Poland defeats Argentina 2-1 in friendly
Poland defeated a weakened Argentina team 2-1 in an
international friendly on Sunday with Adrian Mierzejewski scoring
in the first half and Pawel Brozek adding another in the
Defender Pablo Zabaleta was the only Argentina player in the
starting lineup who has also made the 26-man preliminary roster for
next month’s Copa America – the South American championship. All of
the team’s biggest stars were missing, including Barcelona’s Lionel
Messi, Carlos Tevez of Manchester City and Javier Zanetti of Inter
Mierzejewski scored in the 26th, but Argentina’s Marco Ruben
equalized in the 47th to set the stage for Brozek’s winner in the
Nigeria defeated a similar Argentina team 4-1 on Wednesday in
Abuja,asa match that is being investigated by FIFA for alleged
match-fixing. No players are implicated.
Julio Grondona, the president of the Argentine Football
Association, criticized coach Sergio Batista for the Nigeria match,
saying the ”humiliating loss” and embarassed the nation and the
This match was better for Argentina, which opens the Copa
America on July 1 against Bolivia. Batista said he was also looking
”We had a chance to draw, we played better than against
Nigeria, Batisa said. ”I see improvement. … Some of the players
deserve to play in the next matches. Everything is about the
project for 2014 (World Cup).”
Poland broke through in the 26th. Argentina lost possession in
midfield and Mierzejewski took a loose ball, broke into the area,
and scored with a left-footed shot from 12 meters (yards) that beat
goalkeeper Adrian Gabbarini.
Poland had a half-dozen scoring chances in the first half,
although Argentina played slightly better in this match than
Argentina equalized when Ruben ran onto a loose ball in the area
and scored from 15 meters.
The goal gave Argentina momentum, and it followed up with more
possession while Poland tried to score on the counterattack.
Mierzejewski almost scored his second, breaking down the left
side in the 63rd and firing a low, hard shot that Gabbarini
sprawled to stop.
Poland got the winner in the 67th when Brozek took a perfectly
timed pass, slipped through the defense and netted with a short
chip from 10 meters.
The stadium was two-thirds full for the match. Polish news
website TVN24 called the Argentina team ”a shadow of the great
Argentina” and said all that remained ”was the name.”
Poland – Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Piszczek, Grzegorz
Wojtkowiak, Tomasz Jodlowiec, Jakub Wawrzyniak, Jakub
Blaszczykowski, Rafal Murawski (Adam Matuszczyk 75), Dariusz Dudka,
Adrian Mierzejewski (Michael Kuchta 79), Kamil Grosicki (Pawel
Brozek 55), Robert Lewandowski (Klich Mateusz 89).
Argentina – Adrian Gabbarini, Pablo Zabaleta (Fernando Belluschi
46), Mateo Musacchio, Federico Fazio (Emiliano Insua 46), Cristian
Ansaldi, Nicolas Bertolo (Jonathan Bottinelli 46), Mario Bolatti,
Alejandro Cabral (Mauro Formica 67), Marco Ruben, Pablo Piatti
(Osvaldo Gaitan 76), Jonathan Cristaldo.