Argentina defeat Iraq 4-0, goals from Lautaro MARTINEZ, Roberto PEREYRA, more


Argentina picked up a 4-0 win against Iraq in Saudi Arabia with goals coming from four different players.

The first half saw Argentina score relatively early with Inter striker Lautaro MARTINEZ opening the scoring. A cross sent in by Marcos ACUNA saw MARTINEZ head the ball for his first goal for Argentina.

The second goal came early in the second half when Watford man Rodrigo PEREYRA got his first international goal as well. A lovely setup by Paulo DYBALA, who played the ball in to PEREYRA and his effort beat the goalkeeper.

Goal number three came from German PEZZELLA, a close ranger header in the 82nd minute made it 3-0, once more, his first goal for Argentina.

Late in injury time, Franco CERVI drove through the Iraqi back line and scored. That was also his first goal for Argentina.

These were the substitutions made by coach Lionel SCALONI:

Giovanni SIMEONE came on for Lautaro MARTINEZ.
Franco CERVI for Leandro PAREDES.
Walter KANNEMANN for Fabricio BUSTOS.


  1. Well I finally got to watch the match that I’ve been dreading all my life (my country vs my footballing country) and……………………..holly hell was it BORING!!!!

    The match it self:
    Argentina, despite the goals, didn’t play well at all and they were wide open to counters and if Iraq were actually any good in the final third they could’ve scored a few.
    In the first half Argnetina controlled possession but surprisingly the players didn’t seem to take the match all that seriously hence why Iraq were able to break on the counter atleast 3 times. Now I know this is a friendly but one must also remember that these games are an ‘audition’ for all these players to stamp their mark and make a case to be included in the team’s future.
    Acuna was a stand out in the first half but that doesn’t mean that he should play as a full back because Iraq didn’t attack from Argentina’s left, still he’s is an excellent player and I think he has alot to offer the NT.
    Lautaro took his goal like a boss (very batistuta-esque) and the whole goal reminded me of Acuna and Lautaro’s days at Racing.
    Depaul was everywhere and had some nice touches.
    Dybala was trying to do too much and was sadly awful, reminded me of Lio’s earlier days with the team when he had the look of frustration all over him.

    The 2nd half had alot of changes as expected and the team, as expected, lost all rhythm.
    Dybala was the stand out of the half (in the first 20mins atleast) and he started playing the way we expected of him and the reason was that he moved centrally rather than the far right. His assist for Pereyra was superb and pereyra took the goal beautifully even though it was more to do with Iraq’s shambolic defense than Pereyra’s skill.
    Next to Dybala Ascacibar was the other standout and I felt he was the only thing holding the midfield together.
    Salvio replaced Meza and was considerably better while Cervi added a hell of alot of pace and took his goal beautifully.
    Franco Vasquez was solid but still don’t see why he’s included since he’s hardly one for the future and Argentina has plenty of options at the midfield ahead of him.
    Mori again committed atleast 2 mistakes (but to his credit he recovered the ball both times) and I think he’s an accident waiting to happen, I prefer Kennaman. Pezzella was the stand out in the defense and I think he should be the leader at the back.

    Over all I’m glad alot of youngsters got to start and score and let’s remember that this isn’t even Argnetina’s starting team but Scaloni needs to beware of counter attacks especially when the team surges forward in mass.
    Pezzella, Cervi, Depaul, Acuna, Ascacibar and Pereyra all have something to offer the team while Meza and Mori need to go.
    Dybala has it in him to be the team’s talisman but he needs to be positioned more centrally.
    Paredes was mostly ‘meh’ but when he was withdrawn the team seemed to lose all rhythm in the midfield and so I think he’s essential if Argentina wants to build a balanced midfield in the future.
    Onward with Brazil, which will be the real test after a 4 game culmination.

