Morning nightmare in Argentina after loss to Saudi Arabia

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Morning nightmare in Argentina after loss to Saudi Arabia

“Unusual”, ” Unexpected “, ” Sore “. The words are looping on Argentinian TV channels. “A global blow”headlines the sports daily Ole. More than a cold shower, it’s a blow. The loss (2-1) against Saudi Arabiaon Tuesday, left Argentina as stunned as their country when the referee signaled the end of the match.

Like the lost looks of Messi or Di Maria, at the end of 108 minutes which sowed more concerns than certainties, the memories of a dark past returned en bloc to the heads of the fans who all the same had to take the way to work or school, disappointed.

A country ready to play the 12th man

The whole country was however prepared to play the 12th man during this meeting. Students had the choice of watching the game at home or at school. The bakeries had planned an early opening to ensure that those who had set their alarm clocks would be ready, focused, as soon as the anthem sounded at 7 a.m. Convinced that their proteges were going to win, without imagining for a second that the Albiceleste, undefeated for 36 matches, would finally be beaten by a much weaker Saudi Arabia on paper.

Accompanied by coffees and medialunas, small Argentinian croissants, instead of beer, the country had seen a relaxed Leo Messi sure to open the scoring from the penalty spot after ten minutes of play. The ten, in the tenth minute: ” A sign ! Diego helps us from up there”rejoices the attendant of a service station in Buenos Aires, planted in front of the screen with all his colleagues while a queue forms at the pump.

It was without counting on the trap set by Hervé Renard and the artificial intelligence, nor the courage of a Saudi selection which had nothing to lose and reversed the score in five minutes after the break, nor the nervous reaction of an Albiceleste who had never been behind in 26 games.

“The actor arrived on Broadway but forgot his text”

Hugo Balassone, an Argentinian journalist

Seeing this imprecise Argentine team, tense as soon as Saudi Arabia passed in front, Argentine journalists and consultants still wanted to believe it until the end. They asked for additional minutes, accelerated their flow of words as if to give new impetus to the match, and no one wanted to believe that this team would not even bring back a small point at the end of this first day.

Optimism remains

“The worst game of the Scaloni era”headlined journalist Hugo Balassone afterwards in his column for TyC Sports. “The actor arrived on Broadway but forgot his text”, he wrote. But this time, unlike previous editions, the Argentine media and journalists want to remain optimistic, to avoid the defeatism and immediate criticism that have cost them many conflicts with Messi and the selection in the past.

Like their mixed zone captainso they call for unity behind the selection. “Now, more than ever, we have to support Argentina”, tweeted public television commentator Pablo Giralt. Same story for journalist Veronica Brunati: “Argentina must find Argentina. The worst thing that happened today is that she lost her sense of her game. She lost her bearings. […] Fortunately, there is still time. It is just beginning “.

The blow is hard and the next few days will be agitated in the country. But the reigning American champion will not give up so easily. From the Quiaca to Ushuaia via Doha, we refuse to surrender and consider a scenario like 2002 when, with Bielsa in charge, we saw an Argentina, despite being a favorite, return home at the end of the phase of band.


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