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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
What happened to Argentina?
Have your say on Argentina's progress
Pre-tournament favourites Argentina have fallen at the first hurdle, finishing below Sweden and England in "the group of death".

Where did it all go wrong for Argentina?



This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.


England were lucky to beat Argentina. Playing Batistuta was a big mistake. He is too old to be in the world cup. The forwards should have been Crespo and Lopez also the defenders are too old. Veron is over rated and Argentina should play a younger squad.
Ariel De Pedro, Argentina

Bad coaching tactics and Argentina are out - arrogant players like Ortega, Zanetti, Veron and Bastituta should not be included. Saviola shouldn't have been left - he is Argentina's Ronaldinho.
Linje Manyozo, South Africa

The problem with the "group of death" is that one remarkable team would not qualify for the next round. Often it is a matter of luck and sometimes lack of performance. Argentina suffered under both circumstances. They were unlucky against the England team that beat them and they could not deliver when it mattered most against Sweden.
Fazle Chowdhury, USA

Argentina are still the greatest team in the world. They always make me quiver in anticipation of seeing them play. It's sad to see them leave, but they were unable to change strategy when things were not working.

Open Quote
Pure passion is not enough to guarantee success
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Danny Hewson, England/Peru
There is great potential in Aimar, Saviola, Placente and Samuel. They also need to get rid of the off the field problems that have always plagued the team and to work on their poor reputation in terms of play acting and discipline. Nevertheless, my heart belongs to Argentinean football and the greatest footballer that ever lived... Maradona of course.
Shane, Trinidad

It was really disappointing to see only two goals scored by the attacking Argentines. Obviously the ploy of playing one striker didn't pay off. Bielsa's decisions were too rash, Batistuta's form was poor, Saviola should have been there... and only five defenders were taken. When Ayala pulled up, their back line was in trouble...as Bilardo said, the team lacked a backbone.
Derrek, USA

A brief reply to Peter Martin, who takes me to task for saying England were wrong to gloat over Argentina's exit. Only problem is - I didn't say it! The article says nothing about gloating - the 'don't gloat' was the headline which was added afterwards - a headline which I don't think accurately represents the thoughts expresses in the article. Gloating, after all, is part of the game.

What isn't, or at any rate shouldn't be, is hating. The article never attempted to say 'don't gloat' - but did attempt to say 'don't hate.'
Tim Vickery, Brazil

Open Quote
If Argentina had played with half the heart of Korea or half the passion of Senegal, they would have topped the group
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Joe C, USA
At the end of the day, Argentina just didn't live up to expectations. They have a lot of great players, but they do not work together as a team.
Laura, England

Pure passion is not enough to guarantee success. Given the blends and mixtures of different footballing styles present at any World Cup, the Argentineans were not tactically minded enough to adapt. Hence their debacle. They were not eliminated because their team was bad. They went out because they didn't plan well enough.
Danny Hewson, England/Peru

If Argentina had played with half the heart of Korea or half the passion of Senegal, they would have topped the group. Their talents were not enough to surmount their painfully obvious deficiencies.
Joe C, USA

Italy has proven to the world that they are the ultimate sore losers by their post-loss actions. Blaming everyone especially the referee and FIFA for a conspiracy and Perugia kicking out Ahn (the golden goal scorer) for "ruining" Italian soccer shows that they are not the stuff champions are made of.They deserved to lose. On the pitch, and off the pitch.
Kelvin Seet, Singapore

Open Quote
England and Sweden were on top of their game when playing Argentina, so don't take it away from them
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Mike, England
Argentina won in 1978 by means of one of the most disgusting schemes in sporting history and in 1986 because of Maradona's volleying abilities - other than that, what have they done to deserve such praise as a great South American side? Here in Brazil, we say that the teams from our Southern region - close to Argentina - play the ugliest football. Please, do not compare Brazil with Argentina.
Guilherme Forbes, Brazil

I say only this: No matter what, for me Argentina is the winner of World Cup 2002.
Hasan Abdallah, Jordan

Strange comment from Danny Hewson of Peru (below) saying that Argentina should play with their heads and not their hearts like European teams. You need both to win the World Cup, or win anything for that matter.
Stewart McCleary, England

The Argentines are out - I'm glad they are as do not subscribe to the ridiculous idea that a team should progress in the World Cup because of who they are. France and Argentina, along with Italy, have gone out of the competition because they could not win games, it's that simple.

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They just weren't good enough this year. Better luck next time
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Stephen Ferguson, England
Another thing that makes it so, so sweet that Argentina are out is the arrogance of Batistuta. If he played with his mouth he'd be the best footballer in the world. England and Sweden were on top of their game when playing Argentina, so don't take it away from them!
Mike, England

Pablo - England have won one World Cup as you probably well know. Hopefully not for long though. Soon enough we will have won two... just as many as Argentina! We definitely stand a better chance of picking up the trophy than you do; it will be hard to win from back in Argentina!

