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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Copa America: Argentina 3 x Mexico 0: Argentine Touch Exemplified

If there were any doubts who has the most technically gifted national team in the world, Argentina silenced all critics. With three exceptional goals, they advanced to the final against Brasil. First, Gabriel Heinze, in mid-air, softly volleyed with his left foot from a perfect free kick by Juan Roman Riquelme. Then Leo Messi sublimely chipped a ball over the head of Osvaldo Sanchez. The third, a penalty kick, again was delicately chipped past a sprawling Sanchez by the master, Riquelme.

Mexico played well, and were unlucky with two struck posts in either half by Andres Guardado and Nery Castillo; however, Argentina, led by Juan Roman Riquelme, produced another impressive victory. Their technical brilliance should be studied by all teams, and certainly is a joy to watch. Whether they are orchestrating a dozen or more passes, along with the types of touches that we witnessed tonight in Ciudad Guyana, this is football at its highest level. When their defenders, such as Heinze and Javier Zanetti, can execute moves that few strikers can, you know that something special is before your eyes.

To view video highlights, please click here. Seeing is believing. ;-) As Pablo Ramirez of Univision concisely stated, "Argentina is the team of the golazos (great goals)."

Argentina will face their historic rivals, Brasil, in a rematch of the 2004 Copa America final. Should Argentina win, it will be their 15th championship in this competition. Which would be a record. Should Brasil triumph, it would be their 8th title. The game will take place at 1700 Eastern Time on Sunday.

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