Hernan CRESPO, Javier SAVIOLA score as Argentina defeat Ivory Coast 2-1 on this day at 2006 FIFA World Cup


On this day in 2006, Argentina defeated Ivory Coast 2-1 at the FIFA World Cup.

It was Argentina’s opening match of the tournament in Germany 2006 and it was against World Cup debutant, Didier DROGBA’s Ivory Coast. A star studded Argentina team coached by Jose PEKERMAN who had managed many of the players from youth level. Argentina picked up a 2-1 win with Hernan CRESPO scoring the first, Javier SAVIOLA the second and Juan Roman RIQUELME assisting both.

Roberto AYALA had a goal disallowed early in the 14th minute after his header appeared (or not) to have crossed the line. Luckily for Argentina, a foul on Hernan CRESPO lead to an Argentina free kick. Up stepped RIQUELME who sent one into the Ivorian area and CRESPO was the first to pounce on the ball. Just like that it was 1-0 for the Albiceleste.

The second goal was pure genius by Juan Roman RIQUELME. An absolutely deadly pass in from Argentina’s number 10 lead SAVIOLA in one on one with the goalkeeper and SAVIOLA with the lightest of touches scored the second.

Here was Argentina’s starting XI for the match:

2. Roberto AYALA
3. Juan Pablo SORIN
5. Esteban CAMBIASSO
6. Gabriel HEINZE
7. Javier SAVIOLA
9. Hernan CRESPO
10. Juan Roman RIQUELME
21. Nicolas BURDISSO


  1. Saviola was offsides by a meter … With VAR that would never be allowed today, and even then it was a major screwup by the linesman.

  2. Also the full backs could be aggressive and overlap without worrying about counter attacks because they knew that the midfielders have the capability and the instincts to cover for them. This system requires a very hard working (and young midfield). That is why Tagliafico is so good going forward with Ajax. With Di Maria and Paredes Tagi dare not be too adventurous because he will get caught out. With the 2006 formation the width is provided by the FB not the winger. Trying to correct the formation mistake against Croatia, Sampaoli came back with the 2006 midfield combination against France with one fatal mistake. Mascherano was 34, Perez 32 and Banega nearly 30. An old tired midfield overrun by the speedy French.

  3. Look at the 2006 midfield formation and the type of players in the midfield. Masherano pure DM – shield for the defence. Maxi and Cambiasso – both great all round midfielders- will scrap for the ball while defending and equally good at transitioning defence into attack, also capable of scoring goals and providing defence splitting passes. With these 3 Roman was free for the enganche role. This is one of the biggest reasons for the quality of our 2006 side. That is why Palacios and Pereyra are so important to the side. If both play and we can have our DM position fixed (Guido has begun well, let’s see) Lo Celso will be free to partner the strikers in the attacking role and that is what he is best at.

  4. Paredes should be choosen over Pereya.Paredes is very good player he has everything for regista long balls short balls tackles passing shoot.He is a complete player for his position

  5. We had the strongest possible team in 2006 better than 2014 but,Mr.Pekerman.The day is still fresh in my mind I was watching the game in my home at the terrace with my Father,Cousins and many of my uncles almost 20-30 ppl.It was poor luck for us.Ayala gave us the lead we were doing great then we had Abbodanzeri injured,Klose equaliser like Ayala.Riquelme goes bench😥,No Messi and we had a great Goalkeeper who made brilliant 0 saves.
    In the present we need to confirm Pezzella as our starter and also I think if Di Maria is not trustable according to many in here,why not play De Paul!! He will be the best

  6. The problem was tevez
    He was always bad luck for us
    The local media put pressure to pick tevez over saviola
    Crespo saviola was our main duo
    No need to drop saviola who was awesome for us
    Had one average game vs Mexico and was dropped

  7. This time many things are already clear unlike Sampoli’s team.I was always surprised by Sampoli’ line up.I think same for the player.That is why they were so fucked up since the start of the match.But Sampoli started tactically well in his early games in WC qualification but as time passed he got completely mad and so the team.

  8. Why Di maria if we have De paul.If Di maria plays as starter then we gonna lose our precious ten minutes of attacking threat because of Di maria’s idiotic crosses and deep penetrating in left wing area which are sure to be wasted.De paul showed very good play vs Nicargua,he showed he is good in going deep or shooting from left side,we need a right footed winger.Scaloni should have noted it.
    Paredes or Pereya is a healthy competition and should be decided through the opposition team.
    Tagliafico should know how to defend collectively and not that alwaya following the ball,he is good in solo defending but he also needs to understand team work and opposition’s play scheme.Lo celso should be used high in the pitch.

  9. Pazella removed mask that he uses since operation. He may be back to starting x1..!
    Also, Scaloni still not decided on Paredes or Pereyra…but Paredes started in the first training session in Brazil. May be Pereyra if 433 or 4132 and Paredes if 4231…!

    Team from the first training in Brazil;


  10. I will never forgive jose pekerman
    Look the back line heinze ayala sorin
    And burdisso and arg had Roman riquelme
    Aimar messi luch Gonzalez maxi Rodriguez
    Javier mascherano carlos Tevez gabby
    Millito lionel scaloni crespo javier Saviola
    Coloccini list goes on we should have won
    World cup in 2006 but jose pekerman spoiled Big time

  11. I was just 12 in 2006.I was very passionate about the match between Argentina and Germany.I used to love watching Riquelme and Messi.Riquelme dominated the midfield and was a headache for Germany.Even l knew that substitution of Riquelme was the most pathetic decision at that age,how could Pekerman be so naive and idiot.He didn’t even bring Messi on.Why do Argentina select such coward coaches?

  12. Still the 2006 remains fresh in our minds. Arg were leading against Germany and the error substitute will be remains forever.. Lost a big chance

  13. Pekerman always made a corwardice subtitution when we’re leading. In this game, we’re up 2-0 and he subbed out Crespo as early as 64 minutes and instead of fielding Messi, he fielded Palacio wtf. We ended up never threatening Ivory coast for remaining of the game.

    He did the same in quarterfinal, Cruz instead of Messi…. nation like Portugal (Euro 2004) and France (WC 2018) has been using CR and Mbappe as starter regardless young their. Even worst, he subbed out Roman who assisted Ayala’s goal with Cambiasso. Nothing against Cambiasso but Ballack was able dominate the game only after Roman left the field.

    2006 was Messi best chance to actually win the WC considering the complete squad that we had at the time. Pekerman surely knows how to build a great team with great passing play but always chickened out and went defensive mode once we’re leading.

    Even before the WC, we lost 2-3 to both Croatia and England after leading 2-1, both times he subbed out Roman in second half and we ended up losing.

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