Match Highlights: Argentina win 6-0 against Singapore


It was a one sided match as Argentina scored 6 times in their win against Singapore.

Jorge SAMPAOLI’s Argentina managerial career is off to a good start. Two matches, two wins, seven goals scored, zero allowed. While they were two completely different opponents, the first being Brazil and the second Singapore, the team still managed to play well.

Federico FAZIO, Joaquin COREA, Alejandro GOMEZ, Leandro PAREDES, Lucas ALARIO and Angel DI MARIA were the goalscorers for Argentina in their 6-0 win against Singapore. Five of those six players had never scored for the National Team before today, two had never even played for Argentina before this match.

Federico FAZIO’s goal:

Joaquin CORREA’s goal:

Alejandro GOMEZ’s goal:

Leandro PAREDES’ goal:

Lucas ALARIO’s goal:

Angel DI MARIA’s goal:


  1. The team’s pecking order (talking about real futbol of Sampaoli’s team here, not creating our fantasy team like most of you do):

    GK: Sergio Romero
    Back ups: Nuhuel Guzman (2nd), Geronimo Rulli (3rd).
    So far Romero still looks like the first choice, although I am fine if Guzman moves as our number one goalie by the World Cup as Guzman is our best PK stopper. Rulli is definitely the 3rd in the pecking order)

    Players rumored to be called up at this position? (ONLY REAL RUMOUR OK, NOT OUR WISHFUL THINKING): None

    DC: Nicolas Otamendi, Javier Mascherano, Gabriel Mercado (I believe these three are the first choices when all are healthy.
    Back ups: Emmanuel Mammana(4th defender), Jonathan Maidana (5th defender), Javier Pinola (6th defender), Federico Fazio (7th defender).

    That seems to be the right pecking order unless Sampaoli thinks that Maidana doesn’t fit the team.

    Players rumored to be called up: Matteo Musacchio (it was between him and Fazio when Masche was injured remember?), Funes Mori (should have been called had he been healthy)

    WBR (Wing Back Right): Jose Luis Gomez
    Back up: Lautaro Acosta

    players rumored to be called up: Placido (if rumor is correct)

    WBL: Angel Di Maria
    Back up: Marcos Acuna (2nd), Nicolas Tagliafico (3rd)

    Players rumored to be called up: Cristian Ansaldi, Diego Perotti (?)

    Double DM: Lucas Biglia and Ever Banega
    Back ups: Manuel Lanzini (3rd), Leandro Paredes (4th because Lanzini started the match against Singapore, so Paredes is the 4th in pecking order, unless Sampaoli changes his mind after seeing Paredes excellent performance), Guido Rodriguez (5th)

    Players rumored to be called up: Enzo Perez, Ivan Marcone, and Guido Pizarro

    AM: Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala
    Back ups: Alejandro Gomez (3rd), Joaquin Correa (4th) I put Correa here as we have too many number 9, although in both matches Correa was playing number 9, Nacho Fernandez (5th)

    Players rumored to be called up: Sebastian Driussi, Ricardo Centurion


    Number 9: Gonzalo Higuain
    Back ups: Mauro Icardi (I believe he is second in Sampaoli’s pecking order if healthy), Lucas Alario (3rd)

    Players rumored to be called up: Sergio Aguero

  2. Paredes and Mammana both have a future with nt. Despite their young age, both were very mature and confident with their game.For Paredes, it seemed he had a point to prove.Some really good touch and passes, willingness for the goal-it was all good.He and Banega exchanged a lot of passes between them. The characteristic of Paredes and Banega is that they not only are good passers but also good receivers.They are always in a move, after giving a pass they move in order to position themselves for a return pass.I hope Sampaoli find a way to play them together,then we wouldn’t have to worry about how ball crosses the centerline without a long run from Messi.

