Argentina head coach Scaloni not impressed with Indonesia players

By Thanh Quy   June 21, 2023 | 02:16 am PT
Argentina head coach Scaloni not impressed with Indonesia players
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni touches the trophy after the World Cup final France in 2022. Photo by Reuters/Hannah Mckay
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni respects Indonesia but said that none of their players impressed him after an exhibition match in Jakarta.

In the friendly on Monday at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Argentina played without three key players Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Nicholas Otamendi.

Scaloni allowed the three to go on vacation after playing in a friendly with Australia. The key midfield trio of Enzo Fernandez, Alexis MacAllister and Rodrigo De Paul were on the bench.

Without the key players, Argentina still showed why they are world champions with 74% of possession and 21 shots, four times more than Indonesia.

The visitors found the opening goal in the late first half with a long-range shot from Leandro Paredes and secured the 2-0 win in the 55th minute with a header by Cristian Romero.

"The game was not easy for Argentina, just as I predicted," Scaloni said. "This was a difficult game, partially because we didn’t have key players in the lineup."

One of Indonesia’s signature plays was creating scoring chances from Pratama Arhan’s powerful throw-ins. The ball was often delivered inside Argentinan box, and one almost turned into a goal but for Emiliano Martinez’s excellent save.

Scaloni said Argentina played well and stayed focused to prevent the attacking style of the hosts.

"I’m not impressed with any particular Indonesia player," he added.

The win against Indonesia concluded Argentina’s tour in Asia.

They will start the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in September with a game against Ecuador. Argentina have been undefeated for 10 games straight, since the 2-1 loss against Saudi Arabia at the opening of the World Cup last year.

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