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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Argentina Men's National Soccer Team News

September 4, 2015 - Aguero, Messi and Lavezzi each score braces in win over Bolivia
"Doubles from Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi, along with a debut goal from Angel Correa, handed Argentina a 7-0 victory over Bolivia in Houston on Saturday. Lavezzi opened the scoring in the sixth minute as he latched on to Aguero's through ball and drilled his effort low past Daniel Vaca. Argentina continued to dominate but had to wait until the 33rd minute for their second as Juventus midfielder Roberto Pereyra played a neat ball into the path of Aguero and the Manchester City striker neatly lofted his strike over Vaca." - Goal

August 25, 2015 - Javier Pastore out with torn calf muscle
"French champions Paris Saint-Germain's Argentinian attacking midfielder Javier Pastore is out of his country's friendlies with Bolivia and Mexico because of a torn right calf muscle, the Argentinian Football Association revealed on Tuesday. The 26-year-old - who was a member of the Argentinian team that lost to hosts Chile in this year's Copa America - was forced to go off after just ten minutes of PSG's 1-0 win over Montpellier last Friday." - FIFA

August 17, 2015 - roster named for Bolivia and Mexico friendlies
  • Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United/ENG), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres/MEX), Agustin Marchesin (Santos Laguna/MEX) 
  • Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City/ENG), Facundo Roncaglia (Genoa/ITA), Ezequiel Garay (Zenit St Petersburg/RUS), Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia/ESP), Milton Casco (Newell's Old Boys), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United/ENG), Ramiro Funes Mori (River Plate), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City/ENG) 
  • Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona/ESP), Ever Banega (Sevilla/ESP), Lucas Biglia (Lazio/ITA), Javier Pastore (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus/ITA), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Angel Di Maria (Paris SG/FRA) 
  • Strikers: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ESP), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City/ENG), Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/ITA), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)
June 30, 2015 - Ángel Di María scores brace in win over Paraguay
"Argentina avoided a repeat of their group-stage capitulation against Paraguay by producing a stunning display that resulted in a 6-1 victory, setting up a date with hosts Chile in the Copa América final. La Albiceleste got off to the perfect start, with Marcos Rojo sweeping a Lionel Messi free kick home from 12 yards with just over a quarter of an hour gone. Javier Pastore then doubled Argentina’s lead in the 27th minute - Messi again supplying the assist - as he fired a low drive past Justo Villar from the top of the box. La Albirroja lost both Derlis González and Roque Santa Cruz to injury in the opening half an hour, but that paved the way for Argentina-born Lucas Barrios to enter the match and he halved the deficit with a powerful strike on the brink of half time. However, Gerardo Martino’s men responded in superb fashion as Ángel Di María found the back of the net twice within eight minutes of the restart, putting Paraguay's hopes of a repeat of their first-phase comeback against his side to bed. Ramón Díaz's crestfallen team had no response, and their misery was compounded when Sergio Agüero and Gonzalo Higuaín took Argentina's tally to six in the closing stages - moving them a step closer to ending a 22-year major trophy drought." - Copa America

June 26, 2015 - Argentina advances on penalty kicks over Colombia
Argentina booked their place in the semi-finals of the Copa América with a dramatic 5-4 penalty shoot-out success over Colombia in Viña del Mar. Carlos Tevez was the hero as he converted the winning kick in sudden death, the striker finally sending la Albiceleste through after they had twice missed opportunities to finish off their opponents from the spot. Both Lucas Biglia and Marcos Rojo had failed to convert attempts with the game up for grabs, though Tevez - on the same day he announced his return to Boca Juniors - made it third time lucky. Luis Muriel missed in regulation for Colombia, while Juan Camilo Zúñiga and Jeison Murillo were unable to find the net when the shoot-out went to extra kicks. Los Cafeteros' had hung on during the 90 minutes to force penalties, their goal leading a charmed life throughout a tight and, at times, fiesty 0-0 draw." - Copa America

