New Zealand vs Argentina summary: score, goals, stats and highlights, FIFA U-20 World Cup
We couldn't resist...
Though we said goodnight, we had to come back one more time to share this beauty with you once more. Enjoy and Goodnight!
Argentina lay down a marker against New Zealand
Perhaps the most fitting word to describe Argentina's performance tonight is "wow." In a game where they were already assured classification, the Albiceleste played like they were actually fighting for a spot in the last 16.
From the get go, not only was there an intensity in their offensive play, but also in the way in which they hunted in packs on defense. Indeed, the Kiwis could hardly manage to possess the ball for more than a few seconds before they were robbed of it and made to face an immediate attack.
This of course brings us to the list of names who were central to tonight's victory. Firstly, let's start with Federico Redondo - son of Real Madrid legend Fernando Redondo - who was simply flawless in the middle of the ground. With no need for the fancy footwork of some of his teammates, the pivot put on a demonstration in touch and move football as he orchestrated play after play from the middle of the park.
Then there was the busy winger, Brian Aguirre, whose dribbles and cuts and quality crosses caused havoc all night. Fittingly, he was given the responsibility of taking the penalty which led to Argentina's fourth.
Mention should also be made of Gino Infantino, who essentially did the same from the opposite wing, while also popping up in the central channel on numerous occasions. His far post strike for the 2nd of the night was testament to the fact.
Last but most definitely not least, we've got to talk about Luka Romero. Now, let's be honest, we've all heard of players who have been called the "new Messi" before, but never have we seen one that actually looks and more importantly leads like him. Yet, that's exactly what Romero did on the night, his energy, techhnique and touches were something to behold as he offered an element to his team that no other player did. Then, there was his goal. If any other goal is voted goal of the tournament, it will almost certainly have to be something not seen before. After evading his three markers in midfield, Romero set off on a run and then let fly a rocket from at least 30 yards out, to bring the stadium to it's feet. Truthfully, the only blotch in Argentina's showing was when Mascherano decided to substitute the starlet in the second half. We we're hoping for a little more of him to be honest.
As for New Zealand, what can we say? The Kiwis knew they were going to be in for a tough time and to be fair, they we're relatively decent in the first 10 minutes, but once Argentina got going, the gulf in class became blatantly obvious. Indeed, the 673 passes that Argentina completed next to their 194 was clearly a representation of that fact.As they look forward, they will now have to hope on favorable results elsewhere for a chance to advance as a third placed team. They can only hope. Argentina on the other hand, will go to the round of 16 having announced to the rest of teams out there, that they aren't playing around.
With that we wish you a good night and we thankyou for joining us for what was a scintillating game in the FIFA Under 20 World Cup.
Here's Aguirre's penalty
Following a VAR check, the referee determined that it was Raj who blocked the shot with his hand. Aguirre put paid to the opportunity.
That's all folks. The referee has brought to a close what was truly an exhibition of football. Though the loss will hurt, New Zealand can hold their heads high knowing they were simply facing superior opposition.
Barco with a nice cross from the left and once again Veliz is there to contest, but his header is over the bar and it will be a New Zealand goal kick.
Herdman is carded for a shove on Brarco. He's a decent player no doubt, but his team is out of its depth tonight.
After a cheeky little run from Soule he tries to flick the ball over the defense, but his pass just doesn't make it to Infantino.
We get started again and it's Argentina's ball. It will be Redondo who brings it forward and he finds Barco on the left, they've got a thing going on, but New Zealand break it up and manage to come out.
We've got a man down and it appears to be Infantino, but he's getting to his feet. He will take a stroll to the side line.
New Zealand will bring it out of the back and there is a decent pass to Donkers up front from Herdman, but his touch fails him and Argentina will have a throw.
Argentina have a throw deep in New Zealand's territory and Barco manages to cross to Aguirre, but he's robbed before he can get off his shot from close range.
We will have 8 additonal minutes, which seems a bit excessive given the situation, none the less here we go.
It's Soule now on the right and he's going to work, but he will change it to Barco on the right. In the end it's lost and New Zealand attempt to play out, but they're halted and Argentina have the throw in.