    • I disagree. It should be Paredes in Banega’s place from now on going forward, if we’re talking about upgrading the midfield. Banega doesn’t have physical attributes battle German, French or Brazilian midfield. We saw how ineffective he was in both COPA finals vs gritty Chileans. Let’s not carried away by the friendlies here. We’ve seen how Banega struggled in the WCQs vs physical South American MFs. He’s too slow and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Sampaoli finds his limitations out. Paredes and Nacho showed more like the missing cogs that have been missing in the Argentine midfield engine. With these 2 guys Messi can spend more time in the opponents half, usually, not the case with Messi when is Banega on the pitch. Plus they are 2 tall midfielders for aerial defense, better with the ball on their feet and offer mobility.

  3. To midfielders theme

    I agree what Mafioso said:

    “What we lack is playing quick one to one football.Without it you can’t break an 10 man defending opponent, no matter how much possession you have. You can see Brazil’s goals today, one goal was a result of really nice one to one play inside the box.Perhaps we all felt today ,something was missing…we were missing it.And we are missing it for a very long time now”.

    I do think we are missing the football long time. But this is not all you need to break 10 man defence. You may play one touch football but if your players will stand it will never succeed. Quick one touch passes + quick alternation of positions of the players. This is it. As we saw in Germany team during World Cup. I mean versatility. Your midfielder must be able to go ahead in moments at forward position and your forward go back and defend. Hence players like Muller which is unidentified in position. And I think Sampaoli takes a bit of the strategy when play with Correa as forward/false No.9.

    On the other hand there’s still need for strong, physical players even if they are not pure tacklers. Khedira, Kroos (less than Khedira) Renato Augusto, Paulinho, Pogba (when playing deep) will attack as forwards when it’s need and make your attacking ability much more wide and rich. Passing is base but you need also physical presence of your midfielders in penalty box to make something surprising against 10 man defence.

    Teams like Brazil and France always will have in their midfield tall and strong players which we will must to play against. And I’m afraid Biglia and Banega will can’t get that physical, tough struggle if it was on tournament. Thus Sampaoli should have in his pack of cards also figure like Rodrigo Battaglia.

    (Beware of long post)
    II couldn’t catch the last game live.But managed to watch the highlights (Full game),so here is my two cents(may be more?) in addition to the billions of dollars you people have already given:
    • The player who Impressed the most was Mammana.I know it was not a knock out in a world cup match against France or Brazil or Germany. But his playing was amazing. I see some thing in him which other Argentine defenders lack; Positioning. He was always on correct position to intercept opposition passing. His technical ability on the ball, passing ability and decent pace has convinced me to make him RCB in my preferred back 3.
    • Fazio is also a good option for the back-3 especially considering his experience on the formation. But to be honest I’ll never start him in a team who plays high line defence. He’ll be awesome in a defensive setup similar to Sabella’s system. But not on Sampaoli’s system due to his lack of pace. If you have watched him for both Pochettino’s Spurs and Roma(Last season),then you may agree with me on this.
    • Even though the reported formation was 2-3-4-1 on paper,it looked like a extreme attacking 4-4-1-1 to me with Salvio and DiMaria on Right and Acuna and Papu on left.Biglia paired with Lanzini and Dybala on free roll.
    • Playing DiMaria was a welcoming experiment from Sampaoli since it’s the weakest spot Argentina need to address. Don’t mistake me,Messi is playing there. But his tendency to drop deep and inside makes that spot vacant and any team playing with two wingers on left can easily double up on our right wing and cause havoc for our defence,Barca is also facing this same issue. The solution is to make Messi play a free roll on center with Dybala dropping deep on center.
    • If DiMaria is played on Right then Acuna is the best player to play on left(imho). I’m not saying he was outstanding against Singapore.But the ability to stick with his position Impressed me.You know it’s awesome to see an attacking player controlling his urge to go wild in an attacking display (only my view).
    • Our midfield is a work in progress.Biglia was ok and Sampaoli sees him important (he was the captain ahead of DiMaria). But still I’m not convinced by his suitability in Sampaoli’s preferred 3-4-2-1 formation.I still remember Masche playing second fiddle to some unknown player in his West Ham tenure. It was his unsuitability in 4-4-2 formation. If we are playing 4-3-3 with 1 DM and 2 box to box CM.Biglia is a perfect fit.But not in this formation (Again my humble opinion)
    • Papu is good,but he’ll not be a starter for Argentina.Because his position is occupied by Messi and Dybala.Accept it.Papu can be the substitute for Messi or Dybala.But not a starter.
    • The players I’m most keen(read can improve our team imho) is Lamela and Battaglia.Lamela as a substitute for Messi or Dybala along with Papu. And Battaglia to replace Biglia.We always want to have Brazil like CM and we are not seeing him.Its strange. Battaglia is a player in the mould of Paulinho and we certainly lack players like him.
    • Last but least my preferred starting XI with squad:-)
    Mammana – Otamendi – Mercado
    DiMaria – Battaglia – Paredes – Acuna
    Messi – Dybala






