How did the Argentine National Team go in San Juan?

From San Juan

Six played, six won. What a brand the Argentine National Team has in San Juan. The effectiveness is – for obvious reasons – at the top of the list of best localities of the national cast, of course the sample is very small compared to the games that have been played in the City and Province of Buenos Aires throughout history. But if it is measured with those celebrated in the interior of the country, the figure is more than interesting.

As only one of those matches was for the points – a key beat over Colombia for the complicated Qualifiers towards Russia 2018- calling the Bicentennial stadium an “amulet” sounds hasty. Anyway, the locality of San Juan stands out. Bound by the porteñocentrismo, The National Team does not have too many departures through the country: He barely visited eight provinces in official matches, taking out CABA and PBA, and only in four did he add more than five matches. The imposing mark of San Juan is followed Mendoza (11 games, 9 wins, two draws and 87.8% effectiveness), Cordova (11 games, 9 wins, one draw, one loss and 84.8%) and Santa Fe (15 games, 9 wins, 4 draws, two losses and 68.8%).

To host a joy this Tuesday against Brazil, the Bicentennial will raise its “mystical” category since the test is extremely difficult. Beyond the recent feat in the Copa América, the last eliminatory triumph over the rival superclassic was 16 years ago, in that remembered 3-1 with a double by Crespo and a great goal by Riquelme. From there, four eliminatory games were played, with two draws and two defeats; one of them the still fresh memory of when the team at that time led by Maradona moved to Rosario to receive Kaká, Robinho and company, with a 3-1 defeat.

And what to say if San Juan ends up being the scene chosen by chance -a kind of manifest destiny- for Messi to break a personal curse: he never scored a goal against Brazil for points (six games; one win, one draw and four losses). By friendlies, however, he scored five times in six games.

Onwards, a review of the six presentations of the National Team in this province, a story that began with local calls for surprising names if you look at them with the magnifying glass of the present, and grew to reach many of the figures of today.

Diego and the locals

January 2010, with the World Cup in South Africa nipping at his heels, Maradona’s national team appeared in its local version at the San Martín stadium against Costa Rica, which had just lost the playoff with Uruguay. In the Tico arc, a young Keylor Navas made his debut as team captain. Still in the Saprissa of his country, he started the wrong way: he fumbled a punch to clear a center from Hauche and Princito Sosa sent him to save with the empty bow. The visit responded with a fierce shot from a free kick to Campestrini’s pole, who complained to the barrier while those in red celebrated. Argentina would resume the victory with a divided ball that Guillermo Burdisso capitalized, but in the second half a visitor heads-up made it 2-2. At the end, Clemente Rodríguez overflows on the right side and a then promising Franco Jara who dominates her, lifts her up and hits her with a volley: great goal. The last one was Enzo Pérez punctured version, with a long-distance bombshell that went close. The starting eleven? Campestrini; Clemente, Burdisso, Matheu, Fabián Monzón; Mercier; Sosa, Erviti, Nico Gaitán; Hauche and Captain Palermo.

Bicentennial inauguration

March 2011, a 4-1 friendly win over the Venezuela of Maestrico González to inaugurate the new stadium with a full orchestra, with Cristina’s speech via teleconference included. The scenario would be used months later in the Copa América, which ended up being Uruguay on albiceleste soil. Checho Batista’s team won with goals from Pochi Chávez, Luciano Aued and a double from Pablo Mouche. Flashy names everywhere. The titular formation: Javier García; Maidana, Lisandro López, Pillud; Valeri, Yacob, Ariel Rojas; Chávez, Moralez, Defederico; Mouche.

The stars came

June 2015, the last preparatory match for the Tata Martino National Team before the Copa América in Chile. Festival against Bolivia and triumph 5-0 with two shouts from Angel Di María and three from Sergio Agüero. Messi was not with the team since he had to play the Champions League final with Barcelona. The headlines, with many of the heroes of Brazil 2014: Sergio Romero; Roncaglia, Otamendi, Garay, Rojo; Gago, Banega, Pastore; Say Maria, Agüero, Lavezzi.

Messi’s turn

May 2016, again a friendly as a farewell before traveling to the Copa América, this time in the United States. Tight 1-0 victory over Honduras and alarms that sounded very loud due to the departure due to injury of Messi, who made his bicentennial debut … The Rosario ended up losing the first match of the Cup because of that pain. Gonzalo Higuaín’s goal after Rojo’s pass. The starting eleven chosen by Martino, with Romero; Market, Otamendi, Funes Mori, Rojo; Mascherano, Biglia; Lamela, Messi, Di María; Higuain.

For the points

November 2016, South American Qualifiers clash against Colombia. Finally the acid test comes to the locality of Cuyo, and in a terrible moment of the team of Patón Bauza. He came from falling 3-0 with Brazil, had four without winning, had 16 points in 11 rounds and was sixth, even outside the playoffs. The exam is more than passed. 3-0 win over Pekerman’s men with goals from Messi from a free kick, Oso Pratto and Di María, both assisted by the captain. Argentina played with Romero; Mercado, Otamendi, Funes Mori, the San Juan Emmanuel Más; Mascherano, Biglia, Banega; Messi, Di María, Pratto. With five minutes to go, Huevo Acuña made its debut.

The Scaloneta

June 2019, last friendly before the Copa América in Brazil. Ninth game with Scaloni on the bench, beaten 5-1 over Nicaragua and several of the DT’s bets begin to appear that a couple of years later would become dividends. Messi’s double, Lautaro Martínez’s double and goal by Tucu Pereyra after a pass from De Paul, who was just playing his fifth national team match. The starting eleven: Armani; Saravia, Otamendi, Foyth, Acuña; Paredes, Guido Rodríguez, Lo Celso; Messi, Matías Suárez, Agüero.

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