England may be playing 'boring' football at the moment but it's working - why lose just to entertain? Seems a bit silly to me...
Julie, UK

Tim Vickery - England are wrong to gloat? Try telling that to the players who were in St Etienne, jeered at by the Argentineans after the penalty shoot-out in '98. Revenge is sweet!
Peter Martin, England

Open Quote
The combination of fitness problems, over-confidence and incompetent coaching has meant that the country with the richest pool of footballing talent is out of the World Cup
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Ali Mahani, Iran
I prefer to lose playing this way rather than reach the final as in 1990. Hopefully the best football always wins - that's why we have two World Cups and Brazil four. How many World Cups do Sweden and England have? I hope that Senegal win this World Cup, it would the best thing for football.
Pablo Eltanitode, Florida/Argentina

I was rather amused to read Mark Corder's comments (below): "Argentina couldn't qualify from their group in a country who's climate should suit them - they will have no chance in Germany in 2006." Excellent logic! Our patriotic friend has forgotten that nearly all Argentine internationals live and play in Europe, so would have no trouble with Germany's climate.

The combination of fitness problems, over-confidence and incompetent coaching has meant that the country with the richest pool of footballing talent is out of the World Cup. But chins up, Argentine friends, things can only get better now.
Ali Mahani, Iran

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You guys put up a good fight and I'm sure in the next World Cup Argentina will be back!
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Fanny, Republic of Korea
Calling England's 1-0 win over Argentina as revenge is at least pathetic. Argentina deserved to qualify! England play the most boring football on the Earth and they should have gone home.
Magda, Poland

People like Tom of Ireland (below) just do not understand. Since 1978, Argentina joined Brazil as the "neutral" football fans' favourites all over the world - offering a fluid, controlled, attacking style. The sadness of their exit from the World Cup will be shared all over the world. Like other true football fans, we will wait for another four years.
William Wong, UK

Don't cry Argentina. You guys put up a good fight and I'm sure in the next World Cup Argentina will be back!
Fanny, Republic of Korea

I can't believe some of the utter rubbish on here! How does Argentina and France being knocked out in the group stages make the World Cup a poorer competition? If you subscribe to that opinion surely you'd agree that Fifa should just eliminate any risk that a less fancied country might beat one of the big four nations and make the World Cup a straight play off between France, Argentina, Brazil and Italy.
Tom, Ireland

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Arrogance must be left in the dressing room and not taken onto the pitch
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Bobby Seagull, England
Jerod of Trinidad (below), you're very optimistic. Poor Argentina couldn't qualify from their group in a country who's climate should suit them - they will have no chance in Germany in 2006. As for Batistuta, this World Cup was already one too many. Had Argentina played a younger player in his place, they may have looked half decent.
Mark Corder, England

Veron, Zanetti, Crespo, Ayala: where does the endless stream of Argentinian talent end? Only managing to score two goals in this tournament, their attacking line was clearly neutralised by the opposition.Perhaps in the long term, this early exit for the pre-tournament favourites will hand out a lesson: arrogance must be left in the dressing room and not taken onto the pitch.
Bobby Seagull, England

Argentina was the incidental scapegoat of England and Sweden's defensive play. How do you expect to play with a team which lives in their penalty box? This sort of play brings disrepute to football and boredom to the fans, although it does get the job done.

Argentina was the only team that actually played football while the rest just defended their goal. It was sheer bad-luck that resulted in their early exit. But, Argentina, you are still the winners in my book. Good luck next time.
Dr. Aamir Khan, Pakistan

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Argentina are still the world's greatest and will lift the World Cup title in 2006
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Jerod ,Trinidad
Batistuta shouldn't retire from international soccer he should stay on and carry Argentina towards victory in 2006. Argentina are still the world's greatest and will lift the World Cup title in 2006.
Jerod ,Trinidad

Argentina has the best, most talented and inspired football team in the world. If only they had the heart to match.
Pat K, Russia

We deserved to win against Nigeria and Sweden, not against England. I hope that our philosophy and our talent will succeed in the future.
George , Argentina

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How does Argentina and France being knocked out in the group stages make the World Cup a poorer competition?
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Tom, Ireland
How does Argentina and France being knocked out in the group stages make the World Cup a poorer competition? Simple - many people all over the world want to see talented players at their best and the finest football.
Miriam Wilson,Bolivia

Argentina came in with the wrong attitude and departed with the wrong attitude. They did not deserve to qualify and the cup will not miss them. Sorry guys, you have great players, but they looked as if they just had to turn up to qualify!
Geraint, Wales

Hang on, are we talking about the same Argentina that I saw play against England and Sweden? What's all this about boring defensive England and Sweden?

I can remember sparkling runs and strikes from Owen, but not a single piece of attacking flair from Argentina in the England match. And let me just say that Sweden sent Argentina packing with a sublime free-kick. So stop being sore losers and start preparing for Germany 2006.
Roger, England

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Showing up for 20 minutes per match will not suffice at this level
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Andrew Wild, Canada
I would just like to say that I thought that Argentina played very well against Sweden, they created lots of chances but they had bad luck in converting those chances (like the French).