June 20, 2015 - Gonzalo Higuaín scores in win over Jamaica
"Lionel Messi failed to mark his 100th international cap with a goal as Argentina laboured to a lacklustre 1-0 victory over Jamaica on Saturday. The result was still enough to ensure La Albiceleste finished on top of Group B with seven points from their three games, but was a good deal less convincing than many had hoped and expected. Gerardo Martino’s men hit the front on 11 minutes when  produced a clinical spin and finish into the bottom corner. That looked likely to open the floodgates but, although both Higuaín and Ángel Di María struck the crossbar, they could not breach Jamaica’s dogged rearguard again." - Copa America

June 16, 2015 - Sergio Agüero scores in win over Uruguay
"A headed goal from Sergio Agüero proved enough to give Argentina a 1-0 win over Uruguay in the battle of the Group B heavyweights. The pre-tournament favourites got the better of the reigning champions thanks to Agüero, who was in the perfect position in the box to power home Pablo Zabaleta's right-wing cross after 56 minutes." - Copa America

June 6, 2015 - Sergio Aguero hat-trick & Angel di Maria brace in win over Bolivia
"Sergio Aguero netted his first international hat-trick to inspire Argentina to a 5-0 rout of Bolivia in an international friendly on Saturday. Aguero had not scored three goals in an international senior match prior to the fixture in San Juan, having bagged braces in games against Costa Rica and Bosnia-Herzegovina previously. But Aguero was on song in Argentina's first and only warm-up match before next week's Copa America opener against Group B opponents Paraguay on June 13 in Chile. The Manchester City star netted twice in the first half and added another after the interval at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario as he moved into fifth on Argentina's all-time scorers list with 26 - surpassing Gonzalo Higuain (23) and Luis Artime (24). Angel di Maria - captain in the absence of Lionel Messi - scored two goals of his own in either half to lead the South American giants to their third victory in as many matches in 2015." - Goal

March 31, 2015 - Sergio Agüero & Javier Pastore score in win over Ecuador
"Javier Pastore's first-ever international goal was a match winner as Argentina defeated Ecuador 2-1 at the MetLife Stadium on Tuesday evening. With Lionel Messi sidelined for the second game running due to injury, la Albiceleste were still able to overcome their Copa América rivals thanks to the Paris Saint-Germain man’s second-half strike. There was also a first senior goal for Miler Bolaños, as he brought Ecuador level with a close-range finish following Sergio Agüero’s early headed opener." - Copa America

March 28, 2015 - Ever Banega & Federico Mancuello score in win over El Salvador
"Argentina rested Lionel Messi but were still too powerful for El Salvador in a 2-0 friendly win over the Central Americans in Maryland, USA. A deflected Ever Banega strike on 54 minutes and a curling free-kick from debutant Federico Mancuello three minutes from time secured a straightforward win for the FIFA World Cup finalists as they build towards June's Copa America in Chile." - FIFA

March 17, 2015 - three domestics called up
"Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has added three domestic-based players to his squad to complete his party for the friendly double-header against El Salvador and Ecuador at the end of the month. Martino announced a list of 22 foreign-based players who had been called up for the games last week. To that group he has now added veteran Maxi Rodriguez of Newell’s Old Boys, Independiente winger Federico Mancuello and young River Plate defender Ramiro Funes Mori. While Rodríguez – who has 57 caps to his name and has appeared in three World Cups – brings plenty of experience to the squad, both Mancuello and Funes Mori are uncapped." - Copa America

March 10, 2015 - friendly roster updates
"coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has revealed the names of 22 players based abroad to face El Salvador and Ecuador in the United States at the end of March, with the local players to be announced in the coming days.... Paris Saint-Germain’s Ezequiel Lavezzi will make the trip stateside, despite falling out of favour at Parc des Princes, with team-mate Javier Pastore also chosen after establishing himself in Laurent Blanc’s team. Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio and Valencia’s Lucas Orbán have both been recalled to the squad and will want to add to their collective tally of three international caps. Ángel Di María will look to put a difficult debut season at Manchester United to one side, and he will be joined in the midfield ranks by Roberto Pereyra, currently on loan at Juventus from Udinese. Familiar faces abound on Martino's initial list, with Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano and Manchester City's Sergio Agüero, who will clash in the Champions League next week, putting their club commitments to one side." - Copa America

