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Played
March 22, 2013 8:00 PM EDT
Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti — Capital Federal, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Referee:‬ V. Carrillo‎
Attendance:‬ 40000‎
 
 
45′ (PG) Lionel Messi
 
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Argentina 3-0 Venezuela

Goal.com takes a closer look at the men involved in a commanding victory for the host at River's Estadio Monumental, decided by two goals from Gonzalo Higuain.

By Daniel Edwards

  • Sergio Romero
    38
    5
    3.00

    Sergio Romero

    An all-too straightforward game for the keeper. Until the final minutes, hard to remember him being called into action for a single save as his side dominated.

  • Ezequiel Garay
    40
    2
    3.00

    Ezequiel Garay

    Stayed strong against the pace of Rondon, covering efficiently on the few occasions Venezuela threatened to break through.

  • Federico Fernández
    36
    2
    3.00

    Federico Fernández

    Occasionally looked fragile with the ball on the floor, but played a conservative defensive game that paid off with few scares.

  • Pablo Zabaleta
    42
    4
    3.50

    Pablo Zabaleta

    Given little to do at the back, and was happy to advance and join the attack. At times though, the final product was lacking.

  • M. Rojo
    34
    5
    3.00

    M. Rojo

    Enjoyed himself on the left against the inexperienced Gonzalez, breaking forward well and going close to scoring with a wicked effort.

  • Fernando Gago
    51
    5
    4.50

    Fernando Gago

    Showed his worth as part of a dynamic midfield three, covering the defense well and shining with two fantastic passes that split Venezuela open.

  • Javier Mascherano
    52
    8
    4.00

    Javier Mascherano

    Content to anchor the midfield and let the more creative players ahead of him steal the show, the ex-captain was nevertheless a model of security in the middle.

  • Walter Montillo
    35
    5
    3.50

    Walter Montillo

    A surprise inclusion for those unfamiliar with South American football, but played his role to perfection. Formed a fluid partnership with Messi and kicked off the move for the opener.

  • Ezequiel Lavezzi
    39
    7
    2.50

    Ezequiel Lavezzi

    A frustrating show from the Paris Saint-Germain forward, never stopped trying but his running was often on a different wavelength to his more cerebral team-mates.

  • Lionel Messi
    174
    24
    4.50

    Lionel Messi

    Always wanted the ball, and rarely disappointed when he had it at his feet. A pinpoint pass played in Higuain before he added his own goal with a storming penalty.

  • Gonzalo Higuaín
    95
    15
    4.00

    Gonzalo Higuaín

    Kept up his incredible scoring form for Argentina, timing the run perfectly and finishing with class in the first half to hand his side the lead. Another brilliant definition supplied his second.

Substitutions

  • Ever Banega
    39
    2

    Ever Banega

    Fitted in seamlessly to the side after entering for Gago, albeit without the same attacking presence shown by the Velez man.

  • Maxi Rodríguez
    26
    7

    Maxi Rodríguez

    The Newell's man saw the last few minutes in a late substitution.

  • Rodrigo Palacio
    29
    4

    Rodrigo Palacio

    A brief cameo at the end as he replaced the excellent Higuain.

  • D. Hernández
    6
    2
    2.50

    D. Hernández

    Little he could do for any of Argentina's goals, and indeed made sure the score was not too inflated with several decent saves.

  • A. González
    2
    3
    2.00

    A. González

    A big stage for the youngster as he was thrown into the team due to injury, and it was tough going against the explosive Rojo and Montillo.

  • Andres Tuñez Arceo
    3
    3
    2.00

    Andres Tuñez Arceo

    Could not live with Argentina's two rampant goalscorers, losing track of Higuain on both goals that proved to be so costly.

  • Gabriel Cichero
    2
    3
    1.50

    Gabriel Cichero

    The villain of the piece still in the first half, an unnecessary handball giving Messi the chance to add a second from the spot.

  • O. Vizcarrondo
    2
    3
    2.50

    O. Vizcarrondo

    The Lanus defender did not enjoy himself in the Monumental, stretched to breaking point by the dynamism of Argentina's stars.

  • Frank Feltscher
    4
    5
    1.00

    Frank Feltscher

    An ineffective presence on the pitch, crowded out by Gago and Mascherano and unable to move the ball forward to Rondon.

  • F. Lucena
    2
    3
    2.50

    F. Lucena

    Along with Rincon, tried to impose himself physically but the plan backfired as the pair were passed off the pitch.

  • Juan Fernando Arango
    4
    4
    1.50

    Juan Fernando Arango

    A lot of responsibility lay on the veteran's shoulders to get his side going, but he failed to find the spark. Precious few set-piece chances.

  • L. Seijas
    3
    4
    2.50

    L. Seijas

    Looked bright in the opening minutes, dropping between midfield and defense to cause Argentina grief, but dropped off as the Albiceleste took control.

  • Tomás Eduardo Rincón
    4
    3
    3.00

    Tomás Eduardo Rincón

    Came out a man on a mission, that mission mainly to kick anything that moved. Calmed down after a deserved yellow card.

  • Rondón
    8
    2
    3.50

    Rondón

    A game to forget for the physical striker, who cut a forlorn figure for much of the game playing on his own seemingly abandoned by his teammates.

Substitutions

  • C. González
    2
    3

    C. González

    Thrown into the action during the second half, but powerless to turn the tide.

  • Miku
    6
    2

    Miku

    Precious few minutes at the end for the striker as Venezuela fought against the inevitable.

Results
Matchday 11
Times In EDT
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
11 2
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
10 3
Radamel Falcao Radamel Falcao
Striker
AS Monaco
9 3
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
9 0
Felipe Caicedo Felipe Caicedo
Striker
Al Jazira
7 4