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After the victories against Ecuador, on the Boca court, and against Bolivia, in La Paz, the Argentine team closed a perfect double knockout date, at the beginning of a path that it hopes will take it to the World Cup in Qatar, in 2022. In this way, the balance after the start of the South American qualifiers was positive and one of the protagonists who emerged the most strengthened was Lionel Scaloni, the coach who took office without experience and little by little is gaining confidence.
When analyzing the game against Bolivia, Scaloni pointed out: “With the changes we always try to improve what we were doing, the guys who came in did well, they gave us more freshness. In Exequiel Palacios I found a great soccer player. We know what it can give us and we are happy. Taking the initial 15 minutes, we were a team that knew very well what it was playing. We were able to withstand the attacks during the first minutes and we were fortunate to draw before halftime ”.
Another of those who spoke after the triumph was Lautaro Martinez, who started in both games: “It is possible to win at height, of course. We had thought about what this match meant to us because of everything that had happened in previous years. It’s difficult to play here, it changes a lot with respect to playing on the plain, but this young, new team, which also has experienced players like Leo (Messi) and Nico (Otamendi), they all killed each other; it was a matter of seeing them jump to head, run, press … “And he added:” Many things were said, but we are focused on winning and leaving Argentina at the top. We knew it was going to be a tough match, us trying not to drown. This team showed a lot of heart and mind not to leave the rival comfortable, who knows how to play very well on their court. We are happy”.
Lautaro Martínez made it 1-1 against Bolivia for the second date of the qualifying rounds. EFE / Juan Karita POOL
Another of the outstanding players was Joaquin Correa, the Lazio midfielder who scored the victory goal against Bolivia: “In the National Team I was not being the protagonist, but I always had the illusion and the intact faith of coming here. Lionel (Scaloni) and the entire coaching staff were always very close to me, they made me feel important and I am very happy to have scored and helped the team. DT told us to try to hurt when we had the ball, to be vertical. In the goal I thought about hitting him first because I knew that it is difficult for goalkeepers to dominate the ball in this field. Thank God, he entered.
Messi embraces Joaquín Correa in Argentina 2-1 over Bolivia, in La Paz. (Photo by Juan KARITA / various sources / AFP)
Lionel Scaloni leads 23 games in command of the national team and reaped 14 wins, four losses and five draws. In 2018, after Argentina’s participation in the World Cup in Russia, the coach assumed the main position and directed it in six games. On the first double date, FIFA faced Guatemala on September 8 in Los Angeles, winning their match 3-0. On the 11th of that month, they drew without goals with Colombia in the city of New Jersey. A month later, Argentina moved to Saudi Arabia for the dispute of two new friendly matches: on October 11 they beat Iraq 4-0; and on the 16th they fell to Brazil by the minimum. At the end of 2018, Argentina played two friendlies in our country against the Mexico National Team, obtaining two wins by 2 to 0.
At the beginning of 2019, the Albiceleste played three friendly matches. The first was on March 22 in Madrid where they fell to Venezuela 3-1. Four days later, in Morocco, they faced the local team, achieving a 1-0 win. In the pre-America Cup, at the San Juan stadium of the Bicentennial, the Argentine National Team said goodbye to its people with a resounding triumph: they beat Honduras by 5 to 1. In Brazil, the Argentine team reached the quarterfinals of the competition after overcoming the first phase and Venezuela in the Eighths. The last official match was against Chile, where he obtained third place.
Once the Copa América was over, the team toured the United States where they drew 0-0 against Chile and defeated Mexico 4-0. In addition, on the FIFA date of October, the National Team faced two important tests: it drew 2-2 against Germany and beat Ecuador 6-1. In their last two matches of the year, the Albiceleste defeated Brazil 1-0 and drew 2-2 with Uruguay in Mendoza.
After the postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scaloni National Team returned to the ring on October 8, 2020 in the dispute of the first date of the Qualifiers towards the Qatar 2022 World Cup: victory 1-0 against Ecuador at the Boca stadium. And, on the second day, on October 13, the national team won against Bolivia by 2 to 1 as a visitor.