November 12, 2014 - Cristian Ansaldi & Lionel Messi score in 2-1 win over Croatia
"Lionel Messi's second-half penalty gave World Cup finalists Argentina victory over Croatia at West Ham's Upton Park. Croatia went ahead early on when Mateo Kovacic found Anas Sharbini, who bent a shot past goalkeeper Sergio Romero for his first international goal. Argentina, featuring five Premier League players in their starting XI, levelled when Cristian Ansaldi's shot deflected in off Sergio Aguero's arm. Messi scored from the spot after Aguero was fouled by goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic." - BBC

November 7, 2014 - defensive roster updates
"Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini has been added to Argentina's squad for this month's friendlies in England against Croatia and Portugal. Coach Gerardo Martino brought in the centre back, who won his second cap in the 7-0 win over Hong Kong in Asia last month, after World Cup defenders Ezequiel Garay and Federico Fernandez dropped out through injury. 'We've had the problem of Marcos (Rojo) and Ezequiel and Federico so for that reason we called up Jonathan Silva and now we're adding Santiago Vergini,' Martino told a news conference in Buenos Aires before leaving for London. Uncapped Sporting Lisbon defender Silva was added to the squad earlier this week after Rojo injured his shoulder playing for Manchester United last weekend. Argentina have been so badly hit by injuries that the only World Cup defenders in the squad are Manchester City pair Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis." -  Chicago Tribune 

October 27, 2014 - Carlos Tevez called up
"Argentina's forgotten man Carlos Tevez has been included in the squad for the first time in three years for next month's friendlies in England against Croatia and Portugal. The 30-year-old striker, dubbed the 'People's Player' by former coach Diego Maradona, last played for his country at the 2011 Copa America on home soil and missed this year's World Cup in Brazil despite scintillating form for Juventus. Tevez was among four forwards, the others being captain Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, named in the squad posted on the Argentine FA's website ( on Monday." - Times of India

October 14, 2014 - Lionel Messi & Gonzalo Higuain each score brace in win over Hong Kong 

"Argentina strolled to a 7-0 friendly win over Hong Kong on Tuesday, with superstar Lionel Messi and Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain both netting a brace.... Messi came on with half an hour of the match remaining. By then the score was already 4-0 but soon the little wizard had made it five, playing a neat one-two before dinking the ball over goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai. He was then instrumental in Argentina's sixth, pulling the ball back from the byline to give Nicolas Gaitan of Benfica the easiest of tap-ins from inside the six-yard box. It was Gaitan's second goal of the match. The first came just before half-time when he cut in from the right and smashed the ball in with his left foot. Just a minute earlier Higuain had scored his first, heading down a cross from the left. The forward got his brace and Argentina's fourth with a simple pass into a open goal less than ten minutes into the second half. Sevilla's Ever Banega had opened for Argentina on 19 minutes, pouncing on some woeful Hong Kong defending. Yapp fumbled a weak effort which landed at the feet of Lee Chi-ho who scuffed a clearance straight to Banega, for the midfielder to drill the ball home. With five minutes to go Messi scored his second and Argentina's seventh, taking the ball down beautifully with his left foot before going past three Hong Kong defenders and rifling it low into the corner." - Yahoo

September 22, 2014 - Lionel Messi back in, Carlos Tevez still out

"Captain Lionel Messi was called up Monday by new coach Gerardo Martino for friendlies against Brazil and Hong Kong but Juventus striker Carlos Tevez was snubbed again. Messi, 27, returns for La Albiceleste after a groin injury saw him miss out on his former Barcelona coach Martino's debut in a 4-2 friendly win against world champions Germany. Tevez was absent from the 19-man squad named Monday despite earlier press reports that he was set to return after three years in the international wilderness. The 30-year-old striker was shunned by former coach Alejandro Sabella but his successor was reported to be keen to see the 30-year-old forward return." - FIFA