It was glorious attacking football and I as an Englishman salute a beautiful footballing side. I regret for the sake of this beautiful game that Argentina are not in the next round. But hold your heads up high you were fantastic to watch and are a great side.
David Hewitt, France

Argentina are like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz: If they only had a heart. Their scenes of devastation at the end of the Sweden game were comical at best. Showing up for 20 minutes per match will not suffice at this level. When skill runs into teams with desire, passion and heart (or as our British friends would put it: bottle) skill almost always loses out.

Open Quote
It was glorious attacking football
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David Hewitt, France
The international karma has run out for Argentina. As for Tim Vickery's comments that England should stop gloating: once Argentina stops bragging. Even in defeat they and their supporters are ungracious and unwilling to accept the fact that the results show they are a substandard side regardless of pedigree.
Andrew Wild, Canada

At times Argentina played sublime football. Football is played by 11 individuals playing as a team and not a team playing like individuals. Argentina were always going to look good going forward but it's at the back where a team will win or lose. Sweden had few chances to punish Argentina but took it, England had more. Questions will be asked in Argentina, my question is did they have enough heart to win? I don't think so.
Mick McGurk, USA

Poetic justice: In 1998 England deserved to win vs Argentina and Argentina won. This year, Argentina deserved it, and England won. Beckham was wronged then and he is vindicated now.
Claudio Lichtenthal,Argentina

It is very sad to see good teams knocked out of the World Cup early. I am sure is the coach's fault. He should have kept Batistuta on the field longer than he did against England.
Farhan,Canada

Open Quote
We did not play well in the group
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Jose Chamialla, Argentina
If we look at the recent past, we can see that Argentina have been one of the much more disciplined, sporting, exciting and skilful teams so far. After dominating for the last four years, Argentina, like France (and of course the so-close-yet-so-far Holland), ran into a phase of bad luck that robbed them of their chances. As much as I am a fan of the underdog, it is a pity to see such glorious attacking football go unrewarded.
Vickram,India

It was a bad ending for Batistuta's career but it was one that will be remembered by soccer fans all around the world. Argentina have a great squad but they didn't realise that there was no room for error. They were better than England and Sweden but one mistake cost them the trophy. I hope we will see Batistuta as Argentina coach pretty soon.
Sajjad, Canada

It's really great that Argentina is out of the world cup. It shows that arrogance leads nowhere. Factors like team spirit and respect have for once been proven to be more important.
Robert, Sweden

We did not play well in the group. We did not play well against England because they didn't allow us to - in short, they were and are better than us. Sweden also played a good game and could have won.
Jose Chamialla, Argentina

Is Tim Vickery talking about England or Argentina when he says they only scored two goals, one from a corner and one from a dubious penalty?
Open Quote
I am not sure that Argentina had the "lion's share" of possession against England
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Angus Stuart, Hong Kong

I think both penalties were correctly given, but there was clearly more contact on Ortega than on Owen. I have not seen the statistics, but I am not sure that Argentina had the "lion's share" of possession against England. It is true that they did for the last twenty minutes but, with some half decent finishing and a modicum of luck, England would have been 3 or 4 goals to the good by then.
Angus Stuart, Hong Kong

People, I see a lot of you complain about Sweden playing very defensively and boring. Maybe this is news for you, but football is a team sport and it's all about tactics. If you're up against a team like Argentina who has world class players, thus being a much better team individually, and who play really offensive, you'd be pretty darn stupid if you don't go strong on the defence.
Spliffan, Sweden

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Just to let you know, Argentina is a much better football side than England
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Ananth Agastya,USA

This truly is the saddest thing to happen - both France and Argentina are out of the World Cup.

Not that I mind France, but Argentina who I've always thought were best at football, because of their natural talent of handling the ball and their beautiful attacking skills. The Europeans play too much of a defensive game which just ruins the whole point of football.
Mandy, New Zealand

For sure many fans have lost interest to continue watching the World Cup. When you look at Brazil and Argentina qualified you would think they should swap groups.

Teams that barely make the World Cup shouldn't get an easy group such as Brazil. Argentina went undefeated in two years, should have been awarded by being placed in an easier group.

They need to change the rules or something, make the chances for strong qualifying teams to be in an easier group. This way fans won't lose as much interest, by having strong teams face each other in the first round.
Haidar Jo, Peru

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A note of advice to Argentinian coach:-matches are played to win, not to exhibit talent
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Bhuvan Sharma, India
God bless Argentina and Batistuta! Please keep fighting. There is always a second chance for people deserve it.
Daphne, Taiwan

Like hell, the finals are poorer for Argentina's exit. Why are we afraid of the truth - that Argentina are and always have been a mean spirited, dirty side who would foul and cheat their way into the finals if they could. Thank God they didn't succeed this time - there are plenty of sporting teams left in the contest and it will be a pleasure to see them play.
Mike Johns, Australia