  2. Another friendly that really doesn’t show much. Pitch was bad but still I felt lot of our players had difficulty in doing the basics right. Heavy touches, poor spraying of passes and no individual skill moment to speak off.
    Personally I felt convinced of few things. Meza & Vazquez are not up to this level. Bustos is nicknamed the the tractor but every time I see him he looks more like a 50 cc moped.
    we need proper LB not Acuna. Ok he had that cross but is very awkward. Dybala is not Good for the NT. He didn’t have a bad game yesterday that’s how he really plays these days. Slow on the ball and always his first movement is either side ways or backwards. He needs to develop his game leaps and bounds before he can compete here or in top matches for his club.

  3. I’m very happy that Scaloni is trying new young players for the NT. These friendlies aren’t about so much about winning but to see what players we have available for the future of the NT.

    I’m very worried however as to what happens when Scaloni’s contract ends in December. Who will the new coach be? Will he look at what Scaloni has done with the new kids or totally dismiss what he has done? I would like to have Scaloni stay at this point. But a decision has to be made soon. If Scaloni stays , then he has to stay through Qatar 2022. If he stays only until Copa America and then we change coaches I think that will hurt the team. What do you think?

  4. Lautaro – I saw from him even some defensive contribution. Should start against Brazil. For me over Icardi and Aguero.

    Cervi scored individual action goal that we expected rather from Dybala. Fast player on the left wing is needed. Pity first of all.

    I don’t think Dybala had good game. For sure not “good” in his club standards. Had a part on Pereyra goal but not much more. Sometimes I just think he just lacks kind of raw energy, grit and directness some other (less talented) wingers have and thanks to that they shine in important moments. He should start against Brazil but it’s not really much patient I have still for him. If he will not do better against Brazil should go for bench in next friendlies.

    Vazquez, Meza – we have over 23 players now so at least we know the two are players to drop.

    As I expected Pereyra was better than Vazquez. Much better. Versatile one to use on several tactics Played LF and RCM.

    Salvio was one of the best on the pitch.

    De Paul looked interesting on the LF, AM position. Left positive impressions. That was pleasure to see him cutting from the left into the middle. He feel comfortable on the right foot. Someone compared him to Veron. It’s definitely not the type but for me ATM sub for Palacios or Pity.

    Simeone – quiet minutes.

    Paredes – despite the few inaccurate passes is right man in the right place. Paradoxically I feel he may do better against stronger opponents.

    Bustos and Acuna – rather good. Hard to say against opponent as Iraq.

    Pezzella and Funes Mori – well.

    • Gonzalo, you are absolutely right about Dybala, he continues to frustrate. We all know he is a talented player but at times it feels like he operates at 70% of his capacity, he does not give his all. Perhaps he should be played in his most natural position as a second striker or trequartista but we have to always play some kind of 4-4-2 for that to happen to accommodate him.

      Lautaro is definitely more versatile than Icardi, more mobile, quick and can create a goal by himself, so not a poacher type of a striker like Icardi. Having said that, I don’t think I would object too much if Icardi starts vs Brazil, if he gets proper services I can see him scoring.

      Vazquez I haven’t been impressed by at all. His best days were probably in Palermo. Pereyra on the other hand is a useful option to have if he stays healthy. Meza should be dropped too, he has had his chances.

      I like Pezzella but still have my doubts about Funes Mori. I think he can be very error prone under pressure, although I understand why managers like him, cause he’s fast, athletic, can distribute well and can be used a make shift left-back if needed. But he is still unreliable in my opinion. We’ll see.

      Bustos and Saravia should be tested against a tougher opponent several times before making any lasting conclusions.

      I liked how Scaloni changed his formations throughout the game. His default seems to be a 4-3-3 but he switched to 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 and even 3-4-2-1 at the end when Kannemann came in as a third centre-back. I hope Scaloni is given a chance. We’ll see how he fares against Brazil.

