Monday, July 02, 2007

Copa America Group C Round Two: Argentina v Colombia (4-2)

After watching the USA's disappointing loss at the feet of Paraguay (something we'll write about in a day or so... and yes, we were rooting for Bradley's rough 'n' tumble mostly-upstarts), it was gratifying to see Argentina mount another fluid, attacking, dream team style of football. Many of the players looked exhausted in the second half (Messi and Cambiasso in particular) and consequently the passing and defensive mistakes started to show, but for the most part Basile's wonderboys look more and more like Marvel superheroes. I could've done without some of the more blatant "selling" of the fouls (Mascherano in particular) and Leo Messi's challenge in the box was definitely a play on moment, but the game was yet another wondrous Copa America match. Colombia, who managed to wake up from their stupor to attempt a late second half attack (Jaime Castrillon scored in the 73rd to make it 3-2) but was unable to ultimately even things up before Argentina scored yet again, will be tough competition for Uncle Sam's team. But the US still have a slim chance out of the grouping (the two best third place teams qualify for the quarter-finals) and another opportunity to earn some much deserved respect.

As a side note, it appears that Hernan Crespo may be out for the rest of the tournament. He injured himself after scoring a penalty kick (making it 1-1) that was the result of Messi getting fouled in the box early in the first half. If true, Crespo will definitely be missed by us, but we trust that Tevez and Diego Milito will take up the slack....


linda said...

Masche does rather roll around a bit, but that hard foul by Arizala didn't requite any exaggeration. Neither did the one that had Messi clutching his chest, ouch.

The penalty, on the other hand, was just as soft as you say. Thank God for Riquelme, and now Diego Milito has to deliver. (He's really slow, though, isn't he?)

Derek said...

Oh, I definitely think that Masche and Messi both got nailed in those instances. I wouldn't have wanted to be on the receiving end of either of those! But Messi being taken down in the penalty box was a.... I'm not sure if it was a bad call so much as one that the ref didn't see clearly. It certainly looked bad when it happened, but on replay it was obvious that both players had very little contact. But it was enough, eh?

Milito was absent for so much of the game I forget he was actually out there. Why Basile didn't put in Tevez earlier is a mystery to me. Riquelme has simply been spectacular of late and it's great to see him not only look like he's enjoying playing again but silence his critics for the time being. I hope he maintains this form wherever he winds up.