      • ENganche,

        Battaglia completely different to Guido Rodriguez to be honest.
        Guido rather standing with compare to him. Pure No.5 while Battaglia box-to-box

        • I meant in terms of physicality he is similar to Guido Rodriguez. How is Battaglia’s passing? It seems to me passing is the most important criteria for Sampaoli. I wouldn’t mind having him on the team.

          • “It seems to me passing is the most important criteria for Sampaoli” – I think so.

            Battaglia is not as good on passing as Banega or Paredes but still good. Generally he is different genre of CM.

    • Good line up ABnormal. I’m also waiting for Battaglia.

      Papu is rather player for Di Maria’s position.

    • That is a good lineup. I would replace Battaglia with Banega honestly. Especially when Battaglia may not be on Sampaoli’s radar.

      I did not get a chance to watch the game live but i see multiple comments praising Acuna as a make shift wingback. I am not familiar with him. He’s natural winger correct? Is he similar to DiMaria in the sense that he has great stamina, covers a lot of ground and is good going forward?

  5. I think our midfield is really full of promising players at the moment. Plentifull. I just want to mention about Colombatto, Ascacibar and first of all Rodrigo Battaglia. As far as I know the guy he would be most complete DM/CM of our team. He has all the abilities. And as none of our midifleders is really strong, tall, physicall that may compete with the strongest opponent mifielders we will face.
    Look slike he is no more Sporting Braga player because many are interested. Near Sporting Lisboa.

    Most of the players I was mentioning here for months were called up by Sampaoli so I will keep it on with Battaglia. I think Sampaoli will take him sooner or later.

      • I don’t know nothing about it still. But as far Sampaoli call ups are almost exactly what I would like to see and my expectations I think Battaglia in NT is just matter of time.

  6. really happy for Argentina even though I’m unable to watch matches as before… reading through is a pleasure…
    Lets keep praying for Argentina and Lionel to lift the World Cup 2018.

  7. These 2 friendlies although meaningless in terms of results, at the given time, these games came as a blessing at the right time. And they were even very meaningful for Sampaoli. I can imagine how extra difficult job it would have been for Sampaoli, if he were to start off his campaign with a WCQs pressure match against the old enemy in Montevideo.

    Personally these games gave me a clue to questions like;

    1. Do we have better players in reserves ready to perform at the highest level?

    – Yes, Paredes, Nacho, Guido Rodriguez, Lanzini, Mamanna, Acuna, Salvio and JL Gomes (yes he’ll improve with time) all showed flashes of promise. For me, they look ready for NT. Although Biglia and Banega played unusually very well, the inexperienced guys like Paredes, Nacho and Guido showed that they can offer much more than Biglia, Banega and Mascherano. I doubt we’ll ever see these 3 playing together in midfield.

    2. Are the Primera players good enough for the NT?

    – For me talent is talent doesn’t matter where they ply their trade. Therefore Yes, Acuna and Nacho are definitely ready. I mean the Chinese League with all its money is not be more competitive than the Argentine Primera. My point is that is that if Brazilians playing in China are called by their NT, then Primera top talents should be good enough for role player spots in the squad, at least.