Star studded, heroic tactics and natural flair for football is what describes this Argentinian team. Alas! that they had to retire so early. This is a big disappointment for football fans. But a note of advice to Argentinian coach:-matches are played to win, not to exhibit talent; so plan well esp. the execution of a good move into a goal. The team lacked the finesse of converting good moves into goals.
Bhuvan Sharma, India

Just to let you know, Argentina is a much better football side than England - regardless of their typical South American on-pitch behaviour (like Brazil) - it was sheer bad-luck that tore their dreams apart. Indeed, this was the 'group of death'. And England can stop acting like it has already won the World Cup.
Ananth Agastya,USA

There are a lot of Argentinean players spread all over the world, and even talented players like Saviola, Solari and Riquelme were out of the national team. Until just before the World Cup, Argentina looked a strong team, with a solid scheme, but it was when we really needed to win when the magic was gone.
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Argentina's exit is a blow to the World Cup
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Ahmed Moubarek, Egypt
Many people think here in Argentina that Bielsa could have changed their scheme, and put Batistuta and Crespo together on the field. But he insisted changing names, without changing the way to play. It's sad, but we can't wait for Germany 2006!
Rodolfo Poli, Argentina

Argentina's exit is a blow to the World Cup. Good bye to beautiful and brave football and welcome to uninspired defensive football.
Ahmed Moubarek, Egypt

A quote from Tim Vickery on the Argentines' exit."They managed just two goals in three games, one from a corner, the other resulting from a dubious penalty." Much as I am glad to see them out, is that not the precise route England have taken to the second round?
Gus Fraser,Scotland

Argentina went out because they simply weren't good enough. With the exception of Brazil and possibly Uruguay, South American teams are not up the task of understanding and competently beating European Teams. Chris
Chris,England

Argentines: practice humility and try again in 2006!
Beal, Brazil

Open Quote
A stereotypical, lacklustre and listless Argentinian side
Close Quote
Marcus Gustafsson, Sweden
What a sad moment for football: a sparkling attacking side losing against destructive teams such as England and Sweden. If this is supposed to be entertainment, I will more excited by filling out my tax return.
Thomas Keller, Switzerland / Australia

Argentina's exit is for the worst for football. Teams are now learning that if you defend with ten and have one striker, you can always gamble on a win with some luck. Good, attacking visible soccer no longer proves a winning tactic. Football fans will regret this....
Paul, Spain

What a shame for "favourites" to crash out at this stage. The favourite tag must be a curse for this particular World Cup now that both Argentina and France have been sent packing.
Barbara Namutesa, Uganda

I am very sorry that Argentina did not go to the second round. I wanted to watch their wonderful play more in Japan. But each rich talent of theirs impressed me, and strengthened my interest in soccer further.
Kazuyo, Japan

A stereotypical, lacklustre and listless Argentinian side. They play a game of high press and steal, but if the opponents never try to challenge them, then they prove no better than any other side. Argentina looked unable to score.
Marcus Gustafsson, Sweden

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Good, attacking visible soccer no longer proves a winning tactic
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Paul, Spain
I think that the Argentineans were a disgrace just like France, and disappointed millions around the world! COME ON THE IRISH! Steven Flynn, Scotland

I feel sorry for the Argentinean people but not for the players. Every dirty trick in the book and an extremely arrogant attitude make me proud that we kicked them out of the tournament. We hade two of our three (pre-tournament) world class players injured (Ljungberg and P Andersson) and still managed to almost win the game. All I can say to the Swedish players is RESPECT!
Lars Soderstrom, UK, Sweden

I love the way the Argentine team play, even if the results are bad. When we play football, we really play. I'm quite happy to be out of the World Cup, I'd rather be out and play like we play than to be in and play like England play, just killing the game by having more than half of the team in the defence. Maybe this is the new football but it's not the one we like to watch.
Christian Wilson, UK (I'm Argentinian)

Although Argentina and France ruined their own chances by poor finishing I feel this World Cup will suffer for their early exits. The knock-out matches will be full of cautious defensive teams that play with ten men behind the ball and one striker eg. Sweden, Denmark, England and Germany. Hopefully one of the attack minded teams will lift the trophy e.g. Brazil, Portugal or even South Korea.
Chris, Scotland

One of your correspondents writes of Argentina: 'They managed just two goals in three games, one from a corner, the other resulting from a dubious penalty.' Sound familiar? Just shows how little divides success from failure...in football, at least.
Mark, UK

There is no doubt that Argentina have a lot of excellent players and that it is always enjoyable to watch their performance as individual, highly talented players. Maybe they deserved the penalty kick that equalized the game or maybe the Argentinean forward was already falling while he was being tripped.

