Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Argentina 4 Algeria 3 and Other Notes

A friendly was played last night at Barcelona's Nou Camp between Algeria and Argentina, a warmup for the Albicelestes (White and Sky blue, Argentina's colors) 2008 Copa America campaign.

FC Barcelona starlet Lionel Messi, architect of the Greatest Goal I've Ever Seen, scored two goals as Argentina held on for a 4-3 win over the Algerians.

Argentina led two minutes into the game after striker Carlos Tevez converted a penalty awarded after Majid Bouzid fouled striker Diego Milito.

Anthar Yahia equalized for Algeria in the 10th, deflecting in a corner, and the Africans went ahead 2-1 lead in the 43rd thanks to Majid Bougherra's shot that surprised goalkeeper Roberto 'Pato' Abbondanzieri.

The 19-year-old Messi then converted a penalty after being brought down by defender Mehdi Meniri in the 55th minute to level the scores.

Two minutes later, Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso connected on a Javier Zanetti cross from the right to push Argentina into the lead.

Barcelona's Messi, playing on his home ground, exchanged passes with midfielder Pablo Aimar before scoring Argentina's fourth in the 74th minute.

Nadir Belhadj scored his second of the night in the 75th but the Argentines held on for the win, three days after a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in a friendly.

Three-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o said recently he is keen to stay with Spanish side Barcelona. But that's not going to stop European champions AC Milan from trying to lure him to Italy.

The hot transfer news of the day has the super striker top of Milan's shopping list.
Adriano Galliani, the vice-president of the champions, said, "We intend to ask Barcelona at the end of the Spanish season if they would sell Eto'o."

I'm sure Barca would love to keep Eto'o, but something tells me the Cameroonian is ready to move on. Stay tuned.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has refused an appeal from the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) demanding a replay of their 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifier in Mauritania.

The decision was made at a meeting of the African Nations Cup committee in Cairo.

"The incident that occurred during the match did not affect either of the teams or the spirit of the game," a CAF spokesman said.

The Group Two game on Sunday in Nouakchott ended in a 1-1 draw but was held up for 40 minutes during the half-time break as the home fans invaded the pitch.

Egypt, the reigning African Champions, were leading 1-0 at the end of the first half and the EFA claimed that their players were scared during the second half which affected their performance and the match result.


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