Saturday, June 21, 2014

World Cup 2014 : Argentina vs Iran 1-0

What a match between favourites Argentina & minnows Iran....the critical difference being another Lionel Messi Magic for 30 seconds, & that too in the injury time past the full 90 minutes. For me, Iran was just plain unlucky not to return with at least a point from this match. They did everything right...solid defense with zonal marking, sudden burst of counter attack catching the Argentinian defense napping..... & the man of the match for me was Iranian goalkeeper A Haghighi....he was simply outstanding with countless saves, some simply unbelievable. It had to be a vicious kick from the left foot of Messi from the edge of the box which curled past the fully stretched goalkeeper & entered the net, taking the South American team into the round of 16, with two wins.
Surely good news for the world of football....we can look forward to many such magical moments ahead. But take a bow Iran.....you were brilliant throughout the match & a fair result would have been a draw....but such is cruel fate. In fact Iran came close to scoring at least thrice, & had they got a goal then, the results could well have been the opposite.
Messi throughout the match was very closely marked & it was expected that Di Maria, Higuain, Aguero would take advantage of this to play freely, but barring Di Maria for a few bursts into the Iranian defense, the Argentine forwards found themselves against a wall of Iranian players, who crowded their goal & kept the ball away....& the of course was their goalkeeper...Barcelona & Real Madrid may be tempted to buy him for the next season. He is strong, with very good reflexes & anticipation & never afraid to go for the ball, both aerial or grounders.
The match was witnessed by Diego Maradona in the stands, who had come with his daughter. He must have left a happy man, seeing his prodigy Messi score the winner. Incidentally, it was on this day, in Mexico, 28 years ago, that he had taken his team to victory against England with two famous goals....one the dubious Hand of God, & the other an exquisite dribbling beyond six English players including goalkeeper Peter Shilton to get the winner..... Argentina went on to win the tournament under him.

With this win Argentina qualifies for the round of 16, but they will surely have to reflect on their strategies in attack, as stronger teams ahead would punish them for this kind of a game..... 

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