    3. Formations and philosophy going forward.

    Under Sampaoli, there will be multiple formations and nothing like one set in stone constant formation like in the Tata and Bauza eras. All the formations will depend on the given opponent. The way I see it, there will be two different line ups for the game against Uruguay and Venezuela regardless the results. (those who like to discuss line ups will be thrown off a lot).
    Lastly, from now on we’ll be an attacking team. Argentina will be forcing the issues against any opponent.

    Under the last 2 imbecile coaches;

    1. The passing and positioning of players was awful watch to the point whereby
    many here on started doubt about Argentina really having capable midfielders
    to call up on at all. Now we know yes there are young players ready to replace
    the Messi generation old horses.
    The incompetence of the 2 idiot coaches was sinking the team.

    2. The team never pressed the opposition aggressively off the ball. No grit. It
    was sad to see a team that seemed not have clue about closing and exploiting
    spaces. That’s why the midfield struggled oppositions with gritty midfield
    3. The team never attacked neither collectively nor with conviction. This why
    Messi’s scoring chances were very minimal. However, I still need to see how a
    concentrated and competent Messi will operate in the new system in a
    competitive match.

    4. The formations were always the same and the play was too predictable.

    I know these were just friendlies and Brazil weren’t full strength but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Albiceleste ship was either going to crash in the WCQs or humiliated next summer, if Tata or Bozo were at the helm.

    • I don’t quite agree that Paulinho or Renato Augusto are straight up Chinese league players. Both of them were playing in Europe before they were signed by Chinese league. I know Paulinho was playing for Spurs for sure before he was shipped to China for Big money.

      I’m not going into any sort of comparison here, but if a players goes to Europe and succeeds it generally means that he is more talented, more skillful and at least mentally stronger than who don’t succeed there.

      • “I’m not going into any sort of comparison here, but if a players goes to Europe and succeeds it generally means that he is more talented, more skillful and at least mentally stronger than who don’t succeed there”.

        I think this is more complicated. Factors like a bit of luck also has big importance. With an emphasis on “generally”. The man from your profile picture is good example the er is complex matter.

        • He was kinda successful though. Although not enough…but I think he was his own enemy for not winning leagues or champions league for bigger teams.

          Nowadays, players must go to Europe. Its where every footballing evolution is takiking place. There was a time when south america used to do that, but not now. Now Europe is just one level ahead which, if you are a talented footballer, you must experience.

          • I gently disagree as far as I know Sampaoli can make use of at least few of local league/Mexico players that he called up. For example we lack in Europe player like Nacho or as talented fullback as Gomez and Sampaoli may instruct them to play modern football. We do believe that…

            I just watched Argentina – England match of U-20 World Cup 1997. Really not many of the golden team players made career in Europe but all they were more or less talented. Franco, Cufre, Samuel, Serrizuela, Cambiasso, Markic, Quintana, Riquelme, ROmeo, Aimar, Pablo Rodriguez, Munoz, Cubero, Plcente, Perezlindo, Diez, Sebastian Romero, Scaloni. Only Samuel and Cambiasso succeded in Europe fully. Riquelme, Aimar, Placente have never made what we expected. So most of the names above so unknown. And the’ve been playing fantastic football. One level better than 2007 U-20 team. I must to admit what Sabellista have said here.

            So from talent and skillfulness is’s still far way to go and succeed in Europe.

      • Another dimension of that is sometimes players who are called up to the national team get noticed in Europe. If J.L. Gomez and Tagliafico get more playing time with Sampaoli that may very well happen to them.

  8. From these two friendly i think Messi,Dybala,Di-maria,Banega,Biglia & Otamendi will be automatic in first XI. Rest of the team will depend on opposition and tactics. Knowing the fact that Sampaoli admire Paredes i won’t be surprise if he start in next game. It wasn’t bad first two games for starter. It was all about plant an idea and introduction of new era. Although i feel only half job done so far. I wonder what did Sampaoli told his players? He will meet them next in August! I still feel he should start with Paredes or another attacking midfielder in position of Dybala. If he start Biglia-Banega with Messi-Dybala i feel like Uruguay will block Banega. Banega is only supply man from deep,Uruguay definitely will block him with Messi. Seriously can’t wait for August:)
    Wish everyone happy summer brake fellas 🙂

  9. What we lack is playing quick one to one football.Without it you can’t break an 10 man defending opponent, no matter how much possession you have. You can see Brazil’s goals today, one goal was a result of really nice one to one play inside the box.Perhaps we all felt today ,something was missing…we were missing it.And we are missing it for a very long time now.

