Toulon Day Three: Holland and Argentina battle to wins

5 06 2009

buonanotte2Day Three of the Toulon Tournament, and Holland got themselves a win at the second time of asking with a narrow 1-0 win over an Emirati team who continue to impress. In the evening, Argentina and Egypt put together a fantastic affair which the South American side edged 3-2 with a late goal from Diego Buonanotte.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to talk much about the Dutch win because Eurosport chose not to show the match, instead sticking with the French Open Tennis. Therefore, the match report is all there is to go on, which reveals captain Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored an early goal which was enough to clinch three points for the Oranje. Two yellow cards apiece suggest there was some temper in the match, although there has been some overzealous refereeing at times. The result means that both teams have a chance of progression in their final round of matches, although the UAE’s task is somewhat harder in facing Argentina.

Whilst the first half of Argentina vs Egypt wasn’t televised live either, the cameras joined the game in time for a very entertaining second half. Egypt caused their more illustrious opponents no end of problems and looked a much more capable team than the lazy outfit which played against the UAE on Wednesday, where their finishing cost them dearly. After a hectic first half the Africans took the lead shortly before the break with a goal from Marzouk Mohamed. Salah Ibrahim turned well on the halfway line and slotted a ball in behind for Mohamed, who slammed in at the near post. The advantage lasted just two minutes as Argentina earned a penalty.

Buonanotte dribbled through the centre of defence in the same way he earned a spot kick against Holland, and with five red shirts around him, any touch was enough to go down and win the penalty. For the second time in as many games captain Ever Banega stepped up to score, this time more emphatically than his chipped effort against Holland, slotting in off the post. The scoreline at the break was possibly harsh on a very useful Egyptian team, and so when Alejandro Gomez put them behind fifteen minutes into the second half, it was slightly against the run of play, although Argentina’s attacking talent always means they have a chance. Banega cleverly played Buonanotte into space on the edge of the area, and he spread it wide to Gomez, who kept his cool to rifle high into the net from a tight angle.

But this lead was only to last two minutes as Egypt levelled with a penalty of their own. It was won in controversial fashion, as an inswinging cross from the right towards Ahmad Mohamed seemed innocuous enough. The Egyptian forward was backing into Leandro Marin before falling over, a moment which the referee deemed a penalty, and a yellow card for Marin, who was genuinely baffled at the decision. Nonetheless, Islam Rashad stepped up and converted with a strong left-footed effort which beat Marchesín for power.

With their equaliser Egypt looked to take advantage of momentum and had chances to re-take the lead. The match, like many so far this tournament, became a little fraught with temper and yellow cards were coming thick and fast. The winning goal, when it arrived, was of top quality, and came from arguably the player of the tournament so far. A cross from the right found Diego Buonanotte just inside the area in line with the left goalpost. He took the ball down, beat his man and sent a shot fizzing into the near post.

That was it as far as real chances went, and the last ten minutes played themselves out with more fractious behaviour and scrappy football. For Egypt, it marks the end of their tournament as they are eliminated, perhaps a little harshly given their performances, whilst Argentina seal their place in the Semi Finals.

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