    • If lautaro is better than icardi then Icardi was benched in inter instead of lautaro, but lautaro has potential to be like Aguero or even better but at moment he is not ready enough for no 9 role as main man for Argentina. Icardi Tagliafico Otamendi Lo celso will be sure shoot starer against Brazil reason unused to avoid injury

  5. Sorry the topic..

    Am trying my luck in a movie site.

    Anyone interested in writing articles related to movies or related stuff are welcome. To be honest lost the interest in football little bit. Almost 35 years wait.. feeling meaningless..Anyhow cheers for the team always..Hope we get that day at least if we forget about that day. Personally feel we are wasting a talent..Gazzaniga..he is much better than Ruling.

  6. Off the topic.
    Messi led France Football’s Balon D’Or voting poll with 48% of the votes.
    France Football eliminated it and has given a reason why they did it. ⠀ ⠀
    : “Dear readers, as you could see yesterday, we were forced to remove the article: ‘Survey: vote for who, in your opinion, deserves to win the Golden Ball 2018’, due to the creation of thousands of false accounts, through ‘malware’, which falsified the results.” ⠀
    : “We would like to remind you that this survey, with purely consultative purposes, obviously does not influence the final result, since the Golden Ball is, as always, awarded by a jury of specialized and independent journalists.”
    : “Thank you all for not having misinterpreted a simple technical incident beyond our control. See you on December 3rd with the final result of the Golden Ball in male and female category, as well as the Kopa Trophy.”

    • So malware only for Messi…no-one else knows this…huh.
      They need some reason to avoid Messi…he’s still number one in world. And everyone knows this.

  7. As expected I didn’t see anything from Meza. De Paul tried his best which is not bad, Pereyra and especially Cervi made immediately the difference, Dybala played at his level. I quite like Acuna’s performance. A player that I defend a lot in the past. But I still believe that he will have more added value as a box to box central midfielder slightly skewed on the left, in a 3 men midfield, like Matuidi.

    There will be so much competition in attack and in the midfield. Me I think we should keep on using Paredes in front of the defense and a more defensive player like Ascacibar or Battaglia in a more advanced position so that we can win back the ball in more advanced position.

  8. Line up against strong Brazil should be
    Rulli – Saravia Otamendi Pazella Tagliafico – lo celso parades pareyra – Dybala corera – Icardi

  9. The match was great, but we need to improve our passing, and avoid mistakes. Also, Saudi’s shots were dangerously close and Romero was just standing there. I can see Coutinho shooting from distance, so he kind of worries me. Brazil feed of counter attacks, and mistakes are costly, we have 4 days, so please improve as much as possible. Playing a slower game is also an option, not very slow but just enough so you can control the ball. We have many fast players and through balls can work, but they are not that strong, compared to the Brazilians so they must be perfect. Other than that, we came one step closer to a better future and clearing our name as failures! VAMOSARGENTINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. On October 11 last year, we qualified for the WC. Now we beat Iraq with 10 different players. Talkin’ about changes. We are definitely in a new phase now. Hopefully Pity and Palacios return in November.

  11. Gud to c that we won, Brazil would be fun,in fact Brazil is the toughest available opponent for us now. Will probably test all the areas, from Top to Bottom. Perhaps that is what we need. It’s great to learn by playing against tougher opponents. Scaloni toughest test.

  12. Dybala still needs time to get settle in team….I m feeling for sampa now….sampaoli didn’t hv much time before world cup to develop new players for NT ….we criticise him for not playing lo celso dybala etc….but the truth is they were never settled …..sampa also made some basic mistakes but that was because of panic….I want coach to get atleast 3 years .
    Nd may be I sound childish but for me simeone should start against Brazil ahead of icardi, lautaro.,….I want someone up to press Brazilian defenders so that they don’t get a fluent passing in the game…..these days CF not only hv to score a goal or make spaces for team mates but also they should press defenders

    • You are right about sampa… he didn’t have enough time but wrong about simeone… he is our our fifth rated #9 playing in a formation where only one plays …. Aguero, Icardi, Martinez and even higuain are rated MUCH higher than Simeone… the #9 most important attribute other than scoring itself, is positioning. And young Gio looks overwhelmed out there .

