Saturday, June 17, 2006

Argentina 6-0 Serbia and Montenegro

It has been about 20 hours since the match between Argentina and Serbia and Montenegro, yet I still can't find the right words to describe my state after that massacre. Flabbergasted? Somewhat. Shocked? Yes. Astounded? Yes. Thrilled and excited? Of course, I couldn't control my laughter watching what seemed the most one sided match in history. Still, these words don't even begin to describe what sort of impact a match like that can have on an already dazed kid like myself.
Let's be clear about a few things. Serbia and Montenegro is a very good team, with what is generally a brilliant defence. So, was the scoreline a bit exaggerated? Definitely not. Argentina destroyed the players from the former Yugoslav nation with the best passing game the world has ever seen (I am probably not exaggerating here). Things could have been far worse for the Serbs and Montenegrins. Argentina had a perfectly good goal disallowed for offside, and also looked like they were cruising in second gear. This was a team that had the luxury of players like Cambiasso, Messi and Tevez come off the bench to score, while the first team excelled too. Spain-Ukraine was a bit flattering in terms of the scoreline, as there was plenty of dodgy refereeing involved, though the better team did win in the end. In this case, there was no such problem. This was Argentina in cruise mode. And the rest of the teams in the tournament just saw why this team is rated the best Argentinian side since the 1986 winning one. If last week's Czech demolition of USA was awe-inspiring, you'd have to come up with a whole new word for Argentina's performance.
The first goal was a great team goal with plenty of passes, and was finally converted by Maxi Rodriguez. Soon after, the normally impressive Luis Gonzalez was taken off injured and replaced by Esteban Cambiasso. The sub made his presence felt soon enough, scoring after a fabulous move that involved 24 passes from 8 different outfield players. If Maradona's second goal against England in 1986 was the best solo goal ever, this is the best team goal ever, arguably. Things only got worse for the shocked SCG team when Rodriguez scored again after a brilliant display of opportunism by Saviola. A perfectly legal goal from Crespo was then ruled out for offside, and the player was booked for supposed 'time wasting.'
After the break, however, there was no respite, as wonderkids Tevez and Messi came on, and both scored, as did Hernan Crespo.
Simply put, this was a masterclass in football, and every team in the competition will try and cut classes when Argentina is teaching.

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