Awesome Argentina hit six
16 Jun 2006 - 16:15:05
Argentina set the benchmark for the rest of the World Cup pretenders by demolishing Serbia & Montenegro 6-0 in Gelsenkirchen.
Jose Pekerman's side were outstanding as they crushed a Serbia & Montenegro team that had only conceded one goal in qualifying.
They strolled through the game and rarely moved out of first gear as they outclassed Iilja Petkovic's hapless side and are now almost guaranteed a place in the last 16 alongside Germany, Ecuador and England.
It took Argentina only six minutes to break the deadlock and it was a simple first goal - Javier Saviola opening up the Serbia & Montenegro defence by playing in Maxi Rodriguez who slotted a simple shot past Dragoslav Jevric.
Just after the half-hour a great team goal ended with Hernan Crespo's back-heel setting up substitute Esteban Cambiasso who rammed a shot into the roof of the net.
The third goal just before the break was a personal disaster for Mladen Krstajic. Saviola dispossessed him embarrassingly easily near the corner flag and, when his shot was parried by Jevric the ball rebounded to Rodriguez who rolled a shot into the net off a post.
Serbia & Montenegro's cause wasn't helped with 25 minutes left when a frustrated Mateja Kezman was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Javier Mascherano. Kezman didn't make too much contact but a red card was probably deserved for the intent.
Three goals in the last 12 minutes completed the rout. Lionel Messi, only on the pitch for three minutes after coming on as a substitute for Rodriguez, raced down the left and crossed for Crespo to sidefoot the ball into an empty net from five yards out.
With six minutes left another substitute Carlos Tevez beat two defenders before rolling a cool shot past Jevric and Messi became the third substitute to score in the last minute. After benefiting from some more slick passing that left the teenager in acres of space, he beat Jevric at his near post.