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Argentina 4-0 Venezuela

Diego Maradona couldn't have asked for a better Argentina debut as his side crushed Venezuela 4-0 at the Monumental stadium.

From the kick-off it was evident that there was only ever going to be one winner, and Argentina proved their superiority with a high-scoring victory on Diego Maradona's official debut.

As was expected Argentina started the stronger of the two sides, and they pushed forward in large numbers as they looked to score an early goal.

After much pressure, Argentina finally went ahead in the 25th minute when Lionel Messi beat the offside trap and slotted home after receiving a perfect ball from Carlos Tevez.

Maradona looked very excited on the bench, not only because of the manner in which his team were playing, but because of the support they were receiving from the strong 60,000 home crowd.

Despite numerous attempts, Argentina went into the half-time break with a slender one-goal advantage over a Venezuela side who couldn't do more but defend.

It seemed that Maradona had motivated his troops during the half-time team talk, as they came out ever more aggressive than in the first period.

Only one minute into the half Manchester United striker Tevez doubled Argentina's advantage with a well-timed volley.

Six minutes later Maximiliano Rodriguez added their third goal with another volley, which this time was deflected into the back of the net off a Venezuelan defender.

Venezuela lacked sufficient quality to match their opponents, and were completely overwhelmed throughout the half.

At this stage a confident Argentina slowed down the pace, and enjoyed their huge lead with slick passing in the midfield.

In the 70th minute Maradona brought on Juan Sebastian Veron to the appreciation of the Buenos Aires crowd. Veron, veteran of two World Cups, is likely to be the permanent replacement of the retired Juan Roman Riquelme.

Even if they were more relaxed by now Argentina weren't done yet, and in the 72nd minute Sergio Aguero added their fourth goal of the night, when he beat a couple of defenders before firing the ball past a hapless Renny Vega in the Venezuela goal.

As Maradona had wished for prior to the match, him and his Argentine squad were applauded off the field by the ecstatic home crowd.

Gregory Sica, Goal.com

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