As we approach the last few minutes of the game, one gets the feeling that Argentina might like to add another. Such is the intensity with which they have played all night. The crowd in full song as Peronne gets off and running again.
And just like that. Following a peach of a pass from Perrone, Veliz met it in the air with an inch perfect header and that's 5-0!
At this point, with Uzbekistan leading Guatemala, it will be them who go through with Argentina, while New Zealand will have to wait on other results to see if they can qualify as a third placed finisher.
The resulting free kick is played to long and Argentina will break again. It's Redondo in the middle and he goes right to Soule.
Soule is robbed an Herdman sets off. He's met immediately by Redondo, but manages a rather clever touch before he's blocked off. The ref will call it back for a foul on the young talent.
If you'd like some perspective as to how this has gone, Argentina has made 673 compared to New Zealand's 194. That's dominance.
Aguirre this time on the left and he absolutely bamboozles his marker, but his cross is caught by Sims. We go again.
Barco with a lovely low driven cross from the left after some tidy work on the left, but it's cleared. Still Argentina's ball
We've entered the last 10 minutes of the match here in San Jaun and the score is 4-0 to ARgentina.
Perrone goes on a long uncontested run up the middle and finds Soule to his right, with the latter attempting to curl the ball into the far post with his left foot. It doesn't quite hit the mark and it will be a goal kick to the Kiwis.
A decent run from Infantino, who combines well with Soule but in the end Sims comes early to claim the cross.
The pace has started to come down a notch as the host nation seems content to take the life out of the game.
Aguirre is definitely one to watch as he jinks and dances around Herdman. In the end, the ball is booted long by Sims to the left and Argentina will have a throw in.
Argentina have it again and play all the way home. It's Miramon now who takes up the task and plays to the right, but Soule is ushered out. A New Zealand throw.
We've got a card given to Di Lollo who seemed to have hit Donkers in the face when both jumped to head the ball. New Zealand with the free kick.
For the moment Argentina continue to play around their own defense from left to right and back again. Finally it's Aguirre who gets it on the left - he's made a switch - and he's defended well. New Zealand have it now.
Vega has jus re-entered the pitch and is given the ball immediately such that he loses it, but New Zealand can only manage to boot it long.
Argentina get going once again with Barco on the left, but he gives it to Redondo who changes to the right. Here we go.
We've got a man down and it appears to be Argentina's Vega. It's not clear exactly what happened, but he seems to be in some discomfort at the moment as he makes his way off the field accompanied by two of the team's medical staff.
New Zealand will also make changes with Colloty and Garbett going off for Donkers and Fay respectively.
Argentina will make two more changes with Romero and Puch going off for Perrone and Veliz coming on respectively. One almost feels robbed of the pleasure of watching Argentina's new star. What a joy it's been to watch him tonight.
Argentina will make two more changes with Romero and Puch going off for Perrone and Veliz coming on respectively. One almost feels robbed of the pleasure of watching Argentina's new star. What a joy it's been to watch him tonight.
A lovely attempt from Romero after a driven cross from Barco. Indeed, Romero's speed of thought was on show as he tried to flick the ball toward goal with his heel.
This time it's Soule who gets down the left and sees his cross blocked as well but this time it's a corner.
After recovering the ball, Argentina push forward once again. It's Redondo once again pulling the strings and he finds Barco who's cross is blocked.
We've got a situation that none of the players seem to understand but it's a New Zealand free kick which they waste.
Aguirre again with his bag of tricks on the right side of the field, but he's got 3 markers on him. After going home to Redondo, the crowd has started to entertain itself with a Mexican wave.
Barco once again on the left, but he changes to the right where Puch controls well, but he's tackled and Argentina will have a throw.
Argentina will change their goal keeper. Gomez Gerth will head off, while Claa will come on.
A bit of a strange play. Barco slipped Infantino in on the left, but he seemed to think he was offside before realizing he wasn't, at which point he did get the ball and get off a shot, but it went just wide. Again that could have been 5.