      • If our priority is pressing, hold up play, and passing then Higuain is 100x better than Simeone. (*not that i want him, just a comparison).

        To your point, we need goals, goals, goals, and positioning is key. Aguero, Icardi, and Martinez are our best and most threatening #9’s.

    • Shubam V i agree, he isn’t runnin as much thanks to that idiot allegri trying to incorporate that gayass cristiano ronaldo.
      Acuña can play lb lm or lw he is very versatile, kind of like di maria. We need mammana for a faster defender.

  13. I caught about 25mins of the first half today on my phone while at work…sshhhhhh nobody has to know and saw what everybody else saw…..lousy passing and slow as hell! what happened to the speed we saw in the last two games?!
    4-0 was expected but the big test is coming and maybe they were saving their best for that!

    I had very high hopes for Dybala and damnit i am still waiting, when in hell is that going to happen?

  14. Great performance overall. Weak opponent but the scoreline made it justified. Glad for everyone who scored their first NT goal.

    Meanwhile France barely tied Iceland only from Iceland own goal and penalty. Their defence has always been week and its a shame that Sampa just so naive and didnt make any tactical change for 90+ minutes, just ridiculous. Even that, we still almost scored few times at the end and almost take it to ET.

    Lautaro style does reminds me of Aguero.

  15. Decent game against a poor side. Our passing really needs a ton of work. Really frustrating to see lack of 1-2s… constant sideways/backwards passing or to the wings. Dybala didn’t have a great game but he was definitely trying for 1-2s when hardly anyone would.

        • Dybala’s natural position is “nine and a half” i.e. second striker. He is known in Juventus for not running much, He is not a pure play maker nor a striker. It seems to me that since last season he had been suffering from “identity crisis”. He dropped significantly in form, but he is still a good player to have. If Scaloni decides to have him play along Lo Celso, he will most likely play on the outside. I think that was the dilemma most coaches faced how to incorporate him with Messi.

    • I don’t get it. He’s lost pace since his Palermo days. He used to have blistering pace “a la Messi” but over the past few years, he’s noticeably slower.

      • Because he’s been placed mostly deeper in midfield while at Palermo and early at Juve he’s in striker position.

        Secondly, he could still run if he wants too, Messi used to play at jogging pace in friendlies. Dybala and his team are gunning for CL and the League , certianly wont blow himself out in friendly fixtures. Also, he had an assist after nutmegging his marker and almost had a Messi moment but his great shot was saved brilliantly.

      • Messi never has lots of muscles, never look buff throughout his career. Looks like ordinary dude who’s not a pro footballer, muscle isnt everything in football.

  16. Excellent result. I m so happy! Now waiting for a positive result from the Brazil match! The team is in the right direction I think! Scaloni should be kept till copa’19 at least. He is really doing good, no doubt! He is just working to form a TEAM day by day!
    However, Congratulations!

  17. The pitch was bad that makes game so
    Slow first half but overall again scolani did
    Well two days training in the heat of Arabia second half they improve …
    Pereyer salvio cervi all did good
    I said long time Robert pereyer
    Can play in middle he just prove that
    Tonight I give credit for scaloni put him
    There … maxi meza nothing personal
    Shouldn’t be in the squad but i know
    Why he is there .. do you guys know
    That independent chairman is
    Father in low of tapia that is the reason
    Maxi meza is there.. overall Arg going
    Right direction.. things will get better
    Insha Allah tacalaa..

  18. Our striker for the new coach should be Aguero Icardi and Lautaro vs Simeone. Messi and Dybala must play together at any cost, Dimaria as super sub with midfield of lo celso parades and benega/Pareyra/lanzini. RB have to find and Otamendi Pazella CB with Tagliafico as LB and GK anyone expect Romero

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