    • Agreed. We need to work on our one-two play. Chile used to do that quite alot this under Sampa. I guess we need time. Regarding midfield combination i will leave it to Sampaoli. I am 100% sure we will get best combination till the world cup(if we qualify)

  10. Only tackler in Madrid midfield is Casemiro…Germany had none against us in the final when their DM got injured in the head earlier in the game. Farguson defended with Scholes and Carrick for years. Alonso is also not a tackler, but Madrid and Bayern won titles. Passing and distribution is much more important in midfield than tackling, atleast in post 2010 football.

    It is good to have a good tackler workhorse with passing and vision, but I think a wise coach will pick a weak tackler with good passing and vision over a one dimensional tackler, if the choice is just one of them.

    I think the central midfield pair should be Paredes-Banega while Masche takes the libero position in back 3.When you are playing high defensive line, it much more risky to play a midfielder who will loose ball under pressure or misplace his pass(Biglia/Mashe) than better passer with weak tackling(Banega). If you have ball most of the time, and you don’t loose ball in stupid way in dangerous position,why do u need to tackle?

    Paolo Maldini once said that if you have to tackle,that means you already have committed an error.Good defending does not include going down often and in modern football it is an collective effort.

    • Good post, bring back the kudos button 😉

      I guess it depends on the football style of a particular coach. For possession oriented attacking style a passer is always a priority. Having said that, I think there is still a place for a good defensive midfielder. If I’m not mistaken, Real Madrid did not do well when Casemiro did not play, he does a lot of dirty work for them so that the likes of Kroos and Modric can concentrate on what they do best, pass and attack.

      • Yes ofcourse, I would always welcome a Kante/Casemiro in our team.But our tackling DMs are hopelessly one dimensional.If you go for hardcore tackling with the present midfielders we have, we loose a lot in passing, distribution and vision.

        Guido Rodriguez offers a solution.He is a young and athletic defensive midfielder.Let’s see how he grows with the nt.Another option can be Pizarro,although not a traditional DM.

        • Rodrigo Battaglia is the man Sampaoli still lack in midfield. Strong, tall, physicall and with impressive technicall skills.

      • Banega probably impressed Sampaoli most in last two games.Banega learned his passing from Roman when he used to play as a 5 in his boca days.In both games, his passing and distribution was impressive, press resistant and always available to receive a pass.Sampaoli can be the one to get the best output from Banega while playing for nt.

    • The TyC pundits seem to favor a pairing of Biglia and Banega or maybe Paredes. I think Biglia is likely to take over for Mascherano in the midfield for the foreseeable future. He’s not a stellar tackler but is all around competent. I’m not sure Mascherano can play libero anymore. The back three will be Mercado Pinola and Masche. Two players that can and have played wider and no the flanks bit can play cb. I think Otamendi as well as he played for Brazil may be on his way out in a little bit.

      • Pinola seems like an odd choice TBH at 34. But I’ve heard he’s in Sampas plans. Funes Mori may also get a go when he’s injured.

  11. A very successful trip for the Albiceleste. We had two excellent weeks where we played a very strong team and a very weak team. We tested 3 different systems and 26 players. It would have been 27, had it not been for an injury to Icardi.

    I am very happy for everything, the way we played, looked to take on the opposition etc. The form Brazil is in at the moment, I wouldn’t have minded if Sampaoli had fielded a defensive formation. But like a good coach, he didn’t think about results in a friendly match, rather he thought to test both attacking and defensive formations and churned out a win in the process. That’s the ilk of a great coach. The national team is in good hands for 5 more years.

