On Sunday September 3rd the two teams met at Arsenal’s magnificent new Emirate’s stadium in London before a sell-out 60,000 crowd in a match billed as a friendly. The two teams had never met in London before.
Both teams disappointed in the 2006 World Cup and were anxious to put that right, and both teams took the field under new coaches too, the former Brazilian captain Dunga, and Basile for Argentina.
The big crowd were disappointed to find that Ronaldhino had not recovered from a dead leg sustained in the Super Cup final, his replacement Elano promptly made his mark by opening the scoring for Brazil in the third minute.
The match kicked off in warm sunshine and with good support in the stadium for both teams the players must have felt right at home. Also crammed in the stadium were many West Ham United fans, anxious to get their first sight of their two amazing signings, Tevez and Mascherano. Hammers’ fans can’t wait to see these exciting young players sporting the famous claret and blue at Upton Park.
Cicinho made another impressive run almost the length of the field before shooting wide. Brazil always looked dangerous on the break, Robinho looked lively, while Messi and Tevez promised better things for Argentina.
Half Time Brazil 1 Argentina 0
Messi missed a headed chance in the first minute of the second half, then Riquelme, who had been disappointing, was booked for kicking an opponent. Argentina started the second half much the better, gradually pushing Brazil back. They missed another great chance to equalise when the ball whistled across the face of the goal. Kaka replaced Carvalho in the 59th minute for Brazil, but it was still all Argentina as they strove to level the score.
The unusually named Fred fired over a great volley for Brazil in the 66th minute and almost immediately afterwards, and against the run of play, Elano scored his second goal, tucking the ball neatly into the corner of the net. Then in the 82nd minute Robinho fired fiercely over and Brazil had now weathered the Argentinian pressure.
But the best goal of the match came from Kaka in the 89th minute when he picked the ball up half way in his own half and raced the length of the pitch to score a fabulous goal and seal victory for Brazil.
Brazil won this game because their attacks always carried more potency. Argentina lacked any cutting edge and certainly missed the absent Crespo. A friendly match it wasn’t, an exciting match it was. Over £2 million was matched on the game at the London Betting Exchange Betfair. You can still qualify for a free $30 bet on betfair.com if you enter the code 6CHE3VPWJ where required.
So it’s back to the drawing board for Argentina, while any Brazilian lack of confidence after their disappointments in Germany will have been well and truly banished.
Final Score: Brazil 3 Argentina 0