by G.D. Morrill
Argentina, winner of two World Cups, started off with a lackluster first half against Panama, another team, which was included in the Copa America which is basically fodder for the good teams. Argentina, arguably the best team in the world with such stars as Leonel Messi, Angel DiMaria, Kun Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Javier Mascherano, and other fabulous internationals was just too much for an over matched Panama side.
Argentina scored in the first half goal, but this is not the story. In the second half Messi entered the game and almost immediately scored a goal. Expected? Of course. On a free kick, Messi scored his second goal on a free kick, a goal which found the right side of the goal in the top out of reach of the goalie, in a place where it was impossible to stop. Panama, playing with ten men after a red card, would have been hard put to stop the onslaught with a full squad, but with ten, they couldn’t stop the best players in the world.
Messi scored again, giving the Argentines a lead, which could not be overcome. Once again affirming that he IS the best player in the world. In the end, it was Argentina 5, Panama 0. On his final goal, Messi was between three players and his control of the ball, where he doesn’t let the ball get more than a few inches away at any time, was impossible to stop. Keep in mind, this was Panama. Like shooting fish in a barrel for the best in the world.
In my opinion, Argentina is now playing at full speed, and is arguably the best team in the world. The Euro Cup is beginning, and today France beat Romania 2-1 to start the tournament, and it will be interesting to compare what’s happening in the USA with what’s going on in France in the Euro tournament. But today, Argentina sent a huge message to the rest of the soccer world that with all of their stars and firepower, they are the best in the world.
As the tournament evolves, it will be interesting to see if they can exert their dominance throughout the tournament. Tomorrow, USA v Paraguay. A win or a tie, and the Americans will make it through to the quarterfinals.
In the earlier game, Chile beat an over matched Bolivia team 2-1 with a penalty in the 90th minute to make it through to the quarterfinals, barely.