We've hit the 60th minute mark and New Zealand have a rare spell of possession, but in the end it doesn't last and it will be Redondo who sprays the ball to the left.
Speaking of chances, almost immediately the Kiwis give away the ball to Infantino, whose thunderous drive is unfortunately directly at Sims.
A lovely piece of play that should have led to a 5th. It was Aguirre with a deft flick over the defense to Soule who was in at point blank range. If not for a desperate save by Sims, it would have been 5.
Miramon receives a short pass from his keeper and gets things going once again. For the moment, Argentina seem content to play around their defense, but as I say that, Romero is released down the left and alarm bells start to ring for New Zealand.
Barco is said to be quite the talent with both Manchester city and Juventus said to be inquiring about him.
Surman will depart for O'leary, while Barco comes in for Gomez.
Both sides are currently preparing to make changes it seems.
The pace is getting a little unstructured at the moment, but Aguirre settles things and plays to Redondo, who in turn finds Romero on the left, but his low cross is to close to Sims, who collects.
Di Lollo again on the right, but he plays home instead at which point New Zealand actually manage to rob the ball and Herdman gets his first touches. He's a decent player at that.
At this point, Argentina will advance as group winners, while New Zealand will have to hope to qualify as a best third place finisher, should Uzbekistan defeat Gautemala, which they are primed to do.
The crowd is in full swing and song at this point as their boys are putting on a show. Gauto receives after a coming together of bodies and plays all the way home to Gomez Gerth in goal. They change to the right side where Di Lollo awaits.
Aguirre was given the responsibility from 12 yards and he delivered. It's now 4-0 to Argentina in what is becoming a drubbing by the Albiceleste.
Aguirre to take the penalty.
The penalty has been given and Raj will receive a yellow card as well. Harsh perhaps given the circumstances, but rules are rules.
Infantino's corner from the left is attacked at the near post and blocked by Jarvie, meaning we have another corner from the right side this time.
Soule gets his first touches of the game and they're good ones down the left. He wins a corner for his troubles.
Off we go once again, with Argentina getting us started in the 2nd half.
Both sides will make changes
The players are back on the field and it looks like we have some changes. Gauto is out for Soule, while Karuntane goes out for Herdman.
The Kiwis are in trouble
It's been a torrid time for New Zealand in the first half, there is no other way to say it and truth be told it's only likely to get worse in the second. With that said, the Kiwis have actually defended well, it's simply that they've met a side that is truly superior.
Goal of the tournament?
No matter what competition, what field, what team, that's an unreal goal from a player who we will undoubtedly be hearing more and more about in times to come. Luka Romero, remember the name!
As we wait for the referree to restart play we've already crossed the three minute mark and as it's put back into play, the referee brings the first half to a close. New Zealand will be thankful for the whistle.
Colloty is on the ground after seemingly taking Infantino's shot to the face.
Aguirre once again and he let's fly a shot from the middle, but it's blocked and we will have a corner.
The Albiceleste come forward once more with Miramon playing to Gauto on the right and back it goes to the middle once more where Redondo calmly collects and distributes.
We will have 3 minutes of added time.
Romero is wreaking havoc on New Zealand once again and he finds Infantino in the middle who goes looking for his second with a curling left footed shot to the far post. Unfortunately, it's too high.
A lovely long ball from Infantino all the way to left side is controlled beautifully by Aguirre. This guy can play.
Redondo with a lovely turn in the middle and he releases Puch, but the forward's misplaced pass fails to make it to Gauto. New Zealand get the throw and immediately lose it. Argentina once again.
A decent idea from Redondo, but his speculative through ball is cut. That being said, New Zealand fail to retain the ball and it's Argentina once again. They'll need to stop doing that.
We're approaching the final minutes of the half and Argentina will bring it out of their own half, it's deflected out for throw in which they're in no hurry to take.
It's Rendondo's turn now to show us some magic as he deftly beats his marker and then offers a backheel to Romero. The star then finds Puch up front but his shot is blocked and New Zealand survive what could have been a fourth.
