ARGENTINA 1-0 IRAN
SATURDAY 21ST JUNE – BELO HORIZONTE
Superman is actually a small man playing for Argentina, and Barcelona and his name is Lionel Messi.
This tournament is supposed to be his coming out, his chance to win the World Cup. After all he’s following the legend that Maradonna. Against Iran, Messi decided to win the game in the dying moments. That’s right, the games aren’t decided by the other players, Messi chooses when he wants to win the match. Iran, is still a World Cup cycle away from being a decent side. And their manager is Carlos Querioz, who used to be Mr. Ferguson’s second in command at Manchester United. The media on both sides of the rain dorp were belaboring that point before and during the match, but with Argentina winning 1-0 the media can focus on the rest of the tournament.
The Iranian team did what most teams do against teams with far better talent do, take their bus and park it. If this would have been England, we would have been cheering the tactics because the top teams are playing it. Argentina can turn out most of the top strikers in the world, in Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, and Messi up top. Let’s not also forget about Angel DiMaria up top. You can park the bus, or try to stop Lionel, but you know Argentina has the talent and the service to get out of the group stages.
Higuain, and Messi missed clear shots in the first half when they had the shots on goal. Which was very few times. Iran, didn’t complete the high percentage of passes that Argentina could have, but would get shots on target. But when Argentina could get the shots on target, they scored. Dejagan would get shots on, passes on, and become the Man of the Match for Iran but couldn’t get Sergio Romero the Argentina goalkeeper would stand on his head and stop the shots. One such strike came early when lone striker Reza Ghoochannejhad took a cross from the right and put a shot on goal.
In the run up to the match, Messi said the nation should stick to a more attacking style of play and as you can see with the talent they have laying around, you have to not play five at that back. Argentia started off their World Cup with five at the back, and when they switched over to the 4-3-3 they made it great. However, they were stiffled by the stoic defending of Iran, just enough to keep the pressure off of Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella for another week. Getting out of the gorup, and winning the whole thing is the only expectation for the nation.
ARGENTINA: Romero, Rojo, Garay, F. Fernandez, Zabaleta, Mascherano, Gago, Di Maria (Biglia 90+2), Messi, Higuain (Palacio 77), Aguero (Lavezzi 77).
GOALS: Messi 90+1.
IRAN: Haghighi (Hajsafi 88), Montarezi, Haji Safi, Hosseini, Sadeghi, Nekounam, Pooladi, Timotian, Ghoochannejad, Dejagah (Jahanbakhsh 85), Shojaei (Heydari 77).
BOOKINGS: Nekounam 53, Shojaei 73.
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