Argentina U23 win 2-0 vs. Saudi Arabia in last friendly match before Olympics


The Argentina U23 team, coached by Fernando Batista, defeated Saudi Arabia 2-0 this Friday, in Marbella. This was Argentina’s last friendly match before the Olympics. Pedro de la Vega and Adolfo Gaich scored the goals for the Albiceleste.

Even though Argentina had its chances during the first half, they didn’t open the score until minute 14 of the second half. There, Lanus winger Pedro “el Pepo” de la Vega kicked scored off a good cross from Atlanta United’s attacking-midfielder Ezequiel Barco.

Ten minutes later, Saudi Arabia would be left with 10 players as Nasser Salaman Alomran was sent off by the referee, after receiving his second yellow card.

With numerical superiority, the youth Argentina team started finding more spaces, and at minute 32 of the second half, the CSKA Moscow striker Adolfo Gaich sent the ball into the net, after a deflected shot from Velez’s right-back Hernán de La Fuente.

This was Fernando Batista’s chosen lineup:
Lautaro Morales; Hernán De La Fuente, Nehuén Pérez, Leonel Mosevich, Francisco Ortega; Santiago Colombatto, Fausto Vera, Pedro de la Vega; Matías Vargas, Ezequiel Barco, and Adolfo Gaich.

With this victory, Argentina finishes its preparation matches for the Tokyo Olympics, where the football tournament starts on July 21. Argentina will have its debut on July 22 vs. Australia


  1. Scaloni is best available coach for Argentina there are no alternatives. If Gallardo can leave River Plate then Argentina should sign him as coach because Gallardo has experience.

      • Agreed, get through 7 or 8 more WCQ during this period so they won’t have to go through a sprint marathon (that’s not a typo) of 3 games per international break that they’re planning on doing later on.

  2. Well it seems like most of us here have over and unrealistic expectations from our team and players. We all need to accept the truth that we longer have the best players in our team like the past. We haven’t even produced an average playmaker/enganche since Riquelme retired. Messi is still force to drop deep to create 60% to 70% chances for us. Lautaro our main striker, is good but he still hasn’t reached his prime yet, that is the reason he is not clinical as we except him to be. Our regular starting midfielders Paredes, Locelso , Palacios are okay nothing extraordinary and Messi who is now our only playmaker has lost a lot of pace. Locelso if played deep is just a waste, at Betis was played almost as a second striker but after his move to Tottenham he was moved to proper midfield position and thus was not effective. Aguero and Dimaria are not the same players they were 5 yrs ago and they need good players around them to shine.

    I am not implying that we shouldn’t expect to win this Copa. Scaloni is an okay manager but unlike his predecessors is a thinking coach and doesn’t shy away from admitting his mistakes and make changes. Even though we dropped important points, the last two games could be blessing in disguise for us. Both games exposed our weakness just in time. It made Scaloni & Co rethink their strategies and formation. Other than couple of omissions and selections that raised few eyebrows, our team is quite balanced. If Simione with limited resources and above average team can win La-liga, with proper strategy and formation we we can with this competition too!! Let’s hope for the best!

  3. Meanwhile Armani tested positive again it seems… However our great coach is still persistent. He want master Armani to be avilable. Seriously why on earth Scaloni is waiting. He should snub Armani n call Bunidea.

  4. Anybody there any possibility to fire shit Scaloni after copa by afa??

    Just need to fuck him, kick him, through him out!!! Best bullshit coach ever! 😡😡😡😡 Bed warmer with Armani & River guys!

    We the supporters have really no prblm if u select 11 quality players from Argentine league if they r really good than european based players, ok??
    We just want to see our beloved team win, thats it! But pls don’t be baised for any dumb asshole or any special culb plyers, ok? Isn’t there any quality players in Argentine league except river plate?? Just give me the answer pls..

  5. emi
    molina romero lisandro angileri
    depaul paredes locelso/a.correa
    messi nico/lautaro j.correa

    this team could very fast forward team for argentina

    both wing back molina and angileri very fast .. on the other side in midfield depaul, locelso/a.correa and in forward nico gon and j.correa fast too …

    and this team could be full offensive for argentina..
    only things missing is angileri … i don’t see tagliafico has or will impactful performance in this argentina team …
    pace of wingback very much needed if play is full offensive .. i don’t know how good angileri in defence and short pass,, but his cross and pace is amazing and molina got some pace too

  6. The debate of the “Local players” vs. “Europe based players” is getting worse each day. What unites the two camps at the end of the day is supporting our beloved Albiceleste. I don’t think there is an organized hate against the local players or a special preference for those players who ply their trade in Europe. If a player from the local league has all the qualities to be selected ahead of another playing in Europe I think nobody will have any complaint about it. For instance, when Gabi Mercado was given the RB position and excelled in that position nobody was complaining, and Mercado was a River player at the time. Personally, I like so much the local league, but what I hate and can’t understand is how the media in Argentina put pressure on Scaloni and his staff to select certain players that they are promoting. Half of the Brazil squad that won the 2002 WC were from their local league, but they were quality players whom got selected for their talent.

