Lionel Messi’s Argentina won 1-0 against Venezuela in a friendly match played in Kolkata on Friday evening. Argentina’s Alejandro Sabella career got off to a positive start as he secured a minimal victory for his team, courtesy of a second-half header by Porto centre-half Nicolas Otamendi.
Though Argentina were more active team in the early minutes and created their first real chance just nine minutes into the match, when Lionel Messi released Angel Di Maria on the left side of the box, but Roberto Rosales dispossessed the Real Madrid man with a well-timed sliding tackle.
Moments later Venezuela threatened to score as Miku crossed from the right wing for Salomon Rondon into the penalty area, but the Malaga striker failed to connect properly with the ball and the chance went begging.
Venezuela started the second period very brightly but couldn’t build on the initiative.
Argentina continued to attack in the remaining time, however, were ultimately unable to score a second goal.
PTI reported that Star footballer Lionel Messi’s magic failed to garner a packed Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata but it did bring in a galaxy of celebrities and dignitaries from all over India here.
There were aroung 80,000 spectators in the 1,20,000 capacity Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
Even as the upper tier was almost packed, the midddle and lower tiers on the left side of the VIP arena cut a sorry figure in front of the world’s most glamorous team.
Messi and his team were greeted with loud cheers by the crowd when they stepped on to the field around 6:20pm. The sporting Kolkata crowd also gave an equal cheer for the Venezuelan team.
However, the cheers were subdued compared with the frenzied support a Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal clash generated, which incidentally is listed by FIFA as one of the world’s top rivalries.
With inputs from PTI and Goal.com