A misplaced pass from Di Lollo finds only New Zealand's central defense, and New Zealand once again go forward, but another early cross finds only Gomez Gerth in Argentina's area.
New Zealand are trying their best to keep their heads up, but this is becoming almost hard to watch if it wasn't so stunning at the same time. Romero's wonder strike has definitely deflated the Kiwis.
Tehy call him the "new Messi" and he just showed us all why. After turning away from three defenders, Luka Romero let fly a left footed shot from at least 30 yards out. Sims never had a chance and that's 3-0.
New Zealand just manage to escape the press and the look a little better until Jarvie's cross which goes straight to Argentina's keeper. A disappointing end to what looked like a decent Kiwi attack.
The corner is met by Vega's head but his effort goes out for a New Zealand goal kick.
There is pushing in the area between Infantino and Manuel, the ref doesn't like it.
REdondo finds Aguirre on the right and once again the winger makes short work of his marker. Only a last ditch effort from Jarvie stops him from getting his low cross into the area. They will have a corner.
We've hit the half hour mark and the score remains 2-0 in Argentina's favor. It's Redondo who strokes it home to his defense and then on to Gomez Gerth in goal.
Following his dispossession, Argentina commits a rare lapse in concentration and it's Colloty who almost profits from it as he made his way into the box. A last ditch tackle stops him from getting off a shot.
Colloty with a decent control as New Zealand attempt to push forward, but he's quickly dispossessed.
What a shot from Aguirre on the left side after he cut into the field and unleashed a rocket from his right foot. Sims has to punch it out and they will have a corner, which is taken quickly but Sims is able to claim it uncontested.
A goal kick falls directly to Argentina once again and off they go once more. It's Romero who is driving them forward.
A lovely run from Aguirre to the base line but his cross is surprisngly not turned in by Romero. Then it's Gauto on the opposite side with a sensational dribble on the right side. His shot however just misses the far post.
This is truly a dominant performance from Argentina, to the extent that one almost feels sorry for the Kiwis who can only try to close space.
New Zealand can only boot the ball up the field and wait for another wave, while head coach Beazley urges his players to not sit so deep.
The corner isn't cleared well and the Argentinians are able to cross another, but it's blocked and there will be yet another corner. It's taken short.
Aguirre wins yet another corner from the left and he will take it himself.
New Zealand simply can't keep up with the Albiceleste. They're being swarmed in truth.
Aguirre beats his marker on the left and has a thunderous shot from distance, but it's block and New Zealand breathe a sigh of relief.
The Kiwis finally get a breather after Redondo commits a foul. They will have a free kick which they play back to Sims.
New Zealand are at risk of getting mauled in this one if they don't settle. Meanwhile Romero is proving himself to be every bit the star they say he is, as he moves to and fro.
So said so done. It's Romero who robs Jarvie and then plays Infantino into the box. The midfielder had a look as he approached on the left side and blasted it into the goal at the far post.
New Zealand are struggling to get out of the half.
That could have been disaster for New Zealand as Romero's volleyed is palmed wide by Sims following a lovely cross from Gauto on the right.
After the corner is taken short, Aguirre cuts to the line and lofts in a lovely cross and once again Puch is at the back post, but this time he makes no mistake and with his bullet header, Argentina now lead 1-0!
Argentina are relentless at this point and Aguirre it is this time who wins another corner from the left.
Romero tries the sensational from the corner as he's left completely unmarked at the penalty spot. His attempted scissors kick would likely have been the goal of the tournament had he scored.
Infantino to take.
After picking the ball up in midfield, Puch is sent on his way down the right side and manages to win another corner for his efforts.
The Kiwis are now trying maintain some degree of possession as we're told that Uzbekistan have just taken the lead over Guatemala.
Di Lollo gets his head to the ball off of the corner, but his effort goes wide and NEw Zealand will have a goal kick. Unfortunately, it falls straight to Argentina and Aguirre is set on a run. Indeed he manages to meander his way into the area and gets off a shot, but it's blocked and New Zealand survive.
Argentina once again plays home as they seemingly look to lower the Kiwis into pressing. Then suddenly Romero is released by Aguirre on the left and he see his shot blocked. They will have a corner from the left, their first.