September 18, 2014 - Carlos Tevez could return
Tevez has been in the international wilderness for more than three years, having not featured for Argentina since 2011. The Juventus man starred in Serie A last season, scoring 19 goals as the Italian giant claimed its third consecutive title. However, the 30-year-old was still overlooked by Martino's predecessor, Alejandro Sabella, for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. After revealing at his first press conference last month that the slate would be wiped clean in a new era for Argentina, Martino reiterated his willingness to link up with the former Boca Juniors player. 'I have already said that the door is open for everyone,' Martino told Argentine newspaper La Nacion. 'If I had to say where he'd fit into my tactics, I see Tevez only as a number nine, so he is an alternative to Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero'." - SBS

September 3, 2014 - Angel di Maria sets up win over Germany
"Angel di Maria set up three goals and scored the fourth himself as Argentina trounced Germany 4-2 in their friendly game Wednesday to get a small measure of payback after losing to the host in the World Cup final. Argentina was up 4-0 after just 50 minutes to dampen the home side's World Cup title celebrations in its first game since winning the final 1-0 in extra time in Brazil in July. Di Maria set up Sergio Aguero in the 21st minute, Erik Lamela's outstanding volley in the 40th, and Federico Fernandez' headed goal two minutes after the interval. Di Maria crowned his performance in the 50th with a chip over substitute Germany 'keeper Roman Weidenfeller. Andre Schuerrle pulled one back two minutes later before Mario Goetze, who scored the winning goal in the World Cup final, made it 4-2 in the 78th." - Fox News

September 1, 2014 - injured Lionel Messi to miss Germany friendly
"Lionel Messi is set to miss Argentina's friendly against Germany after suffering a groin strain in Barcelona's win over Villarreal on Sunday. Messi, 27, pulled an abductor muscle in his right leg as Luis Enrique's side secured their second Liga win of the season at the Estadio El Madrigal, though he played the full 90 minutes for the Blaugrana." - ESPN

July 9, 2014 - semifinal 0-0 (4-2) shootout win over Netherlands
"After playing 120 minutes to a scoreless draw, the Argentines came alive in the shootout, winning 4-2 with Messi getting things started. Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez followed, all making their shots against Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen. Cillessen was replaced by backup keeper Tom Kurl just ahead of the penalty kicks in the Netherlands' victory over Costa Rica. But he was forced to stay in the game this time when the Dutch used their three substitutions for field players. Argentina's unsung keeper, Sergio Romero, also came up huge with saves on shots by Ron Vlaar on the first penalty kick and Wesley Sneijder in the third round." - LA Times

July 5, 2014 - Gonzalo Higuain scores in win over Belgium
"Argentina is one step closer to fulfilling their half of a South American dream World Cup final. Argentina played its most complete game of the tournament Saturday, emerging with a 1-0 win over a surprisingly lethargic Belgium side.... There was no more pleasant surprise than the play of Gonzalo Higuain. He’d been a ghost so far this World Cup. Saturday he took on physical form, scoring the only goal of the game and almost adding a second when he ripped a shot of the crossbar. Higuain managed to one-time a bouncing ball on the turn to find the corner of the net behind Belgian goalkeeper Thibault Courtois. It was a tough finish because Angel di Maria’s pass took a slight deflection before coming to Higuain. It was Higuain's first goal for his country since August 2013." - Calgary Sun

July 1, 2014 - Angel Di Maria scores late in extra time for win over Switzerland
"Angel Di Maria scored in the 118th minute today to give Argentina a 1-0 win over Switzerland after extra time and a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals. With a penalty shootout looming, Lionel Messi made a surging run toward the Swiss area and laid the ball off to Di Maria on the right, and the winger sent a left-foot shot past diving goalkeeper Diego Benaglio. Blerim Dzemaili nearly equalized right before the end but his header hit the post, and the rebound bounced off his knee and wide of the goal." - New Zealand Herald

