I thought it’d be fun to blog whilst watching the game. Obviously, you guys won’t see it until the end but you can see my thoughts to decisions throughout the match.
First 10 minutes
Uruguay look bright, Argentina’s defence looks woeful. More defensive changes from Maradona. Otamendi is in at right back when he is primarily a centre back. Still trying to work out why Zanetti wasn’t even in the squad! Veron is back alongside Mascherano. Why playing an ageing playmaker when you have a perfectly in form one in Aimar who just so happened to create the first goal on Saturday?
Also, Aguero is not even on the bench. The same Aguero who terrorised Russia a few months ago. Despite Messi being completely out of form for his country, he is undroppable apparantly! Palermo is on the bench, will he be the hero again tonight?
Oh my word, just as I typed the previous paragraph, Argentina’s defence is non existant as Suarez runs through on goal. Romero blasts the ball against him and it narrowly misses the goal for a goal kick.
Game has started to settle down. Argentina beginning to get more territory without really threatening. Uruguay still looking dangerous on the break. Two bookings already for Argentina and I’ll be very surprised if this remains 11 vs 11 at the end of the night!
If Argentina do get through tonight, they may have just found a gem of a player in Higuain (told you so Maradona). Would be intrigued to see him and Aguero up front with Messi taking a traditionally deeper role.
Uruguay’s final ball at the moment is poor. They need to be calmer in the final third to put this weak Argentina backline under pressure. Last 10 minutes has been very scrappy indeed, neither team has much shape about them. Individual mistakes overshadowing any possible team performance at present.
Uruguay just trying to up the tempo here. Perreira with a cross come shot across the goal that sees Romero dive mainly for the cameras. The Uruguayian players have some nice footwork but they’re just lacking that cutting instinct at the moment.
I’ve just seen Messi touch the ball, for the first time tonight!
Uruguay need to get Forlan in the game. Apart from a few neat flicks, he’s not really done much tonight. Him and Suarez running at the Argentina backline will give them a lot of joy!
Argentina are just beginning to gain control at the moment. They’ve quietened the crowd and are keeping the ball well. They could do with scoring in this period!
No chances to report at the moment. Very scrappy from both teams. Uruguay just can’t keep the ball for more than 2-3 passes. Argentina look comfortable which clearly means the opposition are doing something wrong!
H/T – 0-0
Apart from the first five minutes, that is the most disciplined performance I’ve seen from Argentina for a long time. Uruguay look affected by the occasions and they need to up their game in the second half if they want to beat Maradona’s men!
There’s been a goal in Chile where the hosts have taken the lead against Ecuador. That means that Argentina are at least guaranteed a play off spot whatever happens if that stays the same!
Not much happening in Uruguay at the moment. Argentina have more of the ball but haven’t tested the keeper yet. Uruguay are feeding off long balls that the Argentina defence are dealing with comfortably at the moment.
First moment of panic for Argentina for a long time as Schiavi hits his clearance straight to Suarez who shoots straight at Romero.
The hosts are starting to have more of the ball now as Argentina are dropping deeper and looking to play off the counter. Can Uruguay sniff a victory here?
Maradona has yet to make a change yet and that’s probably the best thing he’s done all campaign. His side are comfortable at the minute. Can the eccentric coach resist a change though?
Uruguay’s final ball has been awful tonight. However, the hosts are starting to get a few free kicks in dangerous positions. That looks to be their best hope at the minute as we know how well Argentina defend set pieces!
OOOOOOOOOOOOOO! A fantastic ball into the box from Forlan, substitute Gargano in acres of space flicks it wide from an awkward angle. So close for Uruguay!
10 minutes to go! Looks like Ecuador are going out so it seems to be a battle for 4th and 5th spot now. Maradona has removed Di Maria and Higuain for two inexperienced players so we will see if they are good or bad decisions!
Uruguay are still struggling to build any momentum, their passing in the final third has been abysmal!
CACERES SENT OFF! – 83rd minute
Can’t complain at all there. Caceres, already on a yellow card, decides to rugby tackle Gutierrez as the winger gets away from him. Second yellow, goodbye!
GOAL – 1-0 ARGENTINA – Bolatti – 84th minute
From the resulting free kick, ball is laid off to Veron, cue a mad scramble in the box, Bolatti slots into the corner unmarked. It pains me to say it but Argentina deserve their lead. They haven’t been outstanding but they have been solid whilst Uruguay have been uninspiring to say the least!
Uruguay look out of ideas. Their fans will be going home disappointed!
FINAL WHISTLE: URUGUAY 0-1 ARGENTINA
Argentina were worthy winners tonight. Maradona is currently in tears and being mobbed by photographers!
Although it would have been amusing to see the Argies knocked out, they realistically have no chance of winning the World Cup with Maradona in charge. Hopefully he will cause much entertainment in South Africa 2010!