Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Milito and Messi on target as Argentina defeat Venezuela

Argentina continued their perfect start to the 2010 World Cup qualifying series by recording a 2-0 victory over a hard-working, enthusiastic Venezuela side in Maracaibo.

The hosts had the better of the first half, but were unable to seriously test Roberto Abbondanzieri in the Argentina goal. Despite holding the majority of possession, they found themselves 2-0 down at half time as a Gabriel Milito header from a Juan Riquelme free-kick and a stunner from Lionel Messi gave Argentina a comfortable lead at the break.

The second half started with Venezuela determined to get back into the game, creating two good chances within five minutes of the restart. First, Juan Arango got free on the right hand side of the penalty area, but could only produce a weak shot that was easily saved by Abbondanzieri. Moments later, Giancarlo Maldonado headed over from a corner having lost his marker with a run to the near post.

Venezuela continued to pressure the Argentine back-line for the rest of the half, with their opponents always looking dangerous on the counter attack with the pace of Lionel Messi. The home side were just unable to break through the resolute defence of the Argentines, who survived the onslaught to record a well-earned victory.

Alfio Basile gave German Denis his first cap, coming on for the last ten minutes, but the Independiente striker missed a guilt-edged chance in injury time to get off the mark at international level.

No comments: