Monday, October 2, 2023

Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador | Columnists | Sports

Let’s not go around, those five from the title will go to the World Cup. We are often asked who classifies. Those who go. Sixth…? It can be between Paraguay and Venezuela. “But a date was played and there were eighteen…” they replied. Yes, but this is the perception that the past friendships and the opening day will leave us, the game of each one, the squad they have, their coach. The most beautiful tournament begins, the one with the most competitive tension, the only one that does not award the title of winner. And the hardest in the world: the South American qualifying round What did we see at the beginning of the qualifying round…?

* Abundance. The one from Brazil. Without Vinícius (injured), Antony (reported for assaulting his ex-girlfriend) and Paquetá (under investigation for an irregular betting scheme), he sent Rodrygo, Raphinha, Neymar and Richarlison on the field. They beat Bolivia: 5 to 1. And Gabriel Jesús and Gabriel Martinelli, both from Arsenal, were left in the room. We are talking about six attackers with goals, creativity and power. If you have such an endowment it is impossible not to get a ticket. At the back, Eder Militão and Thiago Silva are missing, but Marquinhos and Gabriel Magalhaes are there. Ederson went in goal and Alisson on the bench.

Brazil faces a tie with an interim coach. And when he plays without a coach it’s the same, it’s always Brazil.

* Revolution. That of Marcelo Bielsa of Uruguay. He broke down a wall worse than the Berlin wall: 120 years of watching, playing and interpreting football. Far from the historically violent, defensive and ground-breaking game of Uruguayan football, the coach left Suárez, Cavani and other references during the Tabárez era, putting together a very young team, with an average of 23 years old, and left his mark on them. “My style is to attack,” said the man from Rosario. And Uruguay came out with a fixed bayonet. Quick start from the back, quick transitions with long passes in the middle, opening up to the ends and reaching more people. The blue boys got the idea and swept Chile 3 to 1. Many new names in Uruguay will soon be known.

* Not common. The small number of the public in the Centenario stadium to witness what could be a new era, that of Bielsa: almost 28,000 spectators. When Uruguay is already the most expensive country in South America, tickets are overpriced and people abstain. But the team has aroused great enthusiasm, even in the media, and the next date at home is sure to be full.

* Revolution II. The other is from Colombia, with Néstor Lorenzo. We foresee that he will have a good World Cup and reach the finish line with peace of mind. This is not a Colombia with superheroes. No more Valderramas, Asprillas, Willingtons, Valencias, Falcaos. Instead, it will be a team marked by excellence. More defensive security, also fast travel through the middle and movement. There are no bright names and they still lack scorers, they will surely score through elaboration and be anyone. In the 1-0 against Venezuela it was Borré, on Tuesday it could be something else. Colombia has played nine games with Lorenzo, eight friendlies and this one for points. He has nothing to lose. The numbers don’t tell everything, but they do say something.

* Race. The different player from Colombia, obviously, is Luis Díaz, a real star at Liverpool. However, he missed the dedication game of the national team, one that broke everything. Against Brazil or Argentina, one with three goals, one that alone wins, one that changes it. Like that. He plays well, he converts, he lacks that. And he has been wearing the yellow jersey for 40 years.

* Once again… Messi. It’s amazing that a player is excited for 19 years and scores goals twice a week, football has never seen that. Not with Maradona or Pelé. If it wasn’t his crowning night, he once again defined a game that was complicated for Argentina. As Nico Estévez, Spanish coach of Dallas FC in the United States pointed out: “A free kick for Messi is equivalent to a penalty for other players.” The obstacle seemed like a crowd, but he still put it next to the post and Argentina won 1 to 0. Maradona told him in 2010, when he urged him to take set pieces: “In free kick, if the ball passes between the heads of the first and second type of obstacle is a goal.” That’s where the ball actually went. For 36 years he defined sports even walking. And this is his 12th game in 48 days, with trips in between, without finishing the preseason, changing countries, clubs, tournaments. What will not change is its brutal effectiveness.

* Weight. Moisés Caicedo will have to endure from now on, the record transfer in the entire history of the Premier League: 144,5 million dollars for a blocking midfielder. Something that doesn’t seem to make sense. On every trip to the field they look at it and weigh it according to that value. It is an element that plays forty or fifty meters from the goal, it does not have a goal or a pass-goal, it cannot be seen to end it. He is in charge of controlling Messi. And he didn’t do it badly. But near the end he made a mistake, an unnecessary foul on Lautaro Martínez on the edge of the area when Martínez made a backward pass. He arrived late and stepped on it. From the free kick, Messi scored and Argentina won. It has happened to him in two games at Chelsea.

* Approved. Despite the defeat, Ecuador once again showed the emotional fiber of its troops, the physical strength and the quality of its defenses. And it should be noted that the best of those behind is gone: Piero Hincapié. He played a very decent game against Argentina, although he didn’t finish the goal, he lacked offensive volume. But he has the makings of a good team. Lionel Scaloni highly praises the Tricolor: “We don’t believe that Ecuador is a normal team, because it is one of the best.” And that’s how the whole continent sees it. Also, you have to raise the 3 points less you have as a penalty. And now comes a very happy Uruguay.

* Worth it. The victory of Argentina. It was hard, but he was looking for it from start to finish. He has six goal situations – in addition to the goal – against any of his opponents, who are waiting for him behind. He wants to win and please the 85,000 fans who came to see the champion. But the Albiceleste did not shine, it was difficult to do so against a team that was very strong physically from the middle to the back and buckled. Even if it doesn’t hurt. At least not this time.

* Sticks. “Golden point”, “Remarkable tie”, “Con ten”… The titles of the Lima press refer to the Peruvian team. Very effusive. And they didn’t lie. But they are hiding. They hid the stormy Paraguay. Six shots on the posts and five or six miraculous blocks by Gallese (or very miraculous), eleven corners against against one in favor of Peru, 60% owned by Paraguay (which seems to be more than that …), 19 Guaraní shots every 5 from Peru… Juan Reynoso’s new team arrived in Ciudad del Este – where it was played – without six starters: Lapadula, Cueva, Aquino, Callens, Zambrano and Édison Flores . However, it was very overwhelming. And on Tuesday they host Brazil…

* Push. Paraguay, it must be emphasized, poured into the grass an irresistible desire to start winning to end the series of missing three World Cups. And he did everything for it, except on purpose. It was his fault. But it has an unbearable intensity at times. La Albirroja is like Johan Cruyff’s Clockwork Orange, attacking through air, sea and land. Let’s see how Paraguay compares to other opponents. And a player to follow: the young left forward Ramón Sosa (Talleres de Córdoba will get several millions for him). He drove Advíncula crazy out of nowhere. The Boca side gave him two terrible blows and he was sent off. (THOUGH).

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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