BUENOS AIRES – The Argentina’s football team may have won a must-win game against Chile in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, but its press has been condemning the players for winning “without football and without ideas”
“The win was everything; the game nothing,” read the front page of the morning edition of La Nacion , accompanied by a photo of Lionel Messi after he scored a winning penalty last week.
Coach “Edgardo Bauza came through: before the game he said Argentina had to win ‘in any way’, and that is how it was. The team gave a very poor impression on the grass of the Monumental.” continued La Nacion .
“We played for three points,” resumed the sports newspaper Ole , after Bauza had said Argentina was playing “for 10 points” due to the importance of the game. Clarin also condemned the team, stating “Argentina won without football, but entered the classification zone.”
It added that Messi’s penalty had been “controversial” after an uncertain foul on Angel di Maria, and that Argentina had “ended being dominated by its rival.”
With five games to play in South American qualifying, Brazil is leading the pack on 30 points, followed closely by Uruguay (23), Argentina (22) and Colombia (21). The first four places are guaranteed to qualify for the World Cup. Ecuador and Chile are both on 20 points.
The next matches will be played on Tuesday, with Ecuador facing Colombia, Bolivia playing Argentina, Chile versus Venezuela, Peru against Uruguay and Brazil against Paraguay.