Friday, 28 May 2010

Friendly Watch

Busy week of World Cup warm-up matches and and it's been mainly good news for South American's finest.

Argentina said Chau Chau to Buenos Aires on Monday with a comfortable 5-0 win against Canada, even without superstar Messi. A brace for Liverpool winger Maxi Rodriguex, one apiece from Angel Di Maria, Tevez and Maradona's son-in-law Sergio Aguero. Nepotism what nepotism? Maradona has subsequently said he will run naked around the Obelisco in BA if Argentina win the Cup. Well if you ever wanted a reason to support Brazil, Chile or anyone else there you go.

How they lined up: Romero, Heinze (Rodriguez 59), Burdisso, Otamendi, Mascherano (Bolatt 59), GutiƩrrez, Pastore (Garce 74), Di Maria, Rodriguez (Veron 46), Higuaƭn (Palermo 68), Tevez (Aguero 70)

Tuesday saw Paraguay travel to Dublin to take on the Irish. Maybe coach Gerado Martino was expecting an Italian-esque encounter with Trapattoni calling the shots for the men in green. Paraguay play Italy in their first match at the World Cup.

Always looked like a tough match on paper and so it proved as Los Guaranies went down 2-1, depsite controlling much of the possession. Santa Cruz started the rot, momentarily forgetting which team he was playing for and heading against his own crossbar. Doyle gratefully bundled in the rebound. And they were soon 2-0 down before Lucas Barrios put the finishing touch to a flowing move. A goal on debut for the Argentina-born, Borussia Dortmund striker. But with the strikers at his disposal, I doubt Maradona will be losing too much sleep about Barrios' sudden change of nationality.

How they lined up:
Bobadilla, Da Silva, Caniza, Alcaraz, Morel Rodriguez (Torres 65), Vera (Bonet 66), Riveros (Ortigoza 65), Santana (Aquino 82), Santa Cruz (Martinez 77), Barrios, Gamarra.

Better news for Chile, who saw off Zambia on Wednesday. Couple of goals for Alexis Sanchez. Managed to catch the last 20 mins at the Dublin Bar in bohemian Bella Vista. Cracking third goal from Valdivia, smashing home from outside the box. La Roja in good heart.

How they lined up: Bravo, Contreras, Jara (Sanchez 46), Fuentes (Isla 46), Valdivia, Carmona, Cereceda (Estrada 46), Fierro, Tello, , Paredes (Beausejour 46)

Uruguay in similar good form in Montevideo. Easy-osy as they thumped Israel 4-1. Forlan followed up his winner in the Europa Cup Final with the first before further goals from Pereira and a double from second half sub Abreu.

How they lined up:
Muslera, Lugano (Lodeiro 46), Godin, Scotti, Perez (Rios 62), Pereira, Gargano (Equren 46), Gonzalez (Caceres 71), Pereira, Forlan (Abreu 46), Suarez (Cavani 62)

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