June 25, 2014 - Lionel Messi doubles in win over Nigeria
"A double from Lionel Messi a day after his 27th birthday inspired Argentina to a 3-2 win over African champions Nigeria and assured them of finishing top of Group F at the World Cup finals.... The match got off to a stunning start as Messi fired home his third goal of the finals after two-and-a-half-minutes - the fastest goal of his career - to finally crack a Nigerian defence that had not conceded a goal in their previous two matches. A telling pass by Fernando Gago found Angel di Maria only for the Real Madrid man's shot to ricochet off the near post. As the loose ball bounced Messi magically appeared to slam into the roof of Vincent Enyeama's net.... As the interval approached Messi struck a peach of a free-kick from outside the box, only denied by another fine save from Enyeama. But the Lille stopper couldn't perform the same heroics when from a near identical position shortly after another Messi free-kick thudded into the near corner for his fourth goal of the tournament." - Sydney Morning Herald

June 21, 2014 - Lionel Messi scores late for 1-0 win over Iran

"Lionel Messi scored a last-minute goal to make it two wins out of two for much-fancied Argentina but they were given a scare by minnows Iran. The South Americans dominated the first-half but Marcos Rojo, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Ezequiel Garay saw their efforts go wide of the target. Iran grew in confidence and Reza Ghoochannejhad went close with a header before Fulham's Ashkan Dejagah should have won a penalty when he was caught by Pablo Zabaleta but the ref waved away his appeals. Dejagah then had a goal-bound header tipped over the bar by keeper Sergio Romero but Messi had the last word with a trademark strike in injury-time." - Daily Mail

June 15, 2014 - Lionel Messi scores in win over Bosnia & Herzegovina
"Lionel Messi lit up the Maracana with his first World Cup goal for eight years as Argentina was forced to battle for a 2-1 win over debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina in its opening Group F match on Monday. Although it took the lead in the third minute when Sead Kolasinac netted the fastest own goal in World Cup history, Argentina looked unconvincing until Messi struck with a dazzling run and sweet shot that went in off the post in the 65th minute. Even then, Argentina could not relax as Vedad Ibisevic scored in the 85th minute for Bosnia to set up a thrilling finale. It was Messi's first goal in the finals since scoring in Argentina's 6-0 win over Serbia & Montenegro in 2006." - ABC

June 7, 2014 - Ricardo Alvarez & Lionel Messi score in win over Slovenia
"Argentina easily beat Slovenia 2-0 in its last World Cup warmup with goals from Ricardo Alvarez and Lionel Messi on Saturday. Alvarez put a second-string Argentina ahead in the first half with a shot from the edge of the penalty area. Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria came on in the second half and combined elegantly to double the lead in the 67th minute. Aguero headed down a pass from Di Maria to set up Messi, who calmly slotted the ball past Slovenia goalkeeper Vid Belec." - Yahoo 

June 4, 2014 - Palacio, Mascherano & Rodriguez score in win over Trinidad and Tobago
"Rodrigo Palacio, Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez all found the net for the Alejandro Sabella's in their friendly against the islanders. A misfiring Argentina defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 on Wednesday in their first pre-tournament friendly ahead of the upcoming World Cup.... Rodrigo Palacio opened the scoring with a header in first-half stoppage time, before Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez added goals after half-time. Boca Juniors midfielder Fernando Gago made his first appearance since mid-April having missed over a month's worth of football with a knee injury, as Sabella left Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Pablo Zabaleta on the bench." - Goal

June 2, 2014 - World Cup roster named

  • Sergio Romero (Sampdoria)
  • Mariano Andujar (Catania)
  • Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors)

  • Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)
  • Federico Fernandez (Napoli)
  • Ezequiel Garay (Benfica)
  • Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon)
  • Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan)
  • Martin Demichelis (Manchester City)
  • Jose Basanta (Monterrey)

  • Javier Mascherano (Barcelona)
  • Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors)
  • Lucas Biglia (Lazio)
  • Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan)
  • Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo)
  • Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid)
  • Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys)
  • Enzo Perez (Benfica)

  • Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli)
  • Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
  • Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan)
  • Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris St Germain)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your ongoing coverage of "foot" ball... I've found your blog to be the best comprehensive resource on the internet for ALL kicking and recommend it often!

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