Julián Álvarez debut goal for Argentina in 1-1 draw in World Cup qualifier


Julian Alvarez would score his first Argentina national team goal but Ecuador would get a controversial late penalty to draw level.

It was a first half which saw many defensive tackles by Argentina. With Ecuador seeing much of the ball and attacking down Gonzalo Montiel’s flank, it was a combined effort by Nicolas Gonzalez, Nicolas Otamendi and Nicolas Tagliafico which helped keep Ecuador goal less in the first half.

Rodrigo De Paul with an initial pass to Alexis Mac Allister who would find Lionel Messi. He would pass to Nicolas Tagliafico as he played a ball into the penalty area which found Julian Alvarez and he would score to give Argentina the 1-0 lead. Alvarez with a goal in his first start for the Argentina national team.

Leandro Paredes and Rodrigo De Paul would grow into the match. De Paul moving every where and Paredes with pin point passes.

The second half saw Ecuador continue to have a lot of the ball. Alexis Mac Allister received a kick to the knee as he was substituted out for Exequiel Palacios. Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni made four more substitutions.

Angel Correa was substituted on for Julian Alvarez, Guido Rodríguez for Leandro Paredes, Lucas Ocampos for Nicolás González and Juan Foyth for Gonzalo Montiel.

A shot on goal hit Nicolas Tagliafico as the referee went to VAR to see the replay. After several minutes, it was a harsh decision by the referee as a penalty was awarded. Geronimo Rulli with a great save but Ecuador would score on the rebound.

Argentina are now undefeated in 31 matches, which equals their longest undefeated streak ever which was in 1991-1993 with Alfio “Coco” Basile as coach.

@mundoalbiceleste Julián Álvarez scores for Argentina! #JulianAlvarez #Alvarez #Football #Futbol #Soccer #Argentina ♬ Vamos, Vamos Argentina – La Barra Buyanguera


  1. I’ve said this before and I will say it again, rules for penalties need to be changed.
    If the keeper saves the penalty, the play should be dead. No second chance for the opposing team to score.

    This is fairness.

    The game was brutal. Ecuador is too fast. Argentina could be hurt by fast counter-attacking teams with a deadly striker. Brazil looks stranger as of now and is a complete team (no bias from me). For the 1st time as I fan, I don’t know what to expect from Argentina in a WC – we even play too spread apart (guys running with the ball with no easy passing options). No real fluidity (I’ve only seen maybe two or three games where this team excited me with some tango- but it was never for a full 90 minutes.

    I knew we were strong in 2006, incomplete in 2010, championship level in 2014, and expected disaster in 2018 (writing on the wall). I’m happy about the Copa win, but I’m still not 100% convinced about this team even with the unbeaten record. This team is an enigma to me.
    Perhaps I have anxiety because I really want Messi and NT to win. I don’t want to be disappointed for him to retire and then wait another 4 years.

    The good news is that there is still time to turn things around, tweak things, and in WC we have 7 games. We have experienced heartbreak, lost in finals, and have mastered how not to lose. I hope this team surprises the entire World and shows us what they have been hidden this whole time because in every game, it seems they have more quality than they truly display.

  2. Palacios.. Mc Allister… stay far from us. U give no contribution at all. Palacios comes on to.fix his hair all.the time… nothing forward or backwards.. we lost the midfield battle today… needed another creative midfielder… felt sorry for ruilli.. well we know we have 2 goalies that can save a penalty..

        • Like who? Young, in a competitive league, who is a true box to box equally adept at defending and attacking?

          I dont *love* mcallister, but people are reacting like he sucked, and he didnt. He has excellent positioning, he was involved in key tackles and offensive link up play. He is a decent role player ad a 3rd string bench player.

          Many want out of position players, like Lisandro which while he may be capable, its unorthodox. Others want to see people like Lanzini who is great going forward but defensively he is meh and is made of glass. We got locelso, Papu, even dimaria can play there. Mcallisters role is a stop gap, and for that he did well, he is a flexible player.

    • DePaul, LoCelso, Papu…we have only 3 CM/CAM confirmed for the WC. Anyone could be included for the 4th and 5th option. Currently, Mac Allister is ahead of Palacios and Dominguez. Mac Allister is behind LoCelso, Papu. Acuna and Lisandro can also play in Left midfield.
      What we need is backup for DePaul in right side. LoCelso can play there. That’s a plus.
      Rulli is the best penalty stopper after Emi. Now Armani’s position has been moved to third. Emi,Rulli, Musso and Armani. We will have 4 GKs if it’s 26 players squad in WC.

  3. Unfortunately missed the game due to this thing called work, my thoughts went back to 4 years ago when ARG played Ecuador on the final day of qualifiers and Messi scored 3! Fours years ago, that’s crazy!

    I see Shitchile are gonna watch the WC like the rest of us, on T.V LMAO LOLOLOLOL sorry-ass team that got LUCKY if there was EVER a thing.
    Ok, last game done, wait another Banana yellow bullshit game to go but all and all its over…….lets move on and Scaloni has a good idea on what he wants done.

