Argentina fail to pick up steam in draw against Venezuela


Another Argentina match, another draw.

On paper, it looked like a very strong attack. Ever BANEGA in midfield to move the ball forward, Paulo DYBALA the jewel of Juventus, Angel DI MARIA the (insert your DI MARIA insult/praise here), the speedy Lautaro ACOSTA, the hitman Mauro ICARDI and of course Lionel MESSI. The opponent? Bottom of the table in the South American World Cup standings Venezuela. The venue? At home. Easy win, right? Wrong.

Argentina were huffing and puffing in the first 20 odd minutes. Throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Venezuela’s defence but the Vinotinto resisted the attacks and weathered the storm. Halfway into the first 45 minutes, Angel DI MARIA (not for the first time in his Argentina career) has to be substituted off in a key match for his country due to an injury. On comes the tricky Marcos ACUNA. The first half solved nothing and the second half brought more nerves.

The second half and the 1-1 draw

The second half of the match did provide goals but not what Argentina wanted. Venezuela scored the opener on a quick counter and Sergio ROMERO came way off his line as he was chipped and suddenly the last placed team in South America was bringing the Monumental to its knees. The Albiceleste kept pushing forward and finally got their deserved goal following a cross by ACUNA which first appeared to hit Mauro ICARDI and go in but was later given as a Venezuelan own goal.

With one substitution made, Jorge SAMPAOLI had two more to go. He gambled, rolled the dice and got snake eyes. Dario BENEDETTO of Boca Juniors was given his national team debut as he replaced Paulo DYBALA. The second was Javier PASTORE on for Mauro ICARDI. To say both substitutions provided next to nothing for Argentina would be a fair assessement. Lionel MESSI (who once more had a sublime match) with a great ball to BENEDETTO into the area but the Boca man was unable to control it as it went out for a goal kick. As for Javier PASTORE, a failed backheel attempt in midfield which lead to a Venezuelan counter and a shot saved following a brilliant MESSI pass is what he has to his name in this match.

The whistle blew as 1-1 was the final score in Buenos Aires and Argentina remain exactly where they were at the start of the last two rounds, in playoff position.


  1. I think Argentina must play with a lot of ball playing midfielders against teams that park the bus. Yesterday’s match has shown that playing 3 at the back is a waste as most of the time they have to sit idle and when the opposition team counter attack, the extra man in the back doesn’t count much.

    So I would say Sampaoli must move Masche a bit front and play Dybala as false 9. That should be the plan A or B depends on the circumstances. Have one more midfielder in the park so that Messi doesn’t have to dig deep.

    Plan A:
    Masche | Fazio | Otamendi
    Acosta | Pizarro | Acuna
    Messi | Dybala

    Plan B (when opposition teams have 10 players in their own half/box):
    Masche | Fazio | Otamendi
    Acosta | Pizarro | Acuna
    Messi | Pastore

    Note: I wonder if Argentina doesn’t have world class players for the positions where Fazio, Acosta, Acuna (although he played well yesterday) & Pizarro while Pastore has not been in form since Copa 16.

    Having said, I’ve complete faith in Sampaoli, Messi & Co. Although we have not got any positive result in Sampaoli era, I believe there are some improvements. I also feel we got him too late.

  2. They have no vision it looks like everyone misundrestands and misplaces they just enjoyed running like the crazy ANTS. They read us pretty well and they know how to thwart Argentina every team does that.pizarro in same bullshit biglia in same bullshit and the worst thing is that we have no plan B that’s the reason why we lost three finals in a row because of overlapping and overrated losers.
    Let me HEAR
    Let me WATCH
    Let me SEE

    • You talk too much and critical too much..the fact a goal did not come does not mean Argentina did not play well. I can see your frustration, and I believe the players are frustrated than those of us on the internet criticizing them. I still believe the team will click and will qualify.

  3. If veron and riquelme would of played now, Messi would of been much more effective , Messi wouldn’t if come too deep to get the ball.

    Veron had bad games?

    Well, even Maradona and Messi had lots of bad games.

    We have never replaced (veron,riquleme..)

  4. From what I saw I though Argentina played a good game. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t want to go in. I hate when it happens but it’s a part of the game.

  5. Let’s face the reality, and stop blaming the coaches,We are in absolute crisis

    We don’t have a proper full backs
    We don’t have a reliable or proven midfielder like (kroos or verati,modric)
    We don’t have a truly world class centre half
    We don’t have a good keeper

    How do you improve this curren team? I do not know.

  6. Next weekend…

    – Messi will score couple of goals against Espanyol to reclaim his GOAT status.
    – Icardi will score 2 goals from 2 chances.
    – Pastore will show some fancy skill against some XYZ Ligue1 side.
    – Dybala will be all over the field and lead the Juventus team to victory.
    – Argentina media will claim ‘Benedetto’ should be Argentina’s undisputed no # 9.
    – Banega will boss the midfield and will show he is still our answer in midfield.
    – We will keep talking about Acuna and Acosta are great great players, our future.
    – We will keep saying ‘In Sampa we trust’ and Di Maria is a massive player.
    – Romero will be back to his permanent Manchester United ‘BENCH’.

