Monday, July 09, 2007

(shorter) Argentina v Paraguay

Quick impressions only, I'm afraid, ahead of the quarterfinal against Peru.

Argentina 1 - 0 Paraguay

Goals: Mascherano (79)

Argentina (4-3-1-2):


The positives:
  • Abbondanzieri looks much more confident, although he didn't exactly have a lot to do
  • Zanetti is having a brilliant tournament. I can't praise him enough.
  • Burdisso looks like a solid backup for Ayala and Gabi Milito.
  • Cambiasso has improved massively.
  • Palacio: he works hard, he's got pace, he can cross, and he can hit a ball. Not bad, although it's clear he needs a more traditional center forward to play off.
  • Tevez looked very lively and created some danger.
  • Messi's supersub performance. (And the fact that he's not injured, despite being hacked at every time he runs with the ball.)
  • Mascherano. Not just a brilliant holding midfielder, but what a goal.
The not so good:
  • Ibarra and Diaz were decent but one can see why they're not first choice.
  • Gago looks out of sorts. Mascherano's a different class to him right now.
  • Someone else who looks out of sorts: Lucho Gonzalez. Dear Lord. I really wish we had Maxi Rodriguez fully fit now.
  • Aimar showed some spark, but also that he's better as an impact sub or a supporting midfielder than the starting playmaker right now. We definitely missed Riquelme.

I was very impressed with their defensive effort. They play a 4-4-2 with the two rows of four retreating very quickly and leaving little space everytime Argentina went forward, and it works very well. Offensively they were limited to counter-attacks or long balls up to their two forwards, but then they didn't have to win. If they can defend like this against Mexico, I think they have a chance.


pdp_risingson said...

I'm glad you posted this. I missed the game so I was quietly hoping for some input from you.

Thankfully, it happened!

Argentina seem to really gel when Cambiasso maintains that high level. Hopefully he can continue it!

linda said...

Apparently Cambiasso maintained that if he got more minutes his form would come back, which has come true.

Oh wow. Mexico just thrashed Paraguay. They did have their 'keeper sent off, and that's really bad for a defensive team, but still.

Rio said...

hey linda.
exchange link?

linda said...

Rio: yeah, of course. I found your series on formations really interesting, by the way.

Rio said...

thanks linda

you're linked on my blog too.

have fun watching the game tonight