Argentina 4 - South Korea 1

Another very good performance for Argentina, but this time they were able to score on many of the chances they created and were able to end the game with the 3 goals difference they probably deserved vs Nigeria.

The game started as expected, with South Korea 100% focused on defending and Argentina moving the ball around and trying to create spaces on a really closed defense.
Bad news came fast, with Walter Samuel leaving the game with an injury that will be confirmed today. He could be out for 10 days, or maybe for the rest of the World Cup.

Angel Di Maria was more participative than the last game, and one of the best news for Argentina is that even though Lionel Messi is the best player in the team, they don't need a perfect game from him to win because Di Maria and Tevez can create enough danger as well.

Luck was on Argentina side too, and the game was opened with an own goal by Park Chu Yong. The 2-0 came a few minutes after that, but South Korea was still playing like the game was 0-0.
Right before half time, a huge mistake by Martin Demichelis brought South Korea back from the dead and showed again that this team still has to adjust some issues on the last line.

Argentina kept attacking in the 2nd half but the pressure was not as in the 1st half, and when things were looking difficult for Argentina, coach Diego Maradona showed that he's not as bad as a coach as most people thinks and put skilled Kun Aguero for a very tired Tevez, changing the game for good.
Gonzalo Higuain completed his hat-trick, winning back the confidence lost in the previous game and Argentina put a foot in the next round.

What's next ?
Rumours are that Maradona might give a rest to some players. Tevez, maybe Higuain and/or Lionel Messi could sit and maybe be replaced by Pastore, Aguero and/or Milito, but the place in the Round of 16 is still not confirmed so for now this are all speculations that will be confirmed or not during the weekend.
Jonas Gutierrez will be out for sure, suspended, and Javier Mascherano and Gabriel Heinze both have a yellow card and if they get a second would be out for the next stage, so they are the biggest candidates to rest against Greece.

Two wins...5 to go ?


  1. Yes it will be interesting to see who Maradona will field next, but i guess its pretty much the same system. Though we have a Major dilemma about Mascherano, he is the captain, for sure he will play, though a yellow will get him suspended in round of 16. I wonder if Maradona looks into this, and maybe move him on the bench, and see how we do in the first half against Greece, with Bolatti as DM, helped by Maxi in CM. wonder if Veron will be back next game. I most certainly can see Aguero getting a start here. Otamendi out of necessity due to Jonas suspension. As you said, Pastore, Aguero, Militio, wow, wonder how they will function together, would love to see that. 5 to go! :)

  2. Well, if Mascherano is rested maybe the formation should change to a 4-4-2, because Bolatti is not as good defensively as Mascherano and he will need some help.
    Veron was OK to play yesterday but it was risky to use him. I think he could be ready for Tuesday's game.
    We'll see :)

  3. from what i read , Mascherano for sure to sit out, I figure Tevez as well, we are likely to see a weakened Argentine team, wouldnt be surprised if Messi is out as well, as against a tough tackling greece would risk messi getting injured, i dont know this is my guess. i still think we beat greece by a large margin,

    Otamendi, Micho, Burdisso, Heinze
    Maxi, Bolatti, Veron, Pastore
    Militio and Aguero

  4. Don't count on that formation. It's just speculation, today the players had a free afternoon and there was no open training.
    Tomorrow there will probably be news about the formation and I'll write about it.