Open Quote
I love the way the Argentine team play, even if the results are bad
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Christian Wilson, UK
I was, however, disturbed by the way how they handled the penalty kick itself. Hernan Crespo (as well as another Argentine forward) was three to four metres in the penalty area, at full speed, before the ball was kicked off from the spot. No wonder he was first to reach the ball, which bounced back from the goalkeeper. This was clearly a practised tactic and it doesn't show very respectable sportsmanship. I have to say that I'm glad that Sweden qualified.
William, Finland

How can Biesla justify playing one up front throughout the tournament, especially with the strikers at his disposal?
Graeme, Scotland

Maybe the Swedish uniform got Argentina scared. The colours can be suggestive, don't you think?
Euler Costa, Brazil

Heartbreak! They didn't changed the game plan and kept on slicing the ball in, only to be cleared by the Swedish wall of defenders as they did against England. No real forward to burst into the defence and score. Skills are not enough, you have to score goals to win.
Farrukh, Pakistan

Argentina had one game plan - to attack as much as possible by putting lots of pressure on when in the opponents half. Sweden and England knew what was coming and got men back to make it difficult. Argentina had no plan B; they couldn't adapt and as a result are going home. Any manager that thinks Caniggia is a better person to take to a world cup than Saviola certainly isn't going to be able to guide any side to the last 16 of a world cup.
Simon Harding, Scotland

Unlucky Argentina. At least you have the satisfaction of returning home to a warm, loving nation which will embrace its brave heroes.
Paul Burley, England

Open Quote
They didn't changed the game plan and kept on slicing the ball in
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Farrukh, Pakistan
Well, what can I say? It doesn't matter that Argentina have lots of superstars on the pitch when they're up against hard working teams like Sweden or England.
Micke K, Sweden

I find it very sad that people say they "despise" what is clearly a very talented Argentine football team that provided some stunning entertainment in their last match (which is after all the only purpose of football: to entertain us). Terms like "despise" suggest an underlying racism that is ever present and increasing across Europe and North America.

I love the World Cup because of the glimpses of international harmony you get, the chance to share an experience across the globe, and the fact that football is such a beautiful team sport, which you can play regardless of your background.

With the rise of the far right in Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Sweden and England, I hope none of these countries gets a chance to display their "patriotic fervour". If you think winning a football match (or even a war) suggests your nationality is superior and you have a right to look down on others, then you're missing out on the joy of being part of the global community.

The World Cup is a celebration of the stunning peak of human (well, just male human!) fitness: jingoism just doesn't belong here.
Ana, UK

It went wrong from the beginning. Argentina lived a fictitious glory that was even capable of mistreating the rest of Latin America when they did not participate in the last Copa America. They thought they were invincible. The truth is that they are a football team in crisis.
Jaime, Colombia

Absolutely devastating! Where is the team spirit? Without a good team spirit, winning games is difficult, no matter how talented the individual players are.
Bashar, USA

Open Quote
The problem was that Argentina aren't a team
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Mark, UK
What an incredible game! Even though Argentina pressured us, we refused to stop attacking. Best game for the Swedes so far! Did anyone understand the yellow card given to Henrik Larsson by the way?
Johan, Sweden

No Holland, no France, no Argentina - arrogance is the worst contestant. But now defending teams are dominating this World Cup. Is that what we want?
Ivan, Amsterdam

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Adios.
Mark, England

Bye,
Peter, Uk

This isn't the greatest shock, the group of death was as much a group of death for them as the other teams. Biesla must have been as anxious as the other managers when the draw was made as great things were expected of his team and he knew in his heart of hearts that on their day any of the other teams could beat his. The problem was that Argentina aren't a team, just a bunch of highly talented, overpaid footballers. They can't play as a team, many said that at the outset.
Mark, UK

Argentina has a lot of great footballers/actors. But this time the real Swedish footballers won over the Argentinian acting footballers. Look at the penalty. Sure there was penalty, if the Argentinian had waited to fall until he was tripped by the Swede. But he didn't, he was tripped while he was falling.
Rune Hove, Denmark

Open Quote
Argentina played a very fabulous game but they lacked the finish.
Close Quote
Mary Pierce, France

Classless. Very skilled. Dirty. Graceful in full flight. Divers. Cheaters. Play-actors. Argentina's history as a footballing country is one of paradoxes. A country that has such skill and finesse, such natural football ability, but at the same time a country unable to escape their South American trappings as diving, cheating play actors. If they would cut out the garbage and played good football, maybe I wouldn't despise them as I do.
James, Canada

Argentina played a very fabulous game but they lacked the finish. English were all defensive throughout the match and I personally feel that after controlling the ball for so long argentines could not score, I am afraid they need to do some serious changes in their game plan especially against Swedish team which is all more confident than before. Though I hoped to see France in next round but since that is a dream now, I wish Argentina all the best for their match.
Mary pierce, France

Argentina will be the next favourite to exit the World Cup, simply through their arrogance. Things like naming their team early, dancing up and down in the coach just prior to the game and claiming wins will be easy, have contributed to the over-confidence they have displayed. France learnt the hard way that nothing in the World Cup is a foregone conclusion.
Lloyd, England

I hope that the Argentineans were watching France as they walked out from the field and the World Cup. They should not just dominate Sweden but ram her with goals and produce some of the brilliance they are know for.Cannigia is a must, Ortega should be out and please find a place for Pablo Aimar.
Ziad, United Arab emirates

Ah, the endless accusations of Owen diving in the box! Always fantastic to hear. Personally, I don't think that Owen dived, but I do think he was looking for the penalty. In the pre-match build up, there were newspaper articles suggesting that England would play Argentina at their own 'cunning', which is precisely what Owen did. He did not dive. But he certainly encouraged the defender to take a poorly-timed plunge at him in the box, and that's what got the penalty. Those of you out there may indeed wish to call it a dive; I call it playing Argentina at their own game
Mark, UK

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If they want to beat Sweden and go on to win the World Cup they have to play Claudio Caniggia.
Close Quote
Mark, Scotland
As an Argentina fan, I must say that Argentina have been playing beautifully in their last two matches. They should not change their strategy; however their defence is still weak, except for Plancente. He is one of the best defenders that I have ever seen.

