|Argentina||Trinidad & Tobago|
|2014-06-04||Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti||Buenos Aires, Argentina||40000|
Brave Warriors fall to Argentina
Despite holding arguably the world’s best player, Lionel Messi, at bay, T&T’s Soca Warriors left the Estadio Monumental Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, with a 3-0 loss against an unspectacular Argentina, last night.
Rodrigo Palacio opened for the home team in the final play of the first half, before Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez completed the easy win with a pair of scrappy second half goals for Argentina, which is deep into preparation for the this month’s Fifa World Cup.
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By Jerrad Peters (World Football Staff).
Right from the opening kick-off the pattern of the match was established. The Albicelestes were going to control possession and look to complete ambitious pieces of buildup play while their island rivals looked to hit them on the break.
Messi, who missed a handful of chances, pulled his first shot just wide of the target after only 11 minutes, and nine minutes later he and Angel di Maria combined to set up Ezequiel Lavezzi, who couldn’t quite connect at the far post.
Di Maria, who was Argentina’s most encouraging player of the night, then chipped a delightful pass to Rodrigo Palacio, but the Inter Milan forward mistimed his run to the corner.
Trinidad and Tobago, meanwhile, might have scored twice if not for the wits of Hugo Armando Campagnaro and Martin Demichelis, the latter of whom raced back into his own end to poke the ball of Kenwyne Jones’ boot with only the goalkeeper for the Cardiff City striker to beat.
But from there it was all Argentina, and when Messi was denied by Yohance Marshall at point-blank range it seemed only a matter of time before they would open the scoring.
Finally, in the second minute of first-half stoppage time, Palacio turned in a corner kick and the two-time World Cup winners were on their way.
They doubled their advantage just six minutes after the restart.
Messi, who had lined up a free-kick from about 19 yards, hit the upright with his effort but watched as teammate Javier Mascherano, almost accidentally, deflected the rebound past Jan-Michael Williams.
At this point there was no doubt about the outcome, and in the 65th minute Palacio hunted down a long pass, rounded Williams, did well to keep the ball inside the playing area and then cut it back to substitute attacker Maxi Rodriguez, who made no mistake with his first-time effort.
Both managers took the opportunity to experiment after that, and Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella introduced Enzo Perez, Ricardo Alvarez and Augusto Fernandez in short order.
By the time Messi ran himself just offside in the 78th minute, the hosts knew they had done enough, and at the final whistle they were well worth the three-goal cushion at Estadio Monumental.
Lionel Messi addressed the press after Wednesday's victory over Trinidad and Tobago, per the Daily Mail.
“We ended the game well. The main thing was to avoid injuries and catch some rhythm and confidence for what's ahead.
”The Barcelona maestro also spoke to the omission of his friend, Ever Banega, from Argentina's World Cup squad.
“Players who didn't make final squad? It was hard, Ever [Banega] is a close friend of mine, but coach has to make decisions.
Messi held scoreless as Argentina beat T&T.
Lionel Messi, looking to score his first World Cup goals since 2006 in Brazil this month, went scoreless as Argentina cruised to a 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.
Messi missed several chances in the first half, was repeatedly fouled and hit the post with a free kick from which midfielder Javier Mascherano tapped in Argentina's second goal. Rodrigo Palacio, replacing the injured Gonzalo Higuain, headed the opener on the stroke of half-time and substitute Maxi Rodriguez completed the win in the 64th minute.
Prolific for Barcelona, Messi has only one goal to his name at two World Cups, scored in a 6-0 rout of Serbia and Montenegro on his tournament debut at the 2006 finals in Germany. He went goalless in five matches at the 2010 finals in South Africa.
"We finished strongly, Trinidad and Tobago were opponents who closed up at the back like some teams in the group will do [at the World Cup]," Messi told reporters.
Argentina, looking to win their third world title at the June in Brazil, cruised to victory after squandering a string of first-half chances with Ezequiel Lavezzi, replacing Sergio Agüero who was unwell earlier this week, the biggest culprit.
Palacio finally made the breakthrough, heading in an Angel Di María corner at the near post in the second minute of first-half stoppage time after Trinidad gave away the corner preventing Messi from scoring.
The pick of the goals was the third with Palacio racing onto a long ball out of defence, touching it past goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams then pulling it back to Rodriguez who blasted it home from a tight angle past two defenders.
Concerned not to lose any of his players to injury, coach Alejandro Sabella took defender Martin Demichelis off at half-time after he had taken a knock on his ankle when stopping striker Kenwyne Jones. Another concern for Sabella was Palacio, who came off 15 minutes from the end after twisting his ankle.
Messi was paid a curious tribute as players shook hands before kick-off, with Trinidad's Ataullah Guerra making a flamboyant bow in front of Argentina's captain.
Argentina play a final warm-up at home to Slovenia in La Plata on Saturday before meeting Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria in Group F in Brazil.
|19.||Carlyle Mitchell 49 '|
|71' Gavin Hoyte|
|14.||Andre Boucaud 26 '|
|71' Kevan George|
|60' Kevin Molino|
|8.||Khaleem Hyland 37 '|
|86' Rundell Winchester|
|9.||Kenwyne Jones (capt.)|
|77' Willis Plaza|
|6.||Radanfah Abu Bakr|
|60'||Kevin Molino for Ataulla Guerra|
|71'||Kevan George for Andre Boucaud|
|71'||Gavin Hoyte for Carlyle Mitchell|
|77'||Willis Plaza for Kenwyne Jones|
|86'||Rundell Winchester for Joevin Jones|