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Bolivia 21:00 Argentina

Tardelli not fussed about goal

Assistant not drawn on Di Maria goal

By Mike Barton.   Last Updated: 11/08/10 11:07pm

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Tardelli not fussed about goal

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Republic of Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli claimed that he did not want to talk about controversy after a 1-0 defeat by Argentina.

Tardelli's side were beaten by Angel Di Maria's solitary effort in the 20th minute after he lobbed Shay Given to give Argentina the lead despite appearing offside from Gonzalo Higuain's flick-on to Sergio Romero's goal kick.

The aftermath bore significant resemblance to that of Thierry Henry's clear handball in the build up to France's winner against Ireland last November that sent them to the World Cup, with Given berating the referee's assistant.

However, Tardelli insisted he wanted to talk about the performance of the team rather than the nature of the goal.

"My opinion was offside but I would prefer to speak about the players and the team," he said.

"I don't know but I think we paid attention during the match whether it was onside or not.

"We played very well in the second half, in the first half the team was afraid, I don't know why."

Important night

On a night of landmarks for the Ireland team, Robbie Keane won his 100th cap and looked to equal the record of England's record goalscorer Bobby Charlton by scoring 49 goals for his country.

It was not to be however on the country's first game in the newly refurbished Aviva Stadium; with Tardelli putting the size of the occasion down to his team's sloppy performance in the first period.

"I think maybe as it was a very important night for our captain (Keane)," he added.

"I'm very sorry because if he'd scored then maybe he would have reached Bobby Charlton's record.

"It would have been very important for him but I hope he will score next time."

Trapattoni recovery

Tardelli took the reins in light of manager Giovanni Trapattoni being taken to hospital, but insisted that he made the choices and that the veteran Italian was recovering well.

"I spoke with Giovanni before the match but he told me to decide what I want. I spoke with him before and he is very well and I am very happy because he's been operated on and he is ok," said Tardelli.

"This night I was in the chair beside Giovanni, my chair is beside him."

Keane also spoke of his disappointment not to get on the scoresheet, claiming that the quality of the opposition, which included World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, as the main factor why they failed to perform.

"It was one of those nights," he said.

"We couldn't get near them, to be honest. They're some of the best players in the world.

"We didn't really create a lot of chances.

"It wasn't the best game for us but we can take some positives."

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