Bad news for Argentina, and contrary to what some commentators have been spouting over the past 12 months – Lionel Messi is human. His first half miss against Ecuador proved that even superstars can have off days. The penalty miss from Carlos Tevez in the same half demonstrated that he’d been taking lessons from Manchester United teammate Dimitar Berbatov. At this level you have to take your chances – never was a cliché more apt as La Selección were beaten 2-0 in the monsoon like conditions of Quito. The classic game of two halves saw Argentina make a composed and solid start playing with a back four as opposed to the back three which started against Colombia. Ecuador threatened much more in the second half as Argentina were pushed further and further back with the thin air taking it’s toll, possession was ceded far too often. Two goals in 10 minutes reawakened memories of La Paz and a 3rd goal was only prevented by the post. This was by no means Bolivia Pt II, however the manner in which the team folded in the 2nd half is cause for concern.
‘Yesterday we lost the game and we should have won it, we lacked a goal. We played well’ Carlos Tevez in bullish mood, although this positivity was tempered by a more sobering ‘we have to be worried [about qualification] although it’s all in our own hands’. September sees them take on Brazil at home and Paraguay away.
To make a bad night worse the team’s aircraft suffered technical problems and as a consequence the players were condemned to spend another night Quito to contemplate how it all went wrong.