WC 2014 Column


Day 4 - A Bittersweet Tango in Rio for the honor of Gardel

By Gabriel Cazotto

    Would Lionel Messi be able to play for Argentina the way he plays for Barcelona in a competition like the World Cup? Does the stomach problems of Messi has something to do with his low performance this season? The scandals of his father's involvement with drugs would affect La Pulga? Leo cleared everything up when entered the field against Bosnia in the most sacred stage of the World football, the Maracanã. Even playing poorly in the first time Argentina managed to score 1-0 with an own goal by Kolasinac just 3 minutes. Three minutes that was more than enough for the Argentine football in the first half.

    But, as in a Gardel bittersweet tango, the brave Bosniaks leveled the game in the second half with the Hermanos and almost got a draw in the first 30 minutes. With five players just to defend one, Edin Dzeko, totally annulled, Argentina lost the midfield in creation. So Sabella sacked Maxi and put Gago and Higuaín; allowing Messi to retreat in the center of the field to roam around, it was enough to his second goal in the history of the tournament in a goal à la Lionel Messi, dribbled passed the defender from the left, with an accurate shot in the left corner of Begovic. 2x0. Ibisevic still managed to score Bosnia’s first ever goal which clearly showed why the 5 defenders chosen by Sabella; in a tango that showed Lionel Messi on high level also showed a very weak goalkeeper and a very unbalanced defense. With this, a new trip to the Maracanã in the final seems unlikely.

    In the first game of the day, Switzerland (who did not play in South America since 1987) and Ecuador played a very even match; so equal to the point that it had to take the excellent Hitzfeld (with a CV of 2 Champions League) to change the score after putting Mehmedi to tie the game in a header, and Seferovic to turn the match in a counterattack started by Behrami, who was fouled, and rather than stay on the ground continued by starting the accurate trap created by Ottmar focused on a trio axis, this time with Shaqiri, Xhaka and Rodriguez, who crossed for Seferovic to score (as told before) in injury time.

    France played with almost with the handbrake on. Against the worst team of competition, Honduras, everything was sufficient enough to Benzema makes a hat-trick (sorry, but it is an injustice to put the second goal for the good goalkeeper Valladares). In a game that was marked by three important facts more than the game itself. For the first time there was no anthem before the game by a failure in the sound system of the Beira-Rio; for the first time since 1934 that 10 straight games World has no tie (11 counting on); and finally, the first time to use the technology to show that, YES, the ball entered the net on Benzema’s second goal.

An epic day for technology, and a bittersweet tango for Lionel and Argentina.

Man of the Matches:
Valon Behrami - SUI
Karim Benzema - FRA
Lionel Messi - ARG



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