It’s France vs. Argentina and Croatia vs. Denmark for the round of 16.
What a goal it was by maestro Messi, the control the first touch and right foot goal. Class. The way Argentina started the game in the first half they were looking like a different team overall. The good understanding between players, good calculated passes and very nice game by Otamendi and Rojo, who scored the winning goal a wrong foot volley. The midfield looked good, the understanding between Mascherano and Banega was good, and the pass from Benega to Messi for the first goal was outstanding. I said it on my last blog that Sampaoli needs to start Benega in the starting eleven of the game. Overall it was a good first half. That is what I said, play Benega I had no idea why he didn’t start the other two games. The second half started nice and it all went wrong in after the penalty given to Nigeria, because of a schoolboy error from Mascherano. The way he pushed and pulled William was wrong, the referee could have ignored it without VAR but with VAR and all that slow-motion camera angle you can’t escape all this silly old school mistake. After the goal, all of sudden Argentina lost its way and back to same old Argentina style, players were getting into each other path they had no clue what to do if not able to find Messi, passing was not good and I don’t understand why Argentinian player doesn’t cross the ball into the box area. They got a player like Higuain who can score good headers still they will not cross the ball and playback and side passes. In between both, the team got chances to score goals. The second VAR for the handball against Rojo was a good decision to not give a penalty since the ball hit his head and then his hand. Again, the substitution was pathetic from Sampaoli, you got a player like Dybala and Aguero but still, you bring on Pavon and Meza. I saw two corner kick taken by Meza and Banega and both were defended by Nigerian players in near post itself, I mean its a fucking corner kick not a low cross or a throw pass in the box and the shot by Pavon, wow really, it went like 10 feet above the goal post. The closest chance was by Higuain and yet again he missed it, a simple shot from a cross which was rear cross or I think by mistake, he wasted a good chance like always. The goal by Rojo was class, on his wrong foot and a full volley into the bottom corner of the post, what a goal and what a cross by Gabriel. Nigeria got good chances but they couldn’t capitalise on them. Musa was not effective and how speed was not helpful. Nigeria midfield let the team down, in sending half when Argentina was not playing good and still Nigeria was not able to hit them on the counter-attack. Each time they go forward they were losing the ball and possession. I will not tell Argentina got lucky or Nigeria deserve to qualify for next round. No team deserve or don’t deserve, they all got equal chances to make it to next round if they play and keep their nerves check they will win, see Mexico and Uruguay.
“France is like South Africa in Cricket or Karna from Mahabharata”
on 30th June Argentina will meet France for the round of 16. As good as France is and the way Argentina is playing it is not that hard to guess what will be the outcome of the game. But there is always an IF in the game, and that IF is the way France played til now in all three games of their group matches. France vs. Denmark was the first goalless draw game in the world cup. Don’t take me wrong, France is team for me most complete team in the tournament, they got young talent in each section of the pitch on other hands, this Argentina team is the oldest team in their world cup team history. If the front 3 of France turn up the heat, the lights of Dembélé, Griezmann and Mbappé along with Thomas Lemar and Nabil Fekir then I don’t think Argentina can handle it, they gonna destroy Argentina defence with their speed and movement with and without the ball with their individual talent. It will a recall of last world cup semi-final between Brazil and Germany. With that, the way France is playing and has played in last three games they don’t look sharp and the coordination is missing between players. I think till now Mr Didier Deschamps didn’t figure out his best starting eleven, and why? just because of the pool of talent they got he is not able to figure out. The other side, Sampaoli not able to start his best 11 for Argentina got why? because he thinks and believes that his way of style is the best for Argentina, that’s what he said after Croatia game. The game France vs Denmark showed that France is venerable and the defence can be broken down, just need a magical Messi or Dybala run. For that Sampaoli just start Dybala. I can how dumb the couch can be not to start Dybala with Messi. Argentina needs a magic moment from Messi or anyone else and hopes that French attack doesn’t turn up on Saturday. As we all know France games you cant predict what going to happen, see what happen last Euro 16 final. They were the team to win it and that too Portugal missed the presence of Ronaldo and still, France couldn’t score a single goal. France is like South Africa in Cricket or Karna from Mahabharata, they are very talented but you never know when they going to collapse or maybe you will not even realise what hit you and destroyed you.