Argentina thrash Serbia and Montenegro in Group C
Friday, June 16, 2006
On one side of this one-way game there was an embarrassment of Argentine talent; on the other there was the humiliation of Ilija Petkovic's side being out-played for 90 minutes by a team at the top of their form.
With the roof over the Veltins Arena it was dark enough in the stadium for camera flashes to light up in the crowd. On the pitch the Argentine players provided the flashes of brilliance.
An early goal after six minutes was the first of six goals that were the product of almost flawless team play and individual execution. Argentina swept down the left, Maxi Rodriguez ran at speed into a pass and toe-poked first time beyond Dragoslav Jevric.
The next one was the climax of a 24 pass move. Esteban Cambiasso tapped the ball forward to Hernan Crespo just inside the penalty area; a back heal and Cambiasso ran on and smacked it past Jevric.
On 35 minutes the Argentina fans in the crowd seemed to know which way the game was going. The chant "Ole" was heard as the Argentines continued to pass amongst themselves with great ease.
Totally dominant, the blue and white stripes had over 60 per cent ball possession come half-time. Roberto Abbondanzieri in the Argentina goal was for the most part the spectator number 52'001.
It could have been four nil at the break but on 36 minutes Crespo's effort was judged to have come from an offside position. Crespo got booked because he did not stop when the referee blew his whistle. The television replay showed the linesman was mistaken.
The third goal came on 41 minutes. Jevric could only palm a Javier Saviola shot to Maxi Rodriguez at the far post who stuck away his second off the post.
Savo Milosevic won his hundredth cap for Serbia and Montenegro, a statistic that included games with the Yugoslavia football team. He forced a corner with a hard long range shot and failed to reach a header after Danijel Ljuboja had briefly stretched Argentina on the right.
On 64 minutes Mateja Kezman appeared to make a frustrated two-footed lunge which caught Javier Mascherano. The referee reached for the red card and made a hard position harder for the unfortunate Serbia and Montenegro team.
Then it was the Lionel Messi show. The Argentines were comfortable but had not scored in the second half until the 19-year-old Barcelona striker came on after 74 minutes. Soon there were three more goals to the total.
Messi set up Crespo for a tap in; he burst into the penalty area and a delivered a superb low pass across the goal that beat both the keeper and defenders.
Another young Argentine Carlos Tevez got past two half-hearted challenges from the Serbia and Montenegro defence and put the fifth around Jevric.
The goal many Argentines in the crowd had waited for came two minutes from time. Messi, recently back from injury, was fed on another burst into the penalty area. He beat Jevric at his near post.
This year Montenegro made their split from Serbia official in the political arena. In the Veltins Arena, Friday, the performance of the two national sides combined might be grounds for the coming football divorce.
The mathematics of the Group C table mean Jose Pekerman's Argentina are not yet through to the knock-out stage of the Fifa World Cup. They would go through if the Netherlands did not lose to Ivory Coast, who played Friday.
|June 16, 2006|
|Argentina||6–0||Serbia and Montenegro||Veltins Arena|
|Rodríguez 6', 41'
- 01 R Abbondanzieri
- 21 N Burdisso
- 02 R Ayala
- 06 G Heinze
- 03 J Sorin
- 18 R Maxi (Substituted: 74' L Messi )
- 08 J Mascherano
- 22 L Gonzalez (Substituted: 16' E Cambiasso )
- 10 J Riquelme
- 07 J Saviola (Substituted: 58' C Tevez )
- 09 H Crespo 37'
Serbia and Montenegro
Serbia & Montenegro
|Serbia and Montenegro||0||2||0||0||2||0||7||-7|
Fifa World Cup Group C table June 16, 2006