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Spain 2-1 Argentina

A brace from Xabi Alonso proves too much for Argentina, as they suffer a defeat at the hands of the European Kings in Madrid.

Football - Atletico Madrid v Liverpool UEFA Champions League Group Stage Matchday Three Group D
Vicente Calderon Stadium

The scene was set, two of the worlds biggest teams were set to clash. The 54,851 seater Vicente Calderón Stadium the venue. Maradona’s men were under pressure, this coming after a disappointing qualification campaign – qualifying at the last hurdle with a 1-0 win over Uruguay. Diego Maradona, also under fire from FIFA after the inpromptu outburst to the media following their qualification to South Africa. Early on Spain threatened, showing Argentina their intentions. A one touch passing move, engineered beautifully was slid in for Xavi, only for him to scupper the chance. Argentina didn’t show much ambition in the opening stages of the game and on the 16 minute mark, a wonderfully crafted move from Valencia’s David Silva, skipping past Demichelas to fire on goal which was saved well, unfortunately for Romero and Argentina, Alonso pounced on the rebound to poke the ball home and send the Spaniards into raptures.

Sports News - February 17, 2009
Xabi Alonso

It was a very dominant half for Spain, Andres Iniesta denied by Romero and David Villa’s rebound being cleared of the line by Fabricio Coloccini. The referee waved away protests, the Spanish claiming handball. For Argentina, the chances were very few and far between. Fernando Gago’s through ball to Benfica youngster Angel Di Maria, proving to be one of the only opportunities of the game was wasted as he tried to lob Iker Casillas, all to no avail.

At half time, strong words must have emanated from the mouth of Diego Maradona as Argentina came out fighting. The Argentines had the earlier of the chances, not going down without a fight. Raul Albiol gave possession up near the touchline, being robbed by Maxi Rodriguez.

As the Madrid man tried winning possession back, he brought Rodriguez down in the area leading to an Argentina penalty. Step up Lionel Messi, converted beautifully, sending Casillas the wrong way. That was Messi’s 13th goal in 41 appearances for Argentina.

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Lionel Messi

The equaliser for Argentina proved to be, simply a consolation. Xabi Alonso, lined up a shot which the referee adjudged to have caught Demicheles on the hand, handing Spain the opportunity to win the game. Scorer of the first goal Xabi Alonso was elected to take the penalty since Villa had been brought off at this point. Alonso didn’t hesitate and smashed it into the top corner from the penalty spot.

With an epic win over Argentina, the European Champions proved their merits on the night. With Brazil beating England in Doha, does this not beg the question that Brazil and Spain could well be the hot favourites to win the World Cup next year in South Africa? Spain have the flair and the players, Brazil have the untarnished record, two astonishing teams who, on the day play attractive, open and free-flowing football.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Challenge Feedback

    17 November, 2009 at 04:35

    Good use of captions on the images, strange that the bottom of the first image says UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, looks odd for an international match report. You could have just left this out as the Alonso and Messi images are great.

    Very nice introduction set out for the reader, nice to have score in the title, but would be good to add something else to it as well. Check out the titles on some of the other articles in this task for an idea.

    inpromptu > impromptu

    An excellent overall article, I just think it needs to flow a bit better.

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