    Highlights of match:

    – Icardi’s misses after misses. 3 miss inside 25 minutes.
    – Messi’s free-kick from great position. wow!!
    – Di Maria injured when it mattered the most.
    – Mascherano’s throw ball, all over the places.
    – Banega’s lost the ball cheaply and we conceded.
    – Sampoli’s substitutions when we got goal, Icardi scored, Dybala was playing his best football for us.
    Dybala -> ‘Benedetto’ and Icardi -> Pastore
    – Pastore’s brilliance
    – Messi is trying to dribble past entire team with his WAH!! skill..
    – We gained momentum twice but we failed to capitalize because of Di Maria’s injury and Sampa’s chances.


    – We are overrated bunch of shits.
    – We dropped 8 points in our 3 easiest home matches.
    – Messi should be given armband to someone else.
    – Messi falling behind in the best player of the era race.
    – Our current generation of players are no better than previous generation.
    – We are in deep deep trouble of missing WC 2018.
    – We are just an average team with average bunch of players. No wonder all the big clubs never gives a f**K about any Argentine talent despite we keep crying about this.


    – It’s our fault that we are still believing in Argentina.
    – It’s our fault that we still believe that we will win World Cup.
    – It’s our fault that we believe we are as good as any team in the world.
    – It’s our fault that we see a Maradona in Messi and expect him to do miracle.

    • You are right my friend… we are dreaming to see Argentina as world cup winner but just imagine… we are playing with our best with the bottom team in our home ground and we cant afford a win then what will the teams like Germany Spain Belgium will do against us… we are in really deep trouble…. but as a Argentina fan i will stand with the team..

  7. I am not sure whether certain folks here want Argentina to win or they want Argentina to lose to thrash Messi. Today the two players who played a great first half were Messi and Banega. The unfortunate part was in the second half Banega was moved to the left which left Messi absolutely stand on his own with no support. When things were just starting to look good the system was tweaked and the first goal was conceded. Just look at all the moves that were made into opponents half, 50% of them were by Messi. The issue is not with his dribbling. Fundamental issue is the movement of players around him and their lack of ability to finish/support the move.

  8. I agree with points here.

    1. MESSI IS AN AWFUL CAPTAIN – So who shud getit? sad part is not one player in Argentina has the big mentality. Maybe Garay?

    2. Had we played with 4 defenders we would have not conceded. This obsession with 3 defenders is suicidal in todays football. More so wen you see old and slow defenders like Fazio and mash.

    3. Bring in Full backs. Play Paredes more. The midfield should be Parades, banega and Agusto or ascaiber depending how he develops.

  9. Had romero charged at the ball the goal could have been stopped!!Its about time Rulli start!
    Masch is on his end of his career.. its clear he should stop acting like riquelme..
    either icardi or dybala should stay…
    we need better defenders…. garay and musacchio and otamendi… keep fazio funes mori away..Why is garay not in the team why???
    higuain , aguero and dimaria shouldn’t be any close to the team..

    • Dude come on, Romero had no chance, it was a good goal by Venezuela, end of story. No need scapegoating Romero. Even if Venezuela scored one goal, Argentina should be scoring 4/5 at home with the players they have in attack against the bottom place team. charged out and all the Venezuela player had to do was to lop the ball over Romero heads. First we need Icardi and Dybala over Higuain and Aguero then everything will change for the good. Now you need Rulli? Was Rulli going to score against Venezuela?

      • That’s the problem with Romero he is not a gud shot stopper. One of the worst to be honest. His distribution is worse than pathetic.

        Why is he in Starting XI when he plays like 3 times in 6 molnths for his club?

        Rulli, caballero deserv a chance.

      • it was a good counter attack but rom got left in no mans land, he came to fast and was then stranded about 17 yeards out with no where to go and no chance, not his fault that the counter happened but rom should not have come out as far as he did so quick-average goal keeping but mean while at the other end their keeper is the man responsible for keeping them in the game-3-4 class stops..

  10. Messi, Higuain, Di Maria, Aguero, Dybala, Icardi, Pastore, Benedetto and Argentina can’t score goals. Some countries have one or two good players yet they do enough to help their country win, with Argentina the players are always choking. Coaching can’t fix what’s happening, Argentina is just emotionally broken, as soon as the team is under pressure they break down, miss goals they would score 9 out of 10 times on another day. Messi doesn’t deserve to be captain, he doesn’t lift the team outside of is usual dribbling and goals, he shows no fight, and if you’re a captain lead by example so the others can follow. Look at Sergio Ramos, that man will never take a defeat without going down fighting hence the reason he always come up with big goals. The game should have been won in the first 25 minutes but that didn’t happen.

