Juventud Rebelde - Diario de la Juventud Cubana

Time for miracles


Enio Echezábal Acosta

“There are always surprises when it comes to Soccer World Cups” is the most repeated phraseat the beginning of such important events. However, after the big amount of times it has echoed, we, I include myself;have started to lose the credibility in this statement, or, at least so did some until yesterday.

Argentina has not presentedits talent and magic in the tournament. This time, the blue and white team was fighting for its permanencein the event against Nigeria in the final game of the group phase. The men under the command ofJorge Sampaoli were arriving at this stage as lost asthe damned crew of The Flying Dutchman, after the incoherent game versus Iceland anda fatidic encounter with Croatia.


The Argentinians had the support of thousands of fans that crowded Krestovski Stadium in St. Petersburg. The sub champions went to the field decided. Like the bumblebee that is not meant to fly nevertheless, it does it. The South American Team was looking forward to shake the bad luck since the first minute of the game.

Late, Marcos Rojo was rushing from the left and with a sudden stop made a ball pass to Banega, who made a long shot that ended at Messi´s dangerous left leg. The forward player of the Barcelona Football Club executed an easy-going shoot that broke through Uzoho´s goal line.

From this minute on, there were a lot of will but a low amount of performance capacity. The Argentinians were eager to score more but, they ended facing difficulties.

The consequences were around the corner. A shady grab fault by Mascheranoto Balogunat the goal area provided a penalty in favor of the Nigerians.Moses scored and now the Argentinian panic wasalso a player on the field.

The South Americans not being aware of the time they got left (almost the whole second half), accelerated their playing engagement, like bulls on parade. They received a couple of dangerous surprises, but it was not the night of Ahmed Musaeither, whofailed some attempts to create a chance to score.

Maradona from his sit was cheering up the players when Mercado, like an epiphany, created a good occasion from the right side. Mercado set the ball near the penalty spot and, from there, Rojo, who is efficient with his left leg, scored a meteorite from his right leg. Two miracles in one.

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