Maradona's Argentina hit five in Canada rout
BUENOS AIRES |
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Maxi Rodriguez scored twice as Argentina routed Canada 5-0 Monday in their final match on home soil before heading to the World Cup.
Winger Angel Di Maria also scored a fine goal at a packed Monumental stadium against a Canada side who were overwhelmed at times by the speed and precision of Argentina's attacks.
Diego Maradona's side, featuring reserve centre backs and without the rested Lionel Messi, went ahead after quarter of an hour with a right-footed free kick from Rodriguez.
Just past the half-hour mark he scored again, finishing off a lightning break that demonstrated the strength of Maradona's team on the counter-attack.
The ball came out of defence to Gonzalo Higuain, who laid it off to Carlos Tevez breaking through the middle. Faced with two defenders Tevez passed it to his right where Rodriguez hit a low first-time shot under goalkeeper Patrick Onstad.
Di Maria made it 3-0 shortly before the interval when he surprised the Canada defence by curling the ball inside the far post with the outside of his left foot.
"The lads understood what I wanted, there are no friendlies," Maradona said in a televised interview on the pitch. "The fans can relax, we have good players."
The hard-working Tevez also got on the scoresheet just past the hour from a lay-off in the box by Higuain.
Sergio Aguero replaced Tevez and had only been on the pitch a minute when he took a long pass out to the left, cut inside, wrong-footed a defender and scored the fifth.
Argentina will face Nigeria, South Korea and Greece in Group B at the June 11-July 11 World Cup finals in South Africa.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford; to query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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