Best Team: No doubt here. It has been Argentina, who topped the group and played some lovely football along the way. They went behind in their two first matches but showed the patience and confidence of a top team on top of its game to end up winning both comfortably. They have quality all across the pitch and on the bench too. In coach Coco Basile they have an experienced old hand who has managed to make playing Verón and Riquelme in the same team look a blindingly obvious choice and who gave a master class in how to use your subs both in the game against the USA and again last night against Paraguay when the introduction of Messi pepped up his attack and resulted in a classy goal for fellow sub Mascherano.
A special mention here for Javier Mascherano. His goal last night was classy. Instead of power he went for precision, placing the ball perfectly beyond the desperate stretch of Bobadilla. As sweet as the goal itself was the unbridled joy of Masche at his first goal for his country.
After last night we know that Argentina’s reserves are stronger than Paraguay’s but the Guaranis impressed nonetheless in this group, especially with their 5-0 demolition of Colombia. Mexico-v-Paraguay, Castillo-v-Roque Santa Cruz – could be quite a game.
Biggest disappointment in Group C has been Colombia. They won a game and the USA did not, but then the USA sent their second string after their recent exertions in the Gold Cup. Colombia arrived at full strength, talking about repeating their success of 2001 and going all the way. Instead it all ended in disaster and just one rung above humiliation. Now they must quickly regroup ahead of the start of the World Cup qualifiers later this year.
Group C final table:
Country – Points – Goal Difference
Argentina – 9 – (+6)
Paraguay – 6 – (+6)
Colombia – 3 – (-6)
USA – 0 – (-6)