  4. LMQ we already know he is already out of the squad, Montiel played bad, Palacios is over rated here in mundo never saw anything special in him.
    I wonder why Lanzini is not in plan, some basic mistakes in player selection can cause this team to sink.Scaloni took too long to replace Palacios with Lo celso,firstly Palacios was his first choice before Copa.Mac Alister is very slow he should be out and Lanzini should be in.
    As Montiel was exposed,he can not play against pacy wingers or wing back as he is not pacy like them. In Copa the right did was fully overcrowded by Argentina players that is why he looked good, in 1 vs 1 situation he is not good, in 1 vs 1 situation only Foyth comes to mind.
    Dybla is also needed he bring creativity to the game. Foyth,Lanzini and Dybla need to be in playing 11.

  5. A good lesson indeed. How the team can’t make it without the regular starting XI, no proper back up yet. Scaloni tried to used his confidence on subs but it didn’t work well. Really missed Di Maria, Gio Lo Celso, Papu Gomez, Romero and Lautoro. Ecuador knows how to block De Paul and control the mid with their fast winger and exposed the weak side of our defense LQM and Monteil. Luckily, Arg have Otamendi and shine today. Julian Alvarez have shown his contribution to the team; Scaloni need to try and give chance to the duet of Lautoro and Alvarez. The team is still work in process. 1-2 players can be given a second call and chance.

    Congrats and enjoy the journey

    • The absent of Acuna is felt since he’s very strong physically and could come up with dangerous crosses. Without ADM and Acuna, opponents could dominate through both flanks.

  6. First of all we are probably overreacting as we here in Mundo geberally do 😆. However, i liked the fact that Ecuador pushed us and we had to defend a lot.. good experience, but we should not foeget that even with all the pressing we would not have conceeded a goal but for tht harsh penalty. Btw all that running in the wings on Montiel side by Ecuador would just stop if dimaria plays. Ota-Romero defence also would look better in a tournament situation. So overall not overly worried. But one thing that we need to think is now if the opponents try to neutralize De paul, how can we dominate the midfield. But I think with lo celso and di maria we would still create opportunities.
    Just my thoughts.. VAMOS ARGENTINA!!

    • Agreed. Its still a decent result considering they’re gifted a penal and should have had few reds. We’re not conceiding a clumsy goal, its gifted penalty, that’s all. Also, there’s no Emi, Cuti, Di Maria & Lautaro. I dont think they neutralize RDP, he’s simply tired in second half after those running under intense heat.

      This result should be wake up call for Scaloni and his players since there will be a situation like this in WC where our opponents push us to the limit coupled with ref adventage.

      Switzerland did it in 2014, we’re expecting easy win but they gave us a hard time. Scaloni needs to makes his sub much earlier given the players are running out of steem after an hour mark. I consider a game like this a good test. Its actually similar to the away game against Uruguay last year, except we didnt conceide a penalty that day.

      Good to see Julian opening his goalscoring account. I dont see Tucu scoring that one. MacAllister gave Ecuador two yellows , also stopped their dangerous counter early on, but he offers nothing offensively unlike Lo Celso who actually had 5 assists in qualifier.

  7. I wonder why an average player Taglifiaco is still in NT even after 4 years ( recall 2018 world cup semi disastrous performance) . we cant win WC with mediocre players like Taglifiaco, Montiel, Mc Allister, LMQ, Palacios etc..Reaching at the door of Qatar WC, Scalon is studying for the previous coach Sampoli.
    Very much disappointed.
    Seems like Argentina is waiting for a disastrous knock out from Qatar unless the problems in team formation are not addressed on priority.

  8. Todays match was coming sooner or later and I am glad it didn’t happen in the world cup. Ecuador had done their homework extremely well. Not only they gave us a taste of our own medicine with high intensity pressing, they also nullified both of our creative players Messi and Depaul. This game wss blessing in disguise and will force Scaloni and Co to prepare for these kind of matches.

    This was the match where Dybala’s offensive skills could have been extremely useful. If Scaloni ever missed Dybala it was today!! It was difficult to drop McAllister after just one match and with two back to back disastrous performance he is done!!

    Very good goal frol Alvarez but his inexperiece was evident in his decision making and runs. But no doubt he is a good finisher and has that killer instinct of a striker!! All in all I am happy with this game!!

  9. I don’t know wtf that was but we deserved to lose…the score is a draw but we were not the better team… not having starting players is not an excuse..if anything this shows a lack of creativity in some of our replacements and overall lack of depth… humidity, heat etc are not excuses…(Qatar is not going to be cool and dry)…scaloni got his formation wrong.and missed chances to sub players when he should have…

    So many miscontrols, give-aways and missed passing opportunities… damn…darn… this be a wake up call my dear Albiceleste…

    Only positive is we learnt a valuable lesson – we need to improve GREATLY…

    • Stop overeacting. Brazil won the WC despite struggling in qualifier 2002. We have more points this time than under Sabella, who finished the WC as runner up. Bielsa team was close to perfect in qualifier but where did it led us to? First round exit!

