Argentina extend their unbeaten run to 36 games after UAE thrashing

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By Martin Graham | 18th Nov 2022

Argentina extended their unbeaten run in international matches to 36 games with a convincing 5-0 win over the United Arab Emirates at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium. The fixture was their only warm up game before the start of the World Cup and the Abicelestes reminded he world once again why they are favorites to win the World Cup.

The opening goal of the match came in the 17th minute after sustained pressure from the hosts. Lionel Messi was played through on goal and was facing a potential one on one with the goalkeeper but he preferred to unselfishly square the ball to Julian Alvarez for a tap in even though he could have scored himself.

Eight minutes later Argentina got their second. A pinpoint cross delivered by Marcos Acuna was brilliantly put away by Angel Di Maria. The cross came from the left wing and was met by Di Maria with a brilliant left-footed volley that went across the ground, past the keeper and onto the inside of the post.

Di Maria got his brace in the 36th minute after receiving a pass from Alexis Mac-Allister at the edge of the box. The Juventus man skipped past two challenges and then dribbled past the keeper as well before putting the ball an empty net.

Argentina capped off a brilliant first half display just before half time with good team move in midfield led to Di Maria finding Lionel Messi at the edge of the box. The PSG star cut to his right foot, taking two UAE defenders out of the game in the process before finishing emphatically to the top corner of the goal with his “weaker” foot.

Argentina completed the scoring at the hour mark wit their fifth goal. Rodrigo De Paul showed good poise and balance in midfield as he dribbled past a few players before playing Joaquin Correa through on goal to calmly slot home even though he was surrounded UAE defenders.

The United Arab Emirates might have been dominated for a lot of the game but they did create chances, especially the second half.

Harib Abdalla Suhail hits the post from range with a powerful shot that had Emi Martinez beat just after half time. Abdalla Ramadan then forces a good save from the keeper only a minute later with another long-range effort only a minute later. In the 69th minute, Abdulla made a good run into the penalty area before squaring his pass to Caio who missed a good chance from close range.

The best chance for the hosts came in the 81st minute when a long ball from the back put Ali Saleh clean through on goal, forcing Emiliano Martinez to make a good save. Caio Canedo went in for the rebound but German Pezzella was on hand to deny them a good goalscoring opportunity.

Abiceleste will return to Qatar to prepare for their Group C opener on the 22nd of November against Saudi Arabia.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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