SHARE
  • Jorge Sampaoli lined Argentina up with just two defenders in a 2-3-5 formation
  • Lionel Messi was rested for the clash at the Singapore National Stadium 
  • Federico Fazio tapped home a Alejandro Gomez corner in the 25th minute
  • Joaquin Correa made it 2-0 five minutes later before Gomez added a third
  • Leandro Paredes netted a fourth and Lucas Alario scored in the 90th minute
  • Angel Di Maria wrapped up a resounding Argentina victory in injury time  

John O’brien, Reuters

Argentina’s experimental line-up proved too strong for an outclassed Singapore, with the South Americans’ opening five goals coming from first-time scorers.

The match was organised to celebrate the home FA’s 125th anniversary but Argentina were in no mood to go easy on the Singaporeans, with new coach Jorge Sampaoli keen to try out attacking options against limited opposition.

Some local fans had demanded refunds when leading lights Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain withdrew from the trip at late notice but Sampaoli saw it as an opportunity to try out a five-man attacking unit led by Sevilla forward Joaquin Correa.

Angel Di Maria is congratulated after scoring Argentina's sixth goal against Singapore

Angel Di Maria is congratulated after scoring Argentina's sixth goal against Singapore

Angel Di Maria is congratulated after scoring Argentina’s sixth goal against Singapore

Jorge Sampaoli lined up Argentina with a 2-3-5 formation in his second match in charge

Jorge Sampaoli lined up Argentina with a 2-3-5 formation in his second match in charge

Jorge Sampaoli lined up Argentina with a 2-3-5 formation in his second match in charge

MATCH STATS

Singapore (4-4-2): Sunny (Mahbud 50); Abdul Hameed (Ramli 86), Fandi (Mustafic 57), Bennett, Hamzah (Sulaiman 67); Nazari, Arifin (Shafiq 85), Harun, Abu Sujad; Baharudin, Mohammad Kamal (Ishak 65)

Argentina (2-3-5): Guzman; Mammana, Fazio; Biglia (Banega 46), Eduardo Salvio, Acuna; Di Maria, Dybala, Gomez (Fernandez 70), Lanzini (Paredes 60), Correa (Alario 46)

Goalscorers: Fazio 25, Correa 31, Gomez 60, Paredes 74, Alario 90, Di Maria 90

Argentina took 25 minutes to make the breakthrough and it came from an unlikely source when Roma central defender Federico Fazio was left unmarked at a corner to slot home from close range.

A set piece proved to be Singapore’s undoing once more when Juventus’ Paulo Dybala collected a short corner and drilled in a low cross to the near post, which Correa tucked home for his first international goal in the 30th minute.

Singapore then created their only real chance of the match on the stroke of half-time when full back Shakir Hamzah almost embarrassed Nahuel Guzman with an over-hit cross that just drifted wide of the keeper’s far post.

Roma's Federico Fazio opened the scoring in the 25th minute - tapping home from a corner

Roma's Federico Fazio opened the scoring in the 25th minute - tapping home from a corner

Roma’s Federico Fazio opened the scoring in the 25th minute – tapping home from a corner

Sevilla winger Joaquin Correa scored the second for Argentina during the friendly

Sevilla winger Joaquin Correa scored the second for Argentina during the friendly

Sevilla winger Joaquin Correa scored the second for Argentina during the friendly

Atalanta star Alejandro Gomez toasts his strike which made it 3-0 to Argentina on Tuesday

Atalanta star Alejandro Gomez toasts his strike which made it 3-0 to Argentina on Tuesday

Atalanta star Alejandro Gomez toasts his strike which made it 3-0 to Argentina on Tuesday

Argentina continued their attacking onslaught after the break and the massed ranks on the 157th-ranked home side’s defence did well to stave off the visitors until Alejandro Gomez marked his debut with a 61st-minute goal.

The Atalanta striker struck with a low left-footed effort from the edge of the area before Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes, also on debut, followed suit 13 minutes later with a sweetly-hit lifted shot with his instep that flew into the top corner.

Singapore tried to venture forward in the closing stages in search of a consolation goal but Lucas Alario and Angel Di Maria, with a cheeky backheel, capitalised on the open spaces to add a gloss to the scoreline in the dying minutes.

Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes is embraced by team-mate Di Maria following his debut goal

Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes is embraced by team-mate Di Maria following his debut goal

Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes is embraced by team-mate Di Maria following his debut goal

Lucas Alario waltzed through the Singapore defence before scoring Argentina's fifth 

Lucas Alario waltzed through the Singapore defence before scoring Argentina's fifth 

Lucas Alario waltzed through the Singapore defence before scoring Argentina’s fifth 

Di Maria arrows an effort towards goal - he wrapped up the match with a sixth in added time

Di Maria arrows an effort towards goal - he wrapped up the match with a sixth in added time

Di Maria arrows an effort towards goal – he wrapped up the match with a sixth in added time

‘The main focus of the match was to focus on the attack and putting pressure on the opposition and we created plenty of chances but just could not put them away,’ Sampaoli told reporters.

‘I am happy with the team and the performance as they managed to translate my ideas on to the pitch throughout the 90 minutes,’ added the 57-year-old, whose first game in charge was a 1-0 friendly win over Brazil in Melbourne last week.  

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here