Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni says his team did not deserve to suffer in the final minutes of the 2-1 victory over Australia, which secured a place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar.
“It was a difficult game, typical of a World Cup. We had to work, especially in the first half. At halftime, we corrected it. After Leo’s goal, which opened the game, I think we improved. I think the team didn’t deserve to suffer in the last minutes, we created to increase the advantage.”
The coach did not count on striker Dí María, spared by muscle problems. The player was on the bench, but without playing conditions.
“Di María wasn’t in good condition today. Having him on the bench is a temptation. Let’s hope that as the days go by he makes it into the game,” said Scaloni.
The Argentine commander also spoke about the sequence of exhausting games in the Cup. As he needed the victory against Poland to advance to the knockout stage, he was not rotated in the squad. Now, he hopes to have time to recover the team.
“We couldn’t rest the players against Poland. After playing four games in 11 days, we now have to recover against another tough opponent.”
Midfielder McAllister corroborated the coach’s comment and also spoke about the team’s fatigue in the match against the Australians. “We came a little tired, now we can rest and focus on the next game.”
The player also praised the performance of goalkeeper Martínez, who saved the team in stoppage time. “We know he’s a great goalkeeper and he’s there when we need him.”
Argentina returns to the field on Friday (9), when they face the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, at 4 pm (Brasília time), at the Lusail stadium.
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