Argentina start with 2-1 win in Group C
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Argentina beat the Ivory Coast 2-1 in a highly-entertaining first match of Group C in Hamburg, Saturday evening.
The game saw the team in orange and the team of the blue and white stripes trading attacks at a furious pace all match. The Argentines dominated the first half while in the second half it was Ivory Coast who had opponents defending.
As the excitement reached a climax, on 82 minutes the pressure of the team two goals down paid when a great attack ended with a Didier Drogba score. He struck a first time shot low past Roberto Abbondanzieri from the middle of the penalty area.
The Argentines had scored first when an in-swinging freekick delivered by Juan Riquelme was knocked-down in front of goal. Hernan Crespo pounced on the loose ball inside the six yard box to score on 25 minutes.
On 37 minutes the Argentine midfield "quarterback" Riquelme made the second goal when he split the Ivory Coast line with another well-executed pass. It had just the right strength that the runner Javier Saviola had only to stab past the oncoming keeper to score.
Roberto Abbondanzieri had a strong shot-blocking and tackling defence in front of him, supplemented by two defence-minded midfielders. The only real sight on goal the Ivory Coast had in the first half drew out of him a point blank save from the boot of Kadar Keita.
The incredible stamina, enthusiasm and high technical skill shown by the west African team, nicknamed "the Elephants", really tested the Argentina defence. But while pressed back, Jose Pekerman's side commanded the game, having had 60 percent of the ball possession, and looked dangerous on the break.
The quick accurate passing, movement and speed of ball play led to some mistimed challenges; five cautions were awarded by the Belgium referee. This may reflect the hard, competitive spirit in which the game was played.
The evening's entertainment in Hamburg had begun with some controversy when Ivory Coast goalkeeper Jean-Jacques Tizie juggled with the ball on his line. No goal was given and in the end it did not change the result of the game for Argentina.
|June 10, 2006
- 01 R Abbondanzieri
- 21 N Burdisso
- 02 R Ayala
- 06 G Heinze 49'
- 03 J Sorin
- 18 R Maxi
- 08 J Mascherano
- 05 E Cambiasso
- 10 J Riquelme (Substituted: 90' P Aimar)
- 07 J Saviola 41' (Substituted: 76 L Gonzalez 81' )
- 09 H Crespo (Substituted: 64' R Palacio)
Ivory Coast 
- 01 J Tizie
- 21 E Eboue 62'
- 04 K Toure
- 12 A Meite
- 02 A Boka
- 03 K Akale (Substituted: 62 B Kone)
- 05 D Zokora
- 08 B Kalou (Substituted: 56 A Dindane)
- 18 A Keita (Substituted: 77 A Kone)
- 19 G Toure
- 11 D Drogba 90'
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