Saturday, December 18, 2010

Argentina opened their first match as favourites. They fought and… lost 2-3 to Poland. A surprise. The result does not really tell the story, though – the Gauchos were outplayed. Just like the rest of the South Americans, they were playing outdated kind of football. They were major disappointment. Their ‘iron’ defense was leaky. They were lucky to escape with such a loss.
Lato (16) scores another one after Carnevali’s (1) mistake. Defense is everything in modern football? The Poles told ‘El Polaco’ different story.
Disgraced, but not discarded – Argentina, like other giants on feet of clay, was told to improve in the second match. They kind of improved, for they played against Italy, equally sluggish, outdated, and defensive minded. Two teams resting on defensive tactics never makes for great match and rarely produces anything else, but a draw. In this case – 1-1.
Houseman scores for Argentina, beating Zoff. Burgnich watches at left. So far 1-0 for Argentina… but not to the end.
The last match against Haiti was not brainer – it was sure that Argentina will win, but it was also sure that winning or not, it would not matter: Poland with two wins already qualified, and it was expected the Poles will lose their match with Italy. Either Poland would not play strongly enough, preserving strength for the next round, or Italy will be finally playing as they should – no matter what, Argentines were goners. They won of course, but heir ‘impecable’ defense allowed a goal again – 4-1. Meantime Poland won and small miracle happened: Argentina fulfilled predictions and finished second in the round robin group! Not by their own efforts, but second they were, going to the second round instead to undeserved summer vacation. Well, prophets emerged anew – the ‘real’ Argentina will show great football at the second round! Just way and see – theor luck will boost confidence and ambition. Why, they may become world champions yet.