Lionel Messi’s Argentina squad got their World Cup campaign off the ground this morning in a match against Nigeria in Johannesburg. Manager Diego Maradona, sporting a new look for the tournament, surprised some observers by changing his core formation to a 4-3-3 in order to accommodate an extra striker, in this case Carlos Teves, who was joined by Messi and Higuain in the Argentine attack. Follow this story after the jump to see if the experiment paid off.
Argentina defeated Nigeria today 1-0 thanks to a goal by defender Gabriel Heinze in the 6th minute of the match. Despite the victory, the Argentines were in general unconvincing, with Higuain in particular wasteful in attack, and Jonás Gutiérrez often exposed at the back. For his part, Lionel Messi had a very good game, coming inches away from scoring on a number of occasions, and linking up well with his teammates. The Nigerians demonstrated this impotence during the match with only goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to thank for keeping the game close. Substitute Kalu Uche could have tied the game with 10 minutes remaining but scuffed his shot over the goal.
Maradona, for his part, was relatively restrained during the match, although he did surprise everyone by wearing a formal suit in place of his usual tracksuit.
Argentina face South Korea in their next group match on Thursday, June 17. While we’re waiting for that game, tell us what you thought of the Argentine performance today.
|Stadium:||Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa|
|Wolfgang Stark (Referee)|