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Emiliano Martinez (5): In just his 20th game with the National Team, he had all the bad luck that had been escaping him. Victim of the very cornered definition of Al Shehri in the 1-1. He flew from side to side in the 1-2 play and his slap did not reach to drown out Al Dawsari’s terrible goal.

Nahuel Molina (4): with Di María by his side, he was the side that went under attack the least. But when he did, he was judicious. He put a nice ball in for De Paul in the box late in the first half. He was left in the 1-2 picture by an incredible stay inside the area, when he let Al Dawsari dominate a divided ball without even bothering him.

Christian Romero (3): It was all happiness for Cuti when Arabia was not attacking, he even took the spear in the first half and went on the attack, showing his skills as a total player with a spectacular hook inside the rival area and a less successful pass to the middle. With Arabia in attack it was all disappointment, shortcomings and frustration, as a little dear television commentator would say. He lost one-on-one with Al Shehri in a 1-1 goal: he waited too long to see what the forward would do and he won a time. He came out at 58 with the 1-2 thing and was very exposed due to his physical condition, one of the great fears of the previous due to his recurring injuries.

Nicolas Otamendi (4): In his third World Cup and first as second center back, he had more work than expected. He played his role as the bad boy of the defense by not accepting an apology from the Saudi No. 5 after a crash. He had good crosses with the badly stopped team, but missed both goals. In the first he hesitated and ended up out of frame; in the second he made a lazy clearance in full disaster in the Argentine area.

Nicolas Tagliafico (3): It started complicated because a rabid sun lived in its sector, but that was the lesser of its evils. With a mistake of his he started the play from 1-2: he went to fight with his head a ball in which Papu was already in, he lost and they overwhelmed him. It almost made it 2-2 when a shot from Lisandro Martínez deflected off it. He left skin cutting a dangerous counter, going headfirst into a split. He came out at 70.

Rodrigo DePaul (3): the one who always performs in the National Team, did not perform. Part of the great plan of the French Renard was to cover the Argentine midfield and De Paul was one of those who suffered the trap. He missed a lot of passes (74 percent accuracy) and lost a lot of balls. He even noticed that he lacked confidence when he had a ball left at the door of the area in the first half that he sent to the clouds. Scaloni put up with him throughout the game, confirming that he is a key player for the National Team’s aspirations.

Leandro Paredes (5): They gave him the debatable penalty that opened the scoring and he was very active in the first half. He’s also accurate: he hit 46 of 49 passes in that stretch (93 percent accuracy). After the anxiety due to the tie, he lost a complicated ball and generated another head grab from the fans. He went with everything but did not manage to cover the shot from 2 to 1. He paid the piper and came out in the triple variation of Scaloni to go for the tie.

Alejandro Gomez (5): He won the position of Lo Celso -at least in his debut- but he played much more open, almost as a winger. In defense, he stuck to Tagliafico and in attack, on the wing. He was one of the few who risked losing level in the one-on-one and, although not all of them came out, he got violations with his good management of the art of simulation. Very nice balls to Messi and Lautaro in two of the disallowed goals.

Angel Di Maria (4): His first overflow came a minute and a half into the game and things were looking good for the ex-Central. But he began to insist on facing inward and missed the opportunity to go all the way. In the defensive facet he did not blush to get 4 when Molina was badly off; nor to go to the floor to fight divided. He reached a goal situation a couple of times, but both times he finished off lightly or with a flaw.

Lautaro Martinez (5): two impeccable definitions, one celebrated and zero goals. Another of the victims of the excellent Saudi task shooting the offside (they charged him three). As usual in La Scaloneta, he touched few balls and covered Messi in the defensive facet. When Argentina lost, he combined very well with Di María to assist Messi, who did not manage to define in the area. He ended up being the only hope for a goal for the Albiceleste as he was constantly sought after with centers.

Lionel Messi (4): Just after 10 minutes, the 10th opened the scoring with a penalty that was as successful as it was played: goalkeeper on one side and ball, slowly, on the other. Almost as a matter of alternation, he returned to wet in a cup debut after the failed game against Iceland in 2018 (in 2006 he scored in his first game, against Serbia and Montenegro; in 2010 he could not with Nigeria; and in 2014 he scored against Bosnia and Herzegovina). He defined very well in one of the three disallowed goals, but little counts on what came next. He lost the ball in the Saudi draw and the team was left in a very bad light. He had two clear ones to tie it: at 55 he was anticipated in the area after a great play by Lautaro and Di María and at 83 he headed lightly into the goalkeeper’s hands after a cross from Fideo. At 94 minutes, with the goalkeeper on either side after colliding with Molina, he got caught up instead of finishing off and they took it away.

Lisandro Martinez (5): The Manchester United defender asked for a hint in the preview and was supposed to end up playing as the games progressed. It didn’t take him long to join the team, replacing Romero, apparently injured. SHe ate the goal that would have made it 2 to 2 with a shot that hits Tagliafico and ends up taking out the goalkeeper. With Arabia withdrawn, he had almost no defense job.

Enzo Fernandez (5): He entered to have a fresh leg in midfield, compensating for the departure of Papu Gómez for Julián Álvarez. He couldn’t unbalance.

Julian Alvarez (4): Scaloni opted for the exRiver, who had been on a streak at Manchester City. He was the last one, headfirst, at 10 minutes of discount. But his header was an easy thing for the Saudi goalkeeper, one of the figures of the match.

Marcos Acuna (-): more offensive than Tagliafico, the man from Neuquén entered to park on the left and open the field to the extreme. He took charge of the corners from his wing and as soon as he entered he located Messi well with a long pass.

Source: Pagina12

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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