  7. I think I have the best solution for all the woes going on in right here, it might be criminal but I shall say : Drop Messi and make him a bench player.

    The team will then play more fluidly without relying on one major creative source, instead the source will be stretched out and anybody will possess the equal chances of scoring goals.

    Argentina need to learn lessons from Germany; although I hate them but I’m obliged to say that they’re smart in team management.

    • Messi isnt the issue, its the absent of true playmaker in midfield that kills Messi goalscoring ability in national team.

      Whats Messi actual role in Argentina team? Its not clear. Is he a goalscorer who recieves pass and scores? No! since he roam mostly in midfield… So does he play a midfielder role? Maintaining possession and pressing when off ball? No ! So its like he has no actual role other than wondering around.

      Remember Messi scored almost 40 goals in all competition this season, still top the goalscoring chart. Out of form or pass prime player dont achieve that lol

      Messi scores tons of rocket aswell and he never tries that in NT. Does Scolani even know Messi could score various type of goals? Yet Messi seems only to make casual short passes all the time.

    • I think I agree with what you are saying the last good Argentina side we saw was in 2007 tata martinos side were good but only for a short time before messi became a leader when requeilme was the main man I am not blaming Messi but Messi being there has influenced the coaches to depend on him not to think straight if i was born in this era I would not be Argentina fan this is a difficult team to support

      • Ok lets see 1998 we didn’t reach semis in wc 2002 out in group league in wc 2006 out in quarters. With messi we reached 3 consecutive finals in wc and copa and if messi got that team he would have won treble of trophies. That team has cambiasso zenetti ayala sorin Mascherano aimar riquelme batistuta ortega veron etc they have talent all over the pitch they used to play in top clubs in Europe see the condition now we don’t have decent fullbacks let alone world class we have no world class midfielder and that team had world class midfielder in every position there was Redondo who was one of the best dm at that time if not best riquelme was one of the best central mid that team also had forwards like batistuta and crespo who was also one of the best.also tevez was good. But with that talentpool still they couldn’t achieve anything just because we employed some incompetent coaches. Messi dragging this team to a respectful position otherwise this team has very low standard. When messi stopped playing for sometimes we were a situation that we may not qualify for 2018 wc. Without messi we will not win anything we r not germany their mental strength is in different level nobody can match that

    • What problem u guys have with armani….that guy is also a very good goalkeeper….i like the way how quickly he comes out of the box and clear danger for us and not to mention he is a good shot stopper too.
      But the form emi Martinez is in, it is hard to ignore him and looking at the performances of last two matches, he should be no. 1.
      I m okay with either one of them to be honest.

      • How can you be okay with Armani between the post I see vast difference in their abilities and in mentality. Emi Martinez is far ahead of Armani.Armani’s main problem is his positioning, his tendency to take pressure once his team lose possession, can not defend free kick, his reflexes has slowed now, not commanding in his box, weak in playing out from the back, weak distribution.

      • If you don’t have problem with selecting either of them…you don’t have problem with Argentina losing too.
        The quality difference is huge. We need to make sure we win this Copa. We trust Emi. He’s in world top 10 right now. Armani is far far behind. Currently he’s not even in top5 Argentine GKs.

        • Armani was a decent goalkeeper, 3 years ago. But I will take club bench warmer Sergio Romero over peak Armani anyday. Emi vs Armani is not even a debate.

  8. If a covid + guy play instead of Martinez …. Please don’t give lecture on support scaloni and coaching staff… All fans want team to win.. but this coach is rubbish

  9. Foyth played bad in 2 matches he was out. OCAMPOS played 45 bad minutes he was out ok.
    But coach also had bad Performance in last 2 matches and one against Paraguay… He still coach…when he will go ?

  10. A recent article in TYC sports says, Scaloni in serious doubt regarding the GK position btw Armani & Emi. This is crazy, how could he even think about it, worrisome. If Emi is unfit, Musso & that’s it. Montial is another liability for the team. Can’t defend, can’t attack, poor link up play & pathetic crosses. Though Monila is not the perfect solution but the best avilable. This is like reservation quota for River players in the first eleven.

    • We all know what’s coming. That’s why we opposed the inclusion of Armani. We all want Argentina to win this Copa. We fear some of these favoritism will ruin that aim.
      Just think…when we have 2 GKs they are in top 20(Emi currently in top10) world’s best…still Coach wants to include a Covid positive guy…the influence he will have include him in starting x1 will be huge.
      I want Argentina win this Copa. That’s why I want all the in form player to be included.

      For Me…it’s Emi..if he’s not fit then Musso. Armani should not be considered.

      • Yeah both Armani and Mach are no quality keepers… This is wot I hate the most with Argentina football team. When you have the best you will settle with a mediocre and ends up crying later.

