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Page last updated at 22:29 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 23:29 UK

Maradona's Argentina hit for six

Luis Gonzales and Maxi Rodriguez
Luis Gonzales and Maxi Rodriguez were among the stunned Argentina players

Argentina suffered their worst defeat in more than 60 years as they were thrashed 6-1 by Bolivia at high altitude in a World Cup qualifier.

Striker Joaquin Botero hit a hat-trick, while Marcelo Martins, Didi Torrico and Alex da Rosa also scored in the rout.

Luis Gonzalez replied for Argentina who also had substitute Angel di Maria sent off seven minutes after he had come on.

Argentina coach Diego Maradona last year supported Bolivia's campaign to be allowed to stage games in La Paz.

But Maradona's side, who had won their first three games under his charge - and without conceding a goal - looked breathless in the rarefied air 3,600m above sea level.

Diego Maradona
Maradona could only look on helplessly as his side were torn apart

And they also struggled with a pitch which looked well below the standard expected for an international match.

"Every Bolivia goal was a stab in my heart," said Maradona.

"If we had dreamed this was going to happen before the game, we would have thought it was impossible.

"We have to give merit to Bolivia who were better than us in every part of the field.

"There is nothing to say. They beat us well and now we have to start all over again.

"Bolivia played a great game and hit the target with every attack.

"They all played well from the goalkeeper to the last substitute."



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see also
Maradona receives honorary award
01 Dec 08 |  Football
Maradona named as Argentina coach
04 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Maradona in Bolivia charity match
18 Mar 08 |  Americas
Maradona leaves alcoholism clinic
07 May 07 |  Americas
When Lineker met Maradona
27 Apr 06 |  Football


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