I am confident that they will win the next game with Sweden.
Angelina Baptista, East Timor

If they want to beat Sweden and go on to win the World Cup they have to play Claudio Caniggia. With his vast experience and knowledge of the game, Argentina can surely win. He can even help the Argentinian coach out by telling him what he knows of Larsson and Mjallby.
Mark, Scotland

After beating Nigeria, Batistuta said they would next play England and then "who is the other team?". Talk about arrogance. Hope he gets his memory back in time for the game against Sweden.
Joao, Brazil

I think analysts are not wrong by saying Argentine are pre-tournament favourites. The loss to England was due to over confidence. With this kind of result and the pressure at home they are going all out to achieve the result they need against Sweden. It is not going to be easy but they can achieve it.
Kemo Kanteh, The Gambia

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If they are over-confident against Sweden they will not win
Close Quote
Chris Cooper, England
I welcome many of the comments on here from Argentina fans, who have been gracious in defeat. If they are wondering why this win has stirred English passions so much, they should read some of the reported comments from the coach of Argentina and some of the players.

Your coach was very dismissive of the English team, and some of your players have talked about continued revenge over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), and generally been very disrespectful. They did this (in my opinion) because they were so confident of victory. Nothing wrong with being confident, but here in England, their comments have come across as pure arrogance.....nothing more.

The argument about the penalty will go on, but based on the strength of the English defence, and goalscoring chances created, this was a deserved win by England.

And finally a word of warning to Argentina. If they are over-confident against Sweden they will not win. Take them lightly at your peril!!
Chris Cooper, England

England put pressure on Argentina's midfield; it turned out to be a good ploy. Owen was effective and that's all, but Beckham wasn't as good as the press said it was. Owen was the player of the match, he had the ball on three occasions, two were closer to goal and the other was the penalty kick.
Oscar, Argentina

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Argentina are still favourites, they were too arrogant but this may be the wake up call they need
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Chris,England
Now Bielsa must prove himself as a manager and strategist. He is taking the blame from many for not playing Batistuta and Crespo together to tie the match. Though the Crespo- Batistuta change was questionable, he did hit the mark with López and especially Aimar. This means Argentina have the players to go through; he´ll just have to make difficult choices like Bilardo did in 90' after Cameroon.

Will he be up to playing Verón or benching him? Will he play Aimar from the beginning? Should he take a chance with Caniggia or Gallardo perhaps, and play Ortega for only 45 mins as he too, was not as effective as four years ago? We shall see.
Antonio Mondragón,Mexico

Well done. Congratulations to Sven, he put England in a solid defensive position and did not let Argentina play an open match. England played better than with Sweden and it may be enough to advance to the next stage of the Cup. I would have rather seen England playing in a more aggressive way. The goal - I suppose nobody in England was happy with winning with a sneaky penalty. Argentina's players seemed disoriented and frustrated. It will be great to see both teams playing again at the finals.
Jean, Argentina

Argentina are still favourites, they were too arrogant but this may be the wake up call they need. Any team with that much talent on the field and the bench can still win it. Look who they could bring on: Lopez, Crespo and Aimar. England have a long way to go to match the depth of squad.
Chris,England

Argentina have a big problem, in that, they rely very much on Veron. If he plays well they win, but if not...
Marcelo Machado, Brazil

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I suppose nobody in England was happy with winning with a sneaky penalty
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Jean, Argentina
Another great dive by Owen cost Argentina another penalty. Oh well lads, you had to beat us some time, it had only been 36 years coming! Argentina are still a far superior team.
Alessio, Argentina

Unfortunately Argentina were robbed by a diving Owen, just as they were in 1998. Owen should have been shown the yellow card for his actions.
Rahul Sopal,Spain

Well, you had to win eventually, right? No one wins them all. It was a well deserved win for England, you played much better and with more will. However, I'm sure this has been a (much needed) wake up call for our squad; we'll beat Sweden and qualify for the 2nd round.

It has also taken out some of the pressure of being favourites. I'm sure this dismal performance of Argentina will not repeat itself.
Maximiliano,Argentina

The England team should now concentrate on the Nigeria match. Because if the England team go through to the final stages, I personally will get more free time off work. COME ON ENGLAND.
Robert Hill, England

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Sweden will take heart from watching this match
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Scott Ryan, England

Lets not get carried away, England played good, but Argentina didn't play as well as they can. Full credit to the boys though, they capitalised on a very poor show from Argentina. Man of the match, for me, must go to Nicky Butt, he was immense.
Steve Arch, England

I will always say that your best form of defence is attack. The English midfield did a superb job of closing down Argentina and forcing them into errors and not allowing them to play the football that we all know they can play.

