Last time Argentina didn’t managed to get into the FIFA World cup was back in Mexico 1970 and it seems the dark day for one of the most famous and successful international teams in the world Argentina is coming closer and closer. As Messi and his teammates drew their must win qualifier against Venezuela.
Argentina’s World Cup hopes suffered a serious blow on Tuesday night after they were held by the bottom side in South America at home.
Venezuela took an unexpected lead on the counter in the second-half when John Murillo was sent racing clear before coolly slotting the ball beyond the reach of Sergio Romero.
The lead lasted only for three minutes before Rolf Feltscher put the ball into his own net after being under pressurized from the Inter striker Mauro Icardi.
Why Sampaoli Why?
People hoped Argentina will score the second one in couple of moments as they were creating really good chances and better than first half in the Venezuela’s defense. But, then came the strange moment of the match when head coach Jorge Sampaoli decided to sub-in Dario Benedetto, the 27-years-old who had his first cap for his country in the last minutes of an intense match.
Sampaoli had two great options as Sergio Aguero and Angel Correa were on the substitute bench. We all know Aguero isn’t that much fit and also is a little bit out of form. But, it’s easy to predict that if defenders see a player like Aguero in the or outside the penalty area with the ball they’ll panic which will make room for other players. Sometimes the presence of some players is more important than their play.
Same is about Angel Correa who is slightly better than Aguero in terms of pace, trickery and form. Thus, it’s hard to understand what came in the head of Sampaoli that he sent an uncapped player in a game which was demanding nerves of steel in the last minutes.
He had his best game for Argentina
Thus, it was a collective disaster from the team as defending players weren’t seen comfortable for a second with the back three style of play. But, we have to praise the little wizard on the left-flank for Argentina Marcos Acuna who came as substitute for Angel Di Maria (Hamstrng injury) in the first-half. His change of pace and a perfect ball into the box was the reason for Argentina’s equalizer.
STOP favoring MESSI and START Analyzing all equally
The trolling heads of social media are out and criticizing all players except the Argentine Captain Lionel Messi as always but I think they should stop comparing Messi to his teammates and stop demanding the level Messi have from those. Also, even Messi wasn’t too good in this ine and for that we have to give credit to the Venezuelan defense.
Dybala would’ve shoot it first time
But, there were two chances created by Messi almost in the same position and first one was for Benedetto and the other one was for Pastore. If Sampaoli had Dybala on the field then I think he would’ve shot it in the first time and would’ve earned a corner or almost has a goal for him as all that pass needed was a shoot of some good power. But, Benedetto and Pastore both wasted good chances.
Referee? Are you there?
Also, Argentina was quite unlucky also because Icardi was appeared to be brought down by Mikel Villanueva in the penalty box on the hour-mark, but penalty shouts were rejected by the referee.
Hope is still there, hopefully
Well, chances are hanging by a thread for Argentina as they’ve to defeat Peru in their next qualifier which is a must win both teams as Peru sits on the 4th place in the table.
After, that Peru will fight against Colombia and one of them will lose for sure (A draw will still do the favor) which will eventually open the doors for Argentina. But, for that they have to win their last qualifier against Ecuador.
It’s sad to realize that there’s still a chance that we will not see one of these top teams (Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Paraguay) in the world cup which shows how much competition is there now in South America.
Images Sources: Google Images