Copa America review: Aguero salvages three points for Argentina in scrappy affair


It was a classic in South American football: Uruguay Vs Argentina. Uruguay having won Copa America 15 times and Argentina winning the competition 14 times. The match lived up to it’s billing as a battle between two giants who are not in the business of taking a day off. Argentina ended up being the victors with the minimal of scores, while Uruguay demonstrated an attack in the second half that should have sealed their place in the knockout rounds.

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The first half saw La Celeste place their entire squad behind the ball; not giving La Albiceleste room to create opportunities. They managed to keep Messi contained for a good part of the first half, but how long could you hold water in your hands? Messi created chances as he always does but his teammates were not on the same frequency as he was and they did not seize the gifts that Lionel presented. The first 45 minutes was just a show of a defensive minded Uruguay up against an Argentina that had their backs up against the wall. Tata Martino needed to capture 3 points in order to give his motherland a chance to make it to the knockout stages. There was almost a derailment when Diego Godin came ever so close to putting in a header past Romero.

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The game itself was a tight affair, which the following infographic, courtesy of Sports Matrix shows:

The anxiety of the whole situation must have gotten the best of Martino as the referee sent him to the back due to his invading of the pitch. It was an intriguing first half.

The second part of this battle saw more of the same from both sides. Uruguay kept trying to break the will of their neighbors by stopping every play they tried to get off. Diego Godin did a spectacular job of defending the whole game but sometimes you cannot stop destiny. Pastore received the ball at the edge of the box and somehow sent a cross that was hit by Aguero. It was the type of goal that I could not describe in word for you. Aguero dove through the air, hit the sphere with the back of his head and landed on his shoulder. Due to the rush of adrenaline, he could not feel the impacted and jolted to his feet to celebrate a well-deserved goal. Pastore and Aguero were kings at this moment.

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The shot by Aguero woke the beasts from Uruguay. La Celeste began to go on the attack; giving Argentina more trouble and fear than they did in the first half. The substitute Carlos Sanchez missed a perfectly placed shot right in front of the net after Romero had deflected a shot. My lips separated and my hands ran through my hair as I witnessed him miss a game changing shot. Where was this Uruguay in the first 45?

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Romero, who put on his superhero costume tonight, managed to stop two more shots that were destined to give the Uruguayans the victory. The football gods had mercy for Argentina tongiht, though did they play a wonderful game. I do wonder why an injured Aguero was not substituted till the 80th minute with Tevez. Why has Higuian seen zero playing time? Argentina played a good game and added more complicated scenarios for Group B.

Argentina (4 points) face Jamaica (0 points) and Uruguay (3 points) face Paraguay (4 points) for the next round of matches to determine who lands first place in the group, who is currently shared by Paraguay and Argentina.