    I have no doubt we will win against Uruguay (who are struggling at the moment), Venezuela and Peru and qualify directly to the world cup.

  12. Not sure if Paredes should start vs Uruguay but he is certainly good enough to at least come as a sub. Juventus, Liverpool, Inter and Zenit St.Petersburg are all linked with a possible move. I was expecting more of Lanzini and Papu Gomez to be honest but I am more than willing to give them more chances especially because of numerous chances Higuain, Kun, Di Maria et all have been given for years.

    • I think Paredes is a sub for Banega. He has some abilities that Banega has, like the ability to receive the ball from defenders and spreading it to forward players. That is a very important attribute for the typical Sampaoli pivot. Even though I have doubts of Banega’s ability to play the pivot, IMO he is the most worthy player for that role. But I would also like to add that he has some serious deficiencies in his defensive game, to be able to play the pivot.

      If Paredes was a little more mobile he would have played I’m sure. I never thought I would say that – A player who is less mobile than Banega lol

      • Agreed. It appears that Sampaoli values passing more than tackling for his pivot players . It’s something totally new to us, for years we had Mache – Biglia as double tackling pivots but the dynamism and the distribution was lacking. Now we have other options, tacklers – Biglia and Guido R. plus passers/runners – Banega/Paredes/Nacho F./Lanzini

        • The answer is simple. We need the ball to get out of the midfield as quickly as possible, and neither Biglia nor Mascherano can do that. Also, it is not the job of a dribbler too. Only a great passer can do that, and Banega is the best passer in midfield for our team.

      • Istiaque, when you ask about Banega-Paredes position I’ll still remind also Colombatto as player which may give most in this role in future. At the moment we should test few player already called up but I’m sure Sampaoli had noticed Colombatto on youth WC.

        As for Paredes I’m strongly convinced that mobile factor will be decisive for him in NT. If only he will be enough mobile the rest must work because of his technical skills. Not that goal was best in his game but just he was pretty lively unlike I saw in Roma. Though he must play like this full game and against class team.

  13. @Richard. And that’s the problem our strikers have. They need the confidence to go in to certain games with goals behind them. In Europe all the supposed big nations have minnows in their group which gives them shooting practice and build strikers confidence in front of goal.
    CONEMBOL does not have that minnows anymore. So it’s harder for all strikers to get off the mark. Currently Uruguay’s Edison Cavani is the top scorer in the qualifiers and correct me if I am wrong he’s only hit 9 goals?
    Maybe we do need play more friendlies like teams of Singapore’s calibar, with no disrespect to them, but to give the midfield and strikers to link for longer periods and try out new attacking plans.
    We need to implement our plan As and Bs in these friendlies. It builds confidence but at the same time it would avoid complacency. The players would respect every opposition regardless of the team so implementing attacking ethos against such teams does not necessarily give false hope or masks issues. It’s actually addressing the issue, which is fundamentally our interplay between midfield and forwards.

    • More friendlies no doubt but against a bit higher caliber than Singapour because it’s really hard to say after such match how good were our players. Friendlies against teams like Bolivia, Honduras, Panama or even average European teams.

  14. 6-0 good win for Argentina….
    Peredes first international touch was an asset for Gomez’s goal and also both scored debut goals..great to see that…Peredes can play next qualifying match against Uruguay…he deserves stater for NT..

  15. An easy and comfortable win for Sampaoli’s side. Six different goal scorers. Wow, is that a record for the Argentina NT? In South American qualification Argentina never plays such weak opposition as Guyana and Surinam are in the Conmebol group. In Europe there are many weak teams (Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino etc.) that almost always result in a goal fest for the big footballing countries. Nice to see us score so many goals. It’s hard to judge players from this game, but Paredes could be a starter against Uruguay. We’ll see in 12 weeks time.

    • Maybe Venezuela used to be that team in South America years ago, although there were certainly always stronger than the likes of Andorra or Faroe Islands. Nowadays nobody takes them for granted anymore.

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