Mineirao Stadium, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Brazil: 0 vs. Argentina: 0
The national team directed by Basile played a good match, by and large, and I’d say we should have won the match. Brazil has always been known for the ability of their players and the enormous potential of most of his players to score goals. Well, none of that happened last night. Brazil only had 2 -two- serious chances of scoring goals, both in the first half. Abbondanzieri’s great night prevented Robinho and Adriano from scoring. In the second half, Pato stopped a free-kick shot by Julio Baptista.
Argentina showed a couple of interesting things: Abbondanzieri was a reliable goal keeper last night; Gago and Mascherano were “Lords” of the midfield and Messi appeared a couple of times. However, Lio missed two chances of scoring. The last one was spoiled by Julio Cesar after “La Pulga” shot hard but to the middle of the goal, where Julio Cesar was standing.
In the defense, a not so good performance of Burdisso once again: he finds it difficult to pass the ball to other Argentinians players (most of the time he just hit the ball with no direction). Coloccini and Heinze both had acceptable performances.
Riquelme, another no-show. Cruz had little chances of scoring, but he nontheless was in front of Julio Cesar twice and missed both (one with his head in the first half, the latter after a great pass from Riquelme, he shot the ball with his left leg and sent it to where the Brazilian supporters were standing).
Having said this, here is what each player deserves:
1- Pato Abbondanzieri 7: A good night for Pato. Stopped an amazing shot in the first half, which could have meant a 1-0 for Brazil. It could have been an 8, but he kinda made a mistake a few minutes after he spoiled that chance.
2- Burdisso 4: Tell this guy he can pass the ball to his partners.
3- Coloccini 6: A good performance for Colocha.
4- Heinze 5,5: Good at preventing Brazilians from attacking. A bit slow at times, tho, and he had some difficulties in making the right decision with the ball in his feet.
5- Zanetti 5: Not too bad, not too good, either.
6- Mascherano 7,5: A lion, like always. One of the best players.
7- Gago 8: I hate to say this, but man of the match. Excellent passes and run like he’s never done before.
8- Jonás Gutiérrez 5,5: A lot of commitment towards the team. He was helpful, as he blocked Maicon.
9- Riquelme 5: Another no show for this jackass.
10- Messi 6: Could have done more, particularly when in front of Julio César.
11- Cruz 3,5: Missed every single chance he had. However, it showed his will to play.
On the Bench, then on the Field:
12- Agüero 4: He did almost nothing.
13- Battaglia (-): Too little time spent on the field to qualify.
14- Palacio (-): Did not touch the ball. Same as Battaglia.