I think that Sweden will take heart from watching this match and I feel that they may be able to employ similar tactics effectively.
Scott Ryan, England

Beckham showed how much of a man he has become since that game in '98. No question, that night in France changed his approach to life and football, and he is without question one of the greatest players on earth. No other player gives more for his team.

But Argentina can still win this tournament and England can still go home next week. It's only the half way stage. But it's a lot more interesting now, and maybe Argentina have been a little over rated by some of the authors below, and England under rated.
Andrew Lynch, Italy / UK

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We were as graceful in victory as we were in defeat in 1998
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Bill Gibson, Hartlepool

What did Batistuta say as Beckham ran up to take the penalty kick? Any lip readers about? Did Beckham hear it? You can clearly see he moved to be behind Beckham as the penalty was taken, given the "sportmanship" of the Argentlemen, he wasn't wishing him luck.

I can't understand the double standards of the football world. When the Argentine admit cheating and play acting, and when they act as they did after the 1998 game, the football world accepts it. We were as graceful in victory as we were in defeat in 1998, yet they were as bitter in defeat yesterday as they were ungracious in victory (albeit cheated) in 1998.

If England had behaved in any ungentlemanly manner we would have been pilloried by the football world and yet Argentina gets away with it! Although it makes us the stronger morally I still think that the rest of the world should expect the same level of conduct from all participants of the competition.
Bill Gibson, Hartlepool United

If that referee had controlled the match in France four years ago, England would have won then as well. The ref four years ago saved Argentina but not this time. Well done boys.
Ray Thwaites, Australia

This time we can win and make 2002 a year to remember, just like 1966.
Ron Jackson, England

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Not a dive by Owen, once again a 'cunning' foul
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Jimmy,England

Everything that happened in the first game was reversed. Quite the opposite to boring, defensive rubbish, here was positive football played at a cracking pace. Owen received the service he deserves and showed his team-mates the results.

To me, Butt was the outstanding Brit, he worked tirelessly for 93 minutes and gave 110%. Heskey deserves high praise (neither of these two are in my favourite player file!!) Some of the one touch passing was brilliant. I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming all of this. Well done England!!
Eric Phillips, Australia

Not a dive by Owen, once again a 'cunning' foul. Not this time matey. All critics and a few Scots should swallow their pride and grow up some. England defended and created well and outplayed Argentina, whether the Blues had a good day or not is irrelevant, they fielded their best side and they lost.
Jimmy,England

Never before have I been so intrigued and nervous on the outcome of a soccer match, between two countries to which I don't even belong! But England had my loyalties, and may her luck continue.
Rewiri,New Zealand

I had often reminded myself of the fact that Bielsa's boys lacked that cutting edge in front goal lately, the Nigerian game cemented it, and the England game confirmed it.

Open Quote
Interesting to see that there was no shirt swapping after the match
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Bill Bradley, United Arab Emirates

Where do the South Americans go after the England game is anyone's guess, but unless they find divine intervention in front of goal versus Sweden, then they'll be going home a little early.
Peter,USA

Interesting to see that there was no shirt swapping after the match - is the animosity still there then?
Bill Bradley, United Arab Emirates

Sweden are defensively one of the toughest teams in the world and will come out even stronger to resist elimination at the hands of Argentina.

England's tactics neutralised Argentina and showed the world that Italy's conservative/defensive style of play can go a long way (remember Sven coached a rather well known Serie A team) to secure a victory.
Kim, USA

I don't think the Argentine attack in the last 15 minutes was entirely their doing. England decided to pack the defence and not let them score. It always looks like the other team are dominating when this happens, but England were masterful.
Peter Travis, USA

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Full credit to all the England players who collectively made it a success
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P.S.Kannan, England
A brilliant performance by the entire English side. Phenomenal skill, gritty determination and unyielding spirit. A huge cheer went up in downtown Toronto when the match was won.
Rick, Canada

Full credit to all the England players who collectively made it a success. Argentina deserve equally full credit for the tough opposition they proved but it was not their day after all.
P.S.Kannan, England

I think Argentina were very unlucky. They had much more possession than England. I hate it when England play bad and win the game! I, too, think that Owen dived!
Jo Jang, Spain

I think we could have done better but England's defence was too much for our forwards. Perhaps we'll meet in a couple of weeks, who knows? What do you people think about a final match played by England-Argentina?
Alejo,Argentina

Argentina will not get to the second phase they will draw against Sweden, and England will beat Nigeria. Argentina will go out
Neil Sirrell, England

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Argentina will go on to win the World Cup
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Ian Black, N. Ireland
The English team won because they played much cleverer than Argentina and had the attitude that this match required. That was enough to beat the great Argentine Team which had a very bad day, congratulations England.
Fernando,Argentina

