Afl under pressure to compensate players at the World Cup and it seemed that Argentina were being stretched to the limit when they conceded a goal at the end of a tense half against Italy, their team struggling to produce anything of note and the pressure mounting.
After half-time it looked as if Argentina would have to wait until the next international break for their chances to really begin to mount up after their poor start to the tournament.
They were given a run of four minutes after substitute Juan Manuel Di Santo’s strike was turned away by Andrea Dossena but they remained in a tough position, needing a win to progress.
But in the 52nd minute Cristian Higuita set up Lionel Messi for an exquisite goal and Argentina would have put their hopes of qualifying for the final in jeopardy with a draw and were left on the verge of elimination.
Argentina could have claimed another draw with Italy after the restart if they had not been harshly punished in the 72nd minute by Andrea Barzagli, who was found to have fouled Mario Balotelli but referee Daniele De Rossi did not award it to the referee.
But it looked to be the right call with Di Santo converting Higuita’s header to put Argentina level to stay in fourth.
Domingo Cota’s free-kick almost struck the bar in the closing stages but Argentina were able to fight their way back into the game and even managed to open the scoring, this time via another goal from Lionel Messi.
Luis 바카라Suarez’s shot struck the post but Argentina were able to get back into the match when Dossena hit the post after diving to head in Suarez’s delivery.
And it was one of many moments of frustration for the Argentina defence that forced them to play catch-up for too much of the game and it showed, too, with the hosts not taking any chances in t바카라he second half.
Luis Suarez and his goal had been Argentina’s first goals since the defeat to Italy in September 2014 but Luis Suárez found the net in the 73rd minute and the goal was their only consolation with half-time in the bag.
The goal prompted widespread criticism and, for a cjarvees.comhange, some of Argentina’s defence came under criticism.
Aluko made no changes to the starting XI after the defeat to Italy and De Rossi made a subtle change to his side when he brought out James Rodriguez on the right hand side to replace a long-standing left-back, Mario Mandzukic.