Friday, June 29, 2007

Argentina vs US half-time

1 - 1 (US goal by Eddie Johnson, Argentine goal by Hernan Crespo)

Can't say I'm surprised, really. The US played the defensive-counter attacking, very tight marking game that Argentina find uncomfortable and did it well, drawing a penalty on one of their few forays forward. It was a fair enough penalty, and Eddie Johnson's pace continued to give the Milito-Ayala pairing trouble. In fact, the Argentinean defence is really lacking in pace as a whole. Very worrying.

Roman has been very well marked, but still managed to supply plenty of good balls forward, and it was his usual skill at freekicks which created the equaliser for Argentina. Crespo finished well there, but otherwise he was very frustrated. Messi also seemed isolated on his wing and quickly closed down when he got the ball. To me, Veron's passing has been a bit off, but he did have a great shot at the end of the half. Mascherano's having a great game. I'd say we need to do something about getting overrun in midfield, our lack of width, and our strikers lacking support.

Come on, boys. Second half starting soon.


Isaiah said...

And then there was the 2nd half...

We were outplayed the entire game by Argentina and looked more like Bruce Arena's side than ever before under Bradley. I was very disappointed in how we played, tactically. Within that tactical setup, however, we played decently enough until the end when tired legs (from so much chasing) began to tell. Good goals all around for Argentina, which finally figured out to put Messi on the left and take advantage of Wynne's inexperience/ineptitude (still not sure which). Bornstein was great against the "Messiah", which was nice to see.

I thought Veron played well, if not spectacularly. The US was tenacious and Argentina obviously just needed more time to gel as a unit (which they still haven't fully done, which is f-ing scary), which is how I explain the missed passes and relative anonymity of Riquelme. Aimar was a good addition, I thought (and not just because of the goal, but rather because I like him and enjoy his darting little runs) and Tevez replacing Messi was a smart move considering the scoreline at the time, though it would have happened regardless of whether or not El Payaso had put that header away or not.

Enjoyable game, no doubt, if you were an Argentina fan, but frustrating for someone wearing red white and blue. I just wish we'd started our best 11 and not some B team. It could have been a real game had there been some extra firepower up front to trouble Ayala and Milito, or take advantage of Heinze (who I still think is crap-crappity-crap-crap). I was impressed by the two center backs and despite your fears that speed would be their undoing, their superior positioning proves why they're on the team in the first place. Example: Remember all times after minute 9 when Johnson used his speed to break free of the first line of defenders and his brilliant individual skill to slip by the second to put himself in on goal? Yeah, you don't remember that because he never even made it passed that first line after that one solitary breakaway. Not once. No one did, in fact, and our best chances were those like Gaven's random slightly-long-range attempt that never would have troubled a blind sloth.

That game just leaves a terrible taste in my mouth, not because we lost, but because I swear I just saw Bradley morph into Arena...crap.

linda said...

A game of two halves indeed. You're right, the tiredness really started to show in the second half, but I was quite impressed with their discipline before that.

Messi I thought didn't really click with Zanetti or Veron. Aimar coming on was a huge boost to him, both because of the switch and because he has a better understanding with Aimar.

The problem with Veron is that I don't think he's ever going to gel with Riquelme. Aimar on the other hand has a great understanding with him.

Yeah, I can understand the US fans' frustration. We're going to have to agree to disagree about Heinze, but I was still a bit worried by how bad Milito was at dealing with long balls hit over the defence in places. Ah well, maybe they'll gel more having played together more.