  11. Cox4
    My friend I understand your feelings and I’m with you. When pple been crowdly attacking your home nation and your believed club River plate. My friend let me tell you Argentina is supper power football nation, all the other countries envy them
    You why ? Likes France, England, Germany and most of big European nations they spend fortune Thier crossroots and academy’s in oder to produce top talent footballer however Argentina produce talent footballers and elite managers without spending that amount of money coming to River plate to me as arg nt fan I love River plate because they are main supplier to arg nt I can count names who came from River set up Past generations and present.. coming to Armani I respect him as human beings and I think he is good goalkeeper but emi martinez is better than him and should be number 1 golie for the nt, nothing against Armani but as fan I feel so secure martinez been in goal.Argentina will always challenge against big boys weather is Italy, France, Germany or Brazil.No matter what you guys say Argentina will always remain respected football nation

    • my friend. first of all i need to express my huge huge huge respect to you You , Ebo , Choripan, Waveride , Engan che and few more fans (sorry for not mention all of you guys ) from the first day back in May of 2018 that i was here you understand my mentality and my way of thinking.i understand you too and you earned my deep respect as Argentina fans but most important as humans.
      i am still here only because of you guys believe me. this place is not same like as it was and generally in my life i am going far from toxic places. i used to post if you remember more some years before. Now i am speaking only to my friends and to those respect my home nation. As Ebo adviced me long ago. of course sometimes i can t hold myself from some insults and i brake my rule but mostly i follow Ebo s advice.
      About Armani my friend i need you to understand that i am not against the use of Martinez as starter. the detail of my opinion is that Armani should be in the squad of 28 for various reasons that i don t want to analyse in one toxic place like here.

      there is huge number of fans here that suffer from European lust syndrome really.
      it is fine by me no problem but i can t handle easy myself when i see disrespect or insults to my home nation. my Argentine dna don t allow me to control it.

      • Cox,
        “there is huge number of fans here that suffer from European lust syndrome really.”
        Bro Currently UEFA is the powerhouse of football it might be South America in 50’s and 60’s i don’t know but right now its Europe where best training is given and football is being played at highest level . And 9 out of 10 times trophies are won with good and competitive players so Argentina too needs players at that level to win major trophies.

        i can t handle easy myself when i see disrespect or insults to my home nation.”
        I am from Israel and i don’t have any affection towards Argentina except football. So don’t get me wrong whenever i criticize Argentina its only and only AFA i swear i never had any intention to hurt your nationalist feelings or Argentina dna.

        • UEFA is of course the powerhouse. i don t disagree with you at all.
          what i don t like (to say it with kind words) is to insist somebody that one player is garbage when he plays back home and when the next day he take the plane to Europe automatically he became world class and he have bigger rights to play in our national team. No i don t accept this almost racist aproach from people. i am strongly against. we are not garbage in the rest of world and Europeans are our rulers. Especially you from Israel you know how it is to be treated racist way. As about last i apreciate your honesty. i apreciate it to people. for the record with you we had disagree in past about our football opinions but this is totally healthy. i never had take anything from you as insult for my country. about AFA i make too critics to them. it is more than ok.

      • Cox4 thank you and have big respect for you too. friend is OK to get angry when people disrespect and insult your country I will be doing same and I understand. But the best way is to ignore because a real man will never insults other people while setting behind the screen.

        Vamos Argentina 🇦🇷💪

  12. When I look at Italy match yesterday, except Messi, individual talent/quality of player is very similar to Argentina. But together they played much better football. The fullbacks attack, automatically found 4-5 players in the box when they attack, they played compact with aggressive pressing. Playing collectively will always outperform the sum of talents.

    Argentina should just play in the same formation with the same playing style.

    • Which game u saw?? They were mediocre out of 3 goals all 3 goals were gifted. They will struggle against big countries. Scoreline sometimes dont potray the actual scene. 1 goal was own goal 2nd one was a rebound and the 3rd one goalkeeper missed a simple pass and italy scored. There were lots of wayward shots yes their passing was fast our passing is quite slow what helps opponent to regroup bt depaul and paredes cant do those fast we may need better options depaul does dirty work bt ineffective in final third

        • @AFA, are you living in 2010? Spain and especially now under Luis Enrique doesn’t play tiki taka anymore, so please inform at least before doing the talking …

      • @Anuparno Yes we don’t see football in the same way. I talked about the playing style, pressing, ball transition and how they controlled the game where you talked to me about the goals. I get used to football fans like you who just watched resume …

  13. italy played a beautifull football against turkey. roberto mancini has 3yrs time to built the italy team. but scaloni need 10yrs time to take built a team. if arg players against italy argentina will lose the game

  14. If Argentina faces team like Italy they will easily be destroyed. What a joy to watch free flowing lovely attacking football. They don’t have better team than Argentina except in defence. Look at Mancini Italy could not qualify for WC 2018 now they built a super strong team IMO they are contender to win Euro but this idiot and clueless Scaloni and AFA still experimenting with their players.

  15. Sometimes u just have to trust the players who have been selected yes.. higuain was a deadly striker and look how he missed in 3 finals.. no one never said he shouldn’t be called up back then.. So keep the faith guys.. u never know until the final whistle is blown

  16. “the CSKA Moscow striker Adolfo Gaich sent the ball into the net”

    So he’s a moscow player again? Oh boy please go back to Benevento

    In all seriousness happy to see what an incredible crop of talented youngsters we have, some of which are not even here.

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