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07.08.2008 17:11

Great performance by Messi on debut


Argentina beat Ivory Coast (1-2) in their first match at the Beijing Olympics. Leo Messi had an excellent game and scored the first Argentinean goal.

Leo Messi starred in the Argentinean victory over Ivory Coast (1-2) in his side’s first match at the Beijing Olympics. The Barça player was in the starting XI, scored the first goal and was his team’s best player in the game played in Shanghai.

Messi scores

MESSI_ARGENTINA_COSAT_IVORI_CELEBRACIO.jpgArgentina dominated the early minutes of the game and in the 6th minute goalie Angban saved well from ‘Kun' Agüero. But as time went by the Africans got back into the game, with Gervinho creating a lot of problems for the Argentina defence and almost scoring in the 17th minute. The game then quietened down until in the 43rd minute ex-Barça player Riquelme drove an excellent 40 yard through ball for Leo Messi to slot home and make it 0-1.


The goal seemed to have given Batista’s side the edge, but a mere eight minutes into the second half a fine header from Cisse put Ivory Coast back in contention. They kept up the pressure and in the 78th minute Gervinho almost scored with a cross shot.

Argentina comes back

With five minutes to go before the final whistle, Messi took a quick free-kick to Riquelme. His shot was blocked by the Ivory Coast keeper but the rebound was struck home by Seville’s Lautaro Acerca. The victory leaves the Argentineans on top of Group A.
Photo: www.fifa.com
Photo: www.fifa.com
Match stats
Ivory Coast, 1
Argentina, 2

Ivory Coast: Vincent Angban, Serge Wawa, Viera Diarrassouba Ousm, Brou Angoua, Mamadou Bagayoko, Herve Kambou, Kafoumba Coulibaly, Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Antoine N'Gossan (Franck Dja Djedje), Sekou Cisse (Anthony Moura-Komenan)

Argentina: Óscar Ustari, Ezequiel Garay, Luciano Monzón, Pablo Zabaleta, Nicolás Pareja, Fernando Gago, Juan Román Riquelme, Javier Mascherano, Ezequiel Lavezzi(Ángel Di Maria), Lionel Messi (José Ernesto Sosa), Sergio Agüero (Lautaro Acerca)

Goals: 0-1, Lionel Messi (min 43); 1-1 Sekou Cissé (min 53); 1-2 Lautaro Acerca (min 86)

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)

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