“Barcelona legend” Javier Mascherano, 39, the head coach of Argentina’s Olympic team, was dejected after his team’s loss to Japan.
Mascherano’s Argentina U-22s fell 2-5 in an exhibition match against the Japan U-22s at the IAI Stadium Nihondaira in Shizuoka, Japan, on Monday.
Argentina fell behind to an early goal from Kane Sato in the 18th minute. After Pablo Solari equalized in the 22nd minute to tie the game at 1-1, Argentina looked to have turned the tide when Thiago Almada scored five minutes into the second half.
However, Argentina panicked as they conceded two goals in the second half, one in the 21st minute to make it 2-1 and the other in the 30th minute to make it 2-2. Eventually, their organization broke down and they had to hang their heads as they conceded further goals to Yuta Matsumura in the 36th minute and Shio Fukuda in the 43rd minute.
It was a bad start for Argentina, who are aiming to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Japan, on the other hand, is still trying to recover from a 1-2 loss to Korea at the Hangzhou Asian Games, where they settled for a silver medal.
According to the Japanese ultra-soccer player, Mascherano was especially shocked. “I’m worried and sad about today’s result,” Mascherano said after the game, lamenting that “it was one game until 2-2, and then it became a completely different game.”
“After we came back in the second half, we had a good period of time and we were able to defend easily. But when we tied it up in the last 20 minutes or so, we lost our organization and lost control of the game. We lost the ball several times through mistakes and that’s how we lost the game to Japan.”
“I don’t want to use the excuse of fatigue. “I don’t want to use the excuse of fatigue, but what worries me more than that is that we gave the impression of being a weak team that lost its organization,” he said, adding that “after conceding the equalizer to Japan, we didn’t regain the flow and didn’t react properly.
“In soccer, when you make mistakes, you lose confidence and the other team gains confidence. In the last 25 minutes of the second half, Japan had the upper hand.”토토사이트
Argentina and Japan will meet again on March 21. This time, it will be behind closed doors. Despite the loss, Mascherano is looking forward to the next match.
“Of course, we need to analyze and correct everything that happened in today’s game. “It’s the first time we’ve been in this situation in a friendly and it’s not good for us as a team to feel like this,” he said.
“We need to fix what wasn’t good today and friendlies are about fighting for these things. I think there are a lot of things we need to work on,” he said, predicting that the match would be a medicine.
In particular, he said, “We knew what the Japanese team was like. We trained with the knowledge that they are a very dynamic team and that they press from the front, so we were worried,” he said.
“We knew that Japan would press from the front and attack quickly as soon as they got the ball, but in today’s game we lost a lot of possession,” he said, “so we lost a lot of possession in areas where we knew that losing possession to Japan would definitely lead to a shock.
Mascherano is a legendary defender who played for Liverpool and Barcelona during his playing days. He was so well known in his home country that he was nicknamed “Maziugae”. In the 2014-2015 season, he won a treble alongside Lionel Messi. He captained Argentina before handing over the reins to Messi.
However, Mascherano’s coaching experience is minimal. He appeared at the FIFA U-20 World Cup as the host nation, but was embarrassed by Nigeria in the round of 16.
Argentina last won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Messi leading the way. They will be looking for their third gold medal in Paris.