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Copa America: A Dreadful Start

July 2, 2011

 

Bolivia celebrate Argentina's bit of clownery...

Argentina 1 x 1 Bolivia.

The 43rd installment of the Copa America has officially started.

And in terrible fashion.

The hosts, ultra favourites to win the tournament, were lucky to pull a draw against Bolivia, the ultra underdogs.

The Bolivian side found inspiration in Edivaldo Rojas, who (sort of) opened the score with a slick back-heel kick off a corner, which gracefully landed in front of Banega, who then – God knows why or how – decided to back-heel it again, and thereby pushing the ball into his own net. Bolivia 1 x o Argentina at the 48th minute, on a blunder from Banega and Romero, the Argentine keeper.

Desperation descended upon the Argentine squad, and Bolivia kept things locked and tight at the back.

We saw a few brilliant flashes of genius from Messi in the first half, setting up plays for his forwards, Tevez and Lavezzi, as gracefully and beautifully as we often see him do in the colours of Barcelona…but, alas, his genius was gone in the second 45 minutes of the game.

Messi disappeared. Inexplicably. Once again, the World’s Best Player failed to give his country the same panache he displays at club level.

And people still insist on comparing him to Maradona.

Shameful.

At the 76th minute: a miracle.

While both teams played a ridiculously infantile and scrappy style of football, Kun Aguero decided to liven things up a bit.

From a gorgeous Burdisso chest pass, Aguero powerfully volleyed the ball, launching it like a rocket into the back of the Bolivian net. 1 x 1. A true golazo!

But that was it.

Everything else was, to put it mildly, crap.

A poor start. A sad opener.

But also, an eye opener.

Batista and his Argentina have a long road ahead of them. As hosts, it is theirs the responsibility to throw a good party.

The pressure is on, and heavy, but with world-class names such as Di Maria, Tevez, Aguero, Zanetti and, of course, Messi, they do have what it takes to deliver the goods.

It’s up to them.

 

RB.

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