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24.05.2008 20:45

Festival with win for Argentina (0-1)

Roger Bogunyà

Argentina has beaten Catalonia by 0-1 in the Camp Nou. Victor Valdés played the first 45 minutes while his Barça team-mate Leo Messi was on the pitch for 71 minutes and was one of the South Americans’ leading figurers in attack.

It just after he had left the pitch that Argentina scored the winner through Lavezzi. The game was very entertaining and both sides had lots of chances, though Argentina did dominate towards the end of each half. The friendly, played at the Camp Nou, has been a festival of football, especially for the 43,280 who came along to Barça’s ground this Saturday evening.

Argentina takes control

QM3D2299.jpgBoth teams came out looking for a win. However, Argentina looked more dangerous with a series of swift counterattacks against a Catalan defence that was playing quite a long way up the field, and Agüero had chances to open the scoring in the 6th and 20th minutes. Nonetheless Catalonia was also creating scoring opportunities, especially through the indefatigable Luis Garcia.

The Argentineans were most clearly on top towards the end of the first half. Barça player Messi, playing on the right flank of the Argentine attack, gave David Garcia a torrid time and he also had a great chance playing in the centre forward slot which was well saved by Valdés in the 42nd minute. Team-mates but opponents this evening, today’s individual battle was won by the goalkeeper who was substituted at half-time with a clean sheet to his name.

Lavezzi makes it 0-1

QM3D2448.jpgCatalonia came out stronger after the break and Serrano had two good chances to give his side the lead. Argentina, by contrast, waited a bit before stepping on the gas and it was not until the 65th minute that they once again took control of the game with Messi still superb out on the right. However, ironically the Barça player had already left the field when Argentina made the scoreline 0-1 with Lavezzi slotting home in the 73rd minute.

Just two minutes later a fine piece of individual skill by Agüero almost made it 0-2. The last few minutes of the game, like much of the second half, saw a large number of substitutions for both teams.
Festival with win for Argentina (0-1)
Support for Milito
After the two national anthems had been played before the game, the Argentine players had their official pre-match photo taken holding up a sign saying ‘Stay strong Gabi', addressed to Barça player Gabriel Milito who picked up a serious cruciate ligament injury against Manchester United. The central defender will be sidelined for at least six months.

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