      That just how qualifier is if you have watch football in last 30 years.

      Germany won all games in 2018 qualifier only to be eliminated at group stage.

      WC will be a whole different thing.

      • This is not moneyball and not everything can be justified by stats… er had a miserable qualifying experience last time and under baldy we were humbled by Iceland, Croatia and France…I saw sub-par performance and I called it.. we should be allowed to criticize that we love.

  10. When Messi shot hit Venezuela’s hanf, no VAR was given. When Kun was fouled twice by Brazil, no VAR was given. Yet VAR gave Peru & Ecuador a free gift.

    Scaloni should have make his sub much earlier considering the humidity and our players clearly tired out at 60 minutes mark.

    Ecuador celebrating 1 point at home from gifted penal as if they just win Copa or WC lol, they probably got the lowest ceiling in football. The game not even matter for us mathematically.

    We’ve equalled Basile 31 games unbeaten run!

    • This. Ecuador played their hearts out and we played in auto pilot, with many 2nd choice players and still almost won it. Our boys did well. Hope Scaloni and staff learned and adjust for our next games

    • Sorry to say this, I can only hope scaloni disagree with you… I’m not saying we’re bad, but this match shows the world that we’re capable of playing bad….

      I understand this is not an indicator of our future WC performance.. but we cannot normalize such bad performance.. were Argentina and we need to have ridiculously high standards..I hope scaloni understands that

  11. I don’t care the result, I care more about the content of this match and I didn’t like it. We suffered a lot on the physical challenges and their tactics. Ecuador show how to play against Argentina: fullbacks pushing hard and keep attacking/pressing our fullbacks and make them stay in their zone, maximum of intensity in the middle and disconnect Paredes, De Paul from the rest.

    As I have always said, the pair Paredes-De Paul and the running/position of our fullbacks + the pressing of strikers are the trademarks of this team, if you are able to disconnect Paredes+De Paul from the rest and isolate the fullbacks, Argentina will be in trouble.

  12. Scaloni’s most realistic up to date 26 players squad:
    GK: Emi Martinez, Franco Armani, Geronimo Rulli
    DF: Gonzalo Montiel, Nahuel Molina, Cuti Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, German Pezzella, Lisandro Martinez, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Tagliafico.
    MF: Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Giovani Lo Celso, Guido Rodriguez, Papu Gomez
    F: Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, J Correa, Nico Gonzales, J Alvarez, Angel Correa.

    24. Alexis MacAllister/Exequiel Palacios/Nico Dominguez
    25. LM Quarta/Juan Foyth
    26. Paulo Dybala/Emi Buendia

  13. This is my first comment here!
    From today’s game one thing is clear
    This team will need much European test before world cup!
    Scaloni didn’t have his plane B or C! There is no creativity on midfield.. literally Ecuador dominant us in every aspect!
    Only good thing for me is ota defence rulli gk
    And ALVAREZ goal give him some valuable confidence!
    Player like quarta pezzela Palacios ocampos journey is over for me ! Don’t see them in world cup
    Missing lo celso too much

  14. Happy for Alvarez to get his goal. Hopefully that puts him above J Correa. I don’t want to worry too much about this game because there are like 7 first team players out so it’s not an accurate representation. I hope Scaloni takes notes about Montiel, MQ, and Mac Allister.

    We can also celebrate that Chile is out of the WC. And two other Argentinian managers (Alfaro and Gareca) are going.

  15. This match was really a test. Ecuador played the pressing game and our midfield lost the ball way too often. Just think what would be the outcome if it was Denmark or swiss. They will punish us with cracking counters and with great finishing abilities they can finish us. Conmebol teams except Argentina and Brazil are avg or below in finishing or in the final third. European and African are not like that. Scaloni should re check his team potential and we need a team not individuals.

  16. Without our regular players, we couldn’t do much in this game. Lack of coordination was clearly seen. Sad thing is we never felt like dominating the match. Ecuador was pressing so much that we lacked our composure. We couldn’t make even three passes in the final third. Scaloni needs to have plan “B” as well. Brazil scoring easy against the opponents, not the case from our side though. Draw is what we deserved in this game… good luck for the world cup. We need to come back stronger next time.
    Looking forward to see the better game against european side. Love from Nepal.

      • Result wise its not worse, performance wise – abit worrying… these kind of performance can eliminate us from world cup… we need to be aware of that. No counter attacks… no rhythm… wake up call for scaloni. We r better than this.

  17. Well done, Argentina… Congratulation…
    We are ready for the next matches and of course we are ready for the World Cup…

    Be the winner! Be the champion of World Cup!
    Go Tango! Vamos Argentina!

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