Things didn’t go as planned and it could have been much worse for Argentina against Venezuela.
No Lionel MESSI and Paulo DYBALA (also, no AGUERO and HIGUAIN although if you ask many that may have been a good thing), Edgardo BAUZA’s second match in charge of the Argentina National Team came away to last place Venezuela. With Ever BANEGA and Erik LAMELA in the line-up, Angel DI MARIA saw a lot more of the ball than he normally would and that wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
After a steady start to the match, two defensive errors by left back Marcos ROJO saw Venezuela take the lead through a fantastic strike by JUANPI. Half-time couldn’t have come any sooner for BAUZA’s men as the home team nearly scored a second just seconds after their first. The second half saw MARTINEZ score Venezuela’s second and at 2-0 away from home, even a draw would feel like a win.
BAUZA made some tactical changes in the second half introducing three very attack minded players in Angel CORREA (for Erik LAMELA), Lucas ALARIO (for Lucas BIGLIA) and Nicolas GAITAN (for Marcos ROJO). After some hard work in the box (and generally throughout the match) by Lucas PRATTO, the forward had luck on his side (though deserved luck) as he scored his first goal for Argentina with an outside of the boot finish to cut the lead in half. The goal seemed to have give Argentina some life and Nicolas OTAMENDI tied it all up as he scored his third goal for his country (two of those three against Venezuela as his first ever international goal came against them as well).
At 2-2, both teams were going for it and both teams had chances. For Venezuela, a free kick which Sergio ROMERO came out for but completely missed and the Venezuelan player missed an open net as he headed the ball above the bar. Their second chance came after Sergio ROMERO didn’t catch the ball properly and it fell to a Venezuelan player inside the area who’s shot hit the post.
Considering the players who were absent for Argentina and possible fatigue after having to play with 10 men for 45 minutes against Uruguay just days earlier, this result could have been much worse for BAUZA and his team.
Venezuela’s first goal:
— Mesfouf & Koshary (@MesfoufKoshary) September 7, 2016
Venezuela’s second goal:
Venezuela lead 2-0 vs Argentina.
— Rorotaryan.™ (@Roromeo_MUFC10) September 7, 2016
Lucas PRATTO’s goal:
Nicolas OTAMENDI’s goal:
The reaction from the bench on OTAMENDI’s goal: