An exhibition at the height of the world champions

An exhibition at the height of the world champions

Spectacular, impeccable display, masterful lecture… There are no adjectives to describe the superb performance of the Argentine National Team that defeated Bolivia in La Paz, for the second date of the Qualifiers with a view to the 2026 World Cup.

The world champions not only beat Bolivia, but also gave a class on how to play at 3,626 meters above sea level in La Paz. But, above all things, this team knew how to play without the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, who was left on the bench, injured.

From the beginning, Argentina displayed colorful and forceful football. With great performances from captain Ángel Di María, who contributed two assists, Enzo Fernández, Julián Álvarez and the entire defensive block, Lionel Scaloni’s team extended its undefeated record in the Qualifiers.

Argentina started the game with Alexis Mac Allister in the middle and Enzo Fernández looser from the left towards the middle.

In attack, Julián Álvarez was the center forward along with Nicolás González and captain Ángel Di María, on the left and right, respectively.

From the start, Lionel Scaloni’s team took control of the game and after 10 minutes they were the first to give notice with a good long-distance shot by Enzo Fernández that goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra took from the upper right corner.

Bolivia tried to surprise the Argentina defense with long balls for Marcelo Moreno Martins behind Nahuel Molina, but could never get close to the goal defended by Emiliano Martínez.

The only approach by Argentine Gustavo Costa’s team was in the 27th minute with a shot from outside by Luciano Ursino that “Dibu” was able to contain without rebounding.

The world champion’s goal was about to fall on the sunny afternoon in La Paz and came half an hour into the game after a great team play. Julián Álvarez dropped back and opened to the right towards Di María, who threw a precise cross into the large area for the surprise entry of Enzo Fernández.

In his second match in the Qualifiers and in an always adverse scenario, Chelsea’s star, from England, opened the way to victory.

A few minutes later, at 35′, full-back Roberto Fernández hit “Cuti” Romero hard and received the second yellow card.

The Uruguayan referee Esteban Ostojich went to see the action on the VAR and gave the Bolivian player a direct red card.

The lethal blow of the world champion team came in the 31st minute after a free kick executed with precision by Di María to enable Tagliafico who, without a mark, made it 2-0 with a header.

Argentina did not need to make greater physical effort in the rest of the first half and dedicated itself to moving the ball regardless of the effects of the 3,625 meters above sea level.

Without mysteries and strange formulas, Scaloni’s team played at altitude as if it were the Lusail stadium in the world final or the Monumental.

In the second half, Argentina waited and when they could hurt, they pressed the accelerator to dangerously reach the Bolivian goal. So it was that at 38 ‘Nicolás González scored 3-0 with a powerful left foot shot to establish himself as a key player in the Scaloni cycle despite his absence in the last World Cup due to an injury.

At the end, Scaloni arranged for the entry of Alejandro Garnacho so that the young promise of Manchester United would be shielded for a long time to play with the Argentine national team.

Argentina will continue its path through the South American Qualifiers on October 12 when it hosts Paraguay at the Monumental stadium and then will visit Peru on the 17th in Lima.

Source: Ambito

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