1. Argentina created a ton of chances.
2. Argentina needed Juan Roman Riquelme out there for free kicks and for playmaking. Of course, he wasn’t because Maradona treated him badly.
3. Maradona loves Angel Di Maria. Alot of people, including Real Madrid, love DiMaria. I do not, and have said it loudly for a long time (sick goal he scored against Canada though). Di Maria is one of those flashy wingers who can’t finish and can’t cross. He will advance the ball down the wing only to lose possession. Argentina can do better, and today Di Maria was completely invisible. My wife’s cousin at the 40 minute mark yelled, “when did they substitute Di Maria?” He was being serious; that’s how invisible he was.
4. Lots of folks have remarked that Martin Palermo probably shouldn’t be on Argentina’s roster. Maybe not, but Palermo might have had 3 goals today. Although he played for River (I’m a Boca season ticket holder), I like Gonzalo Higuain and thought he should start. He missed a bevy of giftwrapped opportunities today though. Palermo would have put those away. He is the master of being at the right place at the right time and converting.
5. Nigeria is missing a few players, right? A decent performance from them. Uche missed an opportunity to make himself famous.
6. I wonder how much of a home-field advantage the African teams have. Probably not much. Would make for an interesting empirical look.
7. Obviously a win is a win, and Nigeria is probably the second best team in Group B. Somehow it was very unsatisfying though. There were just so many chances that weren’t put away, and Nigeria had a couple great chances to tie it. After the start and the beautiful goal by Heinze, no one would have guessed 1-0.
8. This game supported all of my contentions: Jonas Gutierrez should not be on the 23 man roster, much less a starter for Argentina. Di Maria should not be a starter. And to be honest, I don’t like Juan Sebastian Veron starting either, but largely because Maradona should have humbled himself and asked Juan Roman Riquelme to return.