I am crying for Argentina already. I am sad to hear this is Batistuta's last World Cup, but I am hoping they will get through. I love to see them play, and hope to see another Maradona emerge. Another Maradona? That would be magic!
Mhpad, India

We have not seen the best of Argentina yet. Nigeria will knock England out, with Argentina and Sweden qualifying. Argentina will go on to win the World Cup.
Ian Black, N. Ireland

Man of the match for me was the referee. When he booked Batitusta he showed he was in control. Oh and he correctly called the penalty!
Al Dutton,UK

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England played very well to get this win against the best side in the World Cup.
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David Hewitt,France
It is very debatable whether this year's Argentine side has what it takes to win the World Cup. It has everything that a traditional winning team has had: players with experience, value and team morale. Yet the side was not up to the mark with England and a game with Sweden will test them enough to see whether they are strong contenders of the World Cup.
Fazle Chowdhury,USA

It was a much needed win for England and I congratulate them on the result. They played smart football, packed their guys in the back, and held off an Argentina that decided to play badly on the wrong game.
Facundo, Argentina

As an Englishman I would like to apologise to the Argentines for the booing of their national anthem by our fans. England played very well to get this win against the best side in the World Cup.

I watched their first game against Nigeria and I thought Argentina were awesome.
David Hewitt,France

I had a better chance of getting a goal than Argentina did today, and I was sitting in my living room. Well done England!
Simon, England

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In the last 12 months Sven has built a team that has beaten both Germany and Argentina
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Paul Snook, UK
I honestly think Owen dived to earn England a penalty. No physical contact between Owen and Pochettino at all.
Karsten, Denmark

As an Argentine I congratulate England on their win. As much as I am disappointed in the result, I feel that it was the Argentine team that had something to prove and in the end weren't able to deliver. The karma was on England's side.
Andrew,Australia

If England were at their lowest point and Argentina at their best, or vice versa, only a fool would predict the outcome of a match between these two.

This is the Rangers v Celtic of the International scene and today it was our turn. I really don't care what happens to England in the rest of the World Cup. In the last 12 months Sven has built a team that has beaten both Germany and Argentina.
Paul Snook, UK

We had bad luck. I'm sure Argentina will defeat Sweden. England is a great team and will finish at the top of the group.
Diego del Pozo, Argentina

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I am still shocked by the Veron substitution in the second half
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Mario,Canada
It was glaringly apparent that Owen was not tripped but timed his faked fall superbly to sneak his penalty.

Rivaldo should definitely enrol in the Michael Owen school of acting.
Shiraz Mohamed,Canada

After the "Hand of God", the Prima Donna histrionics that got Beckham sent off, the jeering and spitting that England were subjected to after their 98 loss to Argentina this was sweet, dignified revenge. Well done boys.

What...no swapping of shirts Argentina?
Mark, Australia

Everybody knew that one day the kids would defeat their "parents". Sweden, prepare yourself to the pit.
Fernando Serrano, Argentina

The way they defended, it was as if they collectively said..."Ok you think you can break us.... go on do your best". It reminds me of the way Ali beat Joe Louis. Awesome match though, whoever you support!
Richard Fisher, England

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The reality is that a truly great team will always be stronger than the sum of its parts.
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Jamie,England

I am still shocked by the Veron substitution in the second half. He was the only player that could have made the difference for Argentina.
Mario,Canada

A combination of Argentina's arrogance, English desire for revenge and the English Media's criticisms of their game against Sweden, have stung England into an almighty backlash.

The reality is that a truly great team will always be stronger than the sum of its parts. Whereas Argentina are just a pale shadow of a team with highly talented individuals, that fail to gel together.
Jamie,England

My voice was a single cry of joy in a packed satellite TV room in the Peruvian jungle! This time is a complete reverse of 1998, when I saw the match in a similarly crowded partisan portakabin in the Patigonian desert, Argentina.

I hoped for an Argentine defeat just so that they learn the meaning of the word humility.
Spencer Whibley, England

For the first 75 minutes of the game England were awesome I actually felt comfortable, but now I'm not so sure. If were to become World Champions I'd like to do it feeling proud not on a wing or a prayer.
Anne Wentworth,England

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This result shows Argentina were grossly over-rated, whilst England were under-rated
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ES, UK
Why the surprise? Argentina topped a weak South American group - even Brazil are a shadow of themselves - whilst England pulled themselves back from the brink in their qualifying group with a superb display. Say what you like but scoring five goals against Germany indicates a side with ability!

I think this result shows Argentina were grossly over-rated whilst England were under-rated.
ES, UK

Argentina were never really in it and played nowhere near their full potential, relying too much on the long ball forward. England did, however, put in a solid performance and deserved to win. The real test will come for England when they meet a quality team who play to their potential - this may be when the cracks show.
Gary, Scotland

"Argentina will beat England hands down. Argentina are far superior and can outwit, outrun, outplay, and outclass England."

Ha ha ha woohoo yeehaa!!! 1-0!!!
Andy B, England


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