Select a Team

Prev Game: FIFA World Cup South American Thu 23rd Mar

prev game - Argentina
team 1 score team 2
Argentina 1 - 0 Chile

Next Game: FIFA World Cup South American Tue 28th Mar

next game - Argentina
team 1 score team 2
Bolivia 21:00 Argentina

Sabella starts with a win

Otamendi header sinks Venezuela in Kolkata

Last Updated: 02/09/11 7:52pm

  • Share:
Sabella: Starts his Argentina reign with a win over Venezuela thanks to Otamendi's goal

Sabella: Starts his Argentina reign with a win over Venezuela thanks to Otamendi's goal

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Nicolas Otamendi's second-half goal ensured new coach Alejandro Sabella started his Argentina reign on a winning note courtesy of a 1-0 success over Venezuela.

Lionel Messi, captaining his country for the first time, supplied the corner from which Porto defender Otamendi headed home the game's only goal in the 67th minute at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

Barcelona ace Messi, who featured as centre-forward in the previous regime under Sergio Batista, was given the role of playmaker, with Luis Gonzalez on the right and Angel Di Maria on the left.

The first two chances of the match fell to Di Maria - both courtesy of Messi assists - but the Real Madrid winger failed to find the breakthrough either from his shot from the edge of the area or when one on one with Venezuela goalkeeper Rafael Romo.

Messi also went close in the 23rd minute when Udinese shot-stopper Romo could not hold on, but the Fifa World Player of the Year was just unable to pounce on the loose ball.

Venezuela were defending deeply as half-time approached, restricting Sabella's men to long-range shots as they struggled to break down their opponents' defence.

The Venezuelans looked more positive after the break, but it was Argentina who continued to look the more dangerous.

Messi sent a free-kick just wide in the 62nd minute and then set up Gonzalo Higuain, who lashed his attempt against the bar.

The deadlock was finally broken minutes later as Otamendi powered home a header from Messi's corner.

A raft of substitutions did little to help the flow of the game in the final 20 minutes, although Romo had to be alert to keep out Messi on two more occasions.

Argentina will remain in Asia for another game on Tuesday - against Nigeria in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  • Share:


Most Popular


2018 draw explained

2018 draw explained

The road to Russia starts on Saturday as the qualifying draw for the 2018 World Cup takes place in St Petersburg.

Messi's wait goes on

Messi's wait goes on

After his latest disappointment with Argentina, we look at Lionel Messi's tournament history.

Messi and Tevez united

Messi and Tevez united

Will Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez’s unity be the catalyst for Argentina's Copa America glory?