    Give the Argentina captain to somebody else, why Messi need this burden on his shoulder is beyond me. I don’t see captaining a team as a big deal, at least for Messi, he is not good at it. Argentina should be winning Venezuela at home even if they play with one defender in the back, no excuse here, the defense was not the problem, the problem was our attackers as usual. If the team doesn’t score goals it will constantly put pressure on the defense and at some point it’s going to break. What’s the point of having a defense if your strikers are not scoring? No matter how good of a defense you have, if your team mates are not scoring then all it takes is for the opponent to take one chance and turn it into a goal. Argentina is not ready to win a world cup; they will go to Russia with this same mentally. Even on Argentina worse day they should be winning against Venezuela at home.

    • Messi just should stop with these stupid driblings that brings nothing. Brings fouls and freekicks at best id est nothing. Everytime when he is abusing dribling it goes to nothing, everytime when he is passing quick or by one touch it brings good thing.

      • @Gonzalo: “Messi just should stop with these stupid driblings that brings nothing”. Seriously i know this is a forum and people just say what they think, but comments like these truly suggests you should just watch another sport.

        you do understand why Messi dribbles a lot with Argentina, do you? It’s because there’s no FUC** system around him. Because he has to get the ball forward when no one other can. Because unless he creates a space no one else can. GOD SOME PEOPLE JUST DEFY LOGIC.

        • super cmt…. some argentina fans dont know about football they speak every time they never respect the players…. if you dont like it to watch this team do your other work dont watch football until messi retires… mr gonzalo if you want to know why messi dribbles.. go and start to play football… try to achieve in argentina main 11…. then you will know…. who is messsi….

    • I agree with bro…Messi is indeed best player but he is worst captain I have ever seen…He has zero leader quality…apart from that some silly substitutes cost us a game…Our Defender was top notch in 2014 world cup in latter stages but don’t know what happen since then…Argentina looks only strong on paper but in team coordination they sucks ..nevertheless they played well in first half..Acosta needs to be replaced ASAP …he has pace but no vision and no good cross quality…I would die to have Argentina in World Cup but This time only Miracle can save us….Plus I think there is still some personal issue between icardi and Messi ..till Icardi was on pitch Messi didn’t created a single goal scoring pass to Icardi but once Icardi was taken off I can see lot of Messi passes in the d box…I’m not an expert so I may be wrong but if that’s the case then Messi Sucks….I’m huge Messi fan and I want to see him winning ballon d’or award again but if Argentina fail to qualify world cup it would be one of the biggest dark mark in messi’s career ..neither he can win any title with Barcelona this season nor with his national team..Please God bless him..

    • “Messi doesn’t deserve to be captain, he doesn’t lift the team outside of is usual dribbling and goals” do you actually think before you type? You’re saying a player who leads by example by doing his best to drive a bunch of mediocre players forward, is actually a bad leader!

      Ramos is the extreme case of a lowlife who happens to shout. I wouldn’t want Messi to be like him for a second. Now get me Ramos to lead this crap team and let him show me his leadership skills.

      Based on your logic, Iniesta is not a leader because he’s quite. Riquelme was not a leader because he was super quite. Xavi the same…but I bet you believe Ronaldo is a leader because he knows how to act when the camera is on him.

      Seriously just think before you type. it helps.

      • Dude, I love Messi, but I’m not blinded by the fact that I’m a huge Messi fan. Messi hangs his head into the ground and spit when nothing is happening for Argentina. When the team needs him he gets quiet on the pitch. Messi also tend to over dribble and hold onto the ball for way too long instead of making a quick deliberate pass. It’s wonderful seeing Messi dribbling pass everyone, but what’s the point of having an open player in a good position on the pitch then ignore to pass the ball to him? Remember Messi was the one who quit the team. You’re the one who needs to think and open your eyes before responding to someone comment. Messi will do better for Argentina if he gives up the captaincy, but because of pride I don’t see him doing so.

        • We all love Messi , but his Ego it’s killing the team,

          His corner kicks are terrible, yet he keeps on taking them,or wasting it by making a short passes thdat Leads to nothing

          We desperately need players like Veron, Riquelme, Simeone, who were the Drivers of the team who could get other players into the game.

          • “We desperately need players like Veron, Riquelme, Simeone, who were the Drivers of the team who could get other players into the game”
            a bit wrong their…
            Veron barely brought his “A” game to the team especially after he moved to england,
            Riquelme quit the n/t team twice,
            but Simeone is a legand.

            agreed we do need people with “cajones” and in the n/t and here are a small list of past masters who gave it all sorin, heinze, pasarella, ayala, maradona, ruggeri, rattin, houseman, etc etc and none of todays team would be ahead of any of them.

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