Not to be dazzled by the perfect vintage of the Scaloni Selection: six points and two alarms

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The two wins should not be misleading. The team has several operating problems that were highlighted and can be inconvenient against higher-ranking rivals.

The victory in La Paz can be misleading. And the six points collected on the double opening date, seen only from mathematics, would be resting on laurels that have yet to be achieved. Two wins, two wake-up calls. Better now, early, because this Selection, like the others, is prey to trial and error, to train in competition.

Beating Bolivia as a visitor is very good. To say that the difference could have been wider due to the opportunities squandered in the second half invites to oversize the final result if it is not taken into account that in the first half a carom tie was found and that the National Team was close to going to rest two goals down. Enthusiasm must stop at the gaze of the leaderboard.

Structural problems were seen with Ecuador. Without the “fault” of the height, what was seen in La Paz were some individual conceptual errors, especially in the first part, which enhanced the badness of what had been seen in the Bombonera.

“The ball runs, the man does not run” they said already in Neanderthal times. Millennia later, Ocampos ran the ball 50 meters alone. His adventure had no destination, save the loss and the opponent’s response. Still fresh and despite their shortcomings, the Bolivians at the altitude looked like Germans on the plain and they arrived comfortably on the other side where the mistakes continued. If Montiel lets the winger throw the center, if Martínez Quarta-Otamendi are seduced by the ball, if Armani never comes out, Martins’ goal will be repeated against any rival.

There were certain déjà vu: the one who handles it (Paredes or De Paul) does not have a pass. Those who receive (Martínez or Messi) are left on top or are outlined badly, strikingly, for men of that category. Those accompanying (Ocampos-Palacios) are not offered. And the game dies before it is born. It was seen with Ecuador, it was seen yesterday in the first part.

The good thing is that in the second half the corrections appeared, beyond that short period of “stick by stick”, and there was a “shorter” team, with players closer to each other on less ground. Elementary. There Palacios highlighted, there were signs of life from Messi, more firmness in the background. It was enough to turn the game around in hostile territory. One-day patches worth three points. It’s not little. A lot is missing.



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