Friday, June 30, 2006

Why take off Riquelme?

The Argies blundered monumentally, in my opinion, by taking off Juan Roman Riquelme in the second half of today's FIFA World Cup quarterfinal against Germany. Even though he was laboring, Riquelme is the one player on the pitch (Germany's Michael Ballack included) who can change the game with that one incisive pass. The Argentines dominated the first half; the Germans were definitely on the back foot. Carlos "Carlitos" Tevez is a revelation, although Crespo looked a shade off his game.
But once Riquelme left the pitch, it was advantage to Germany. There was just a bounce in their step from that point onward. Klose's goal was class, and the Argies paid the price for not making their early dominance result in more than a 1-nil lead.