This time it's Aguirre who goes down the left and manages to glide past Jarvie. His cross is just too high for Puch who would have had a free header at the backpost with Sims in goal nowhere in sight.
After retaining the ball, it's a great through ball from Redondo who finds Puch in space. The striker's effort is blocked but he manages to cross to Romero, whose misfires and watches his shot sail into the stands. That was a warning to the Kiwis.
With their first real attack of the game, the hosts go down the right side with Guato playing a deep cross from the right side, but it's too long and they will have to try again.
Linder boots it long as he looks for Jarvie once again, but his ball goes out of bounds. Argentina will ahve the throw which they take quickly and play home to defense. Again they seem to be feeling out the Kiwis in these opening minutes.
New Zealand retain possession and it will be Linder who plays to the right side, but his winger Jarvie can't mantain and Argentina take it back with Redondo - son of Fernando - taking over.
Gomez goes left but he's robbed and New Zealand regain possession. There's a confidence in the way the Kiwis are stroking around the ball. They've clearly not come here to sit back.
Argentina have robbed the Kiwis of the ball and immediately play it home to their keeper. It appears they'd like to get a feel for things before committing to an attack.
And away we go. New Zealand in their white strip will start with the ball, while Argentina have made a change with a purple kit this time.
Time for kickoff
The teams have lined up the referee is ready is and it's time for kickoff. Here we go!
But first, the national anthems
There are hands on hearts and words are being sung...sort of. It's New Zealand's national anthem up first. Which is followed Argentina's. One can tell by the volume in the stadium, which side is playing in their own country.
The teams are coming out!
With both sides making their way out onto the field, the noise level in the stadium has gone up a few notches. There is no place for nerves now, as both sides know all too well what's at stake.
What time is it? Game time!
Now just minutes from kickoff, we can just about contain ourselves as we wait for this one to get underway. If you're just joining us, it's New Zealand against Argentina in the final game of Group A in the Under 20 FIFA World Cup.
The stadium is full and the stage is set. The hosts have already secured their spot in the next round. Meanwhile,if New Zealand can at least get a draw, they'll secure themselves a spot in the round of 16 alongside them, but that's a big if at this point.
Sit back and stay with us as we take you through the action play by play!
New Zealand's starting 11
The most glaring absence in the Kiwis' line up is that of Jay Herdman, but we imagine we will see the midfield maestro at some point during the evening's proceedings.
Argentina's starting 11
Head coach Javier Mascherano has made some interesting tweaks to the line up, but we expect no less fight out of the hosts regardless of who's on the pitch.
It's almost game time!
With less than 30 minutes to kickoff, we're definitely getting excited about this one and rightly so. Argentina are all but assured of a spot in the next round while New Zealand could really help their cause by getting no less than a draw. Stay with us!
The Kiwis have a star of their own
After a stunning goal against Uzbekistan, the football world now definitely knows the name of Jay Herdman. The son of Canada's head coach John Herdman, the 18-year-old will be key to New Zealand's hopes of advancing.
Luka Romero, remember the name
Argentina's newest star with a lovely strike during their 3-0 win against Guatemala. This kid has definitely got game and he's not afraid to show it.
The weekend's schedule
If you're wondering about this weekend's slate of games, then take a look below for the complete list who who's playing who and at what time they kickoff.
New Zeland will be well backed
Under dogs or not, the Kiwis will have a ton of fans behind them. Can it spur them to a major upset in this World Cup? Time will tell, but we can certainly say it won't be for lack of support if they can't manage the feat.
The man in the middle and his assistants
Tonight's game will feature a team of officials from Qatar, the nation that just gave us arguably the most exciting FIFA World Cup in history and one that Argentina won.
We imagine the under-20 team will be looking to emulate their senior team and even more so given that they're playing in their own country.
A squad full of stars
With a plethora of talent in the team, it would take a brave man to bet against an Argentina win on Friday night, but stranger things have happened in football.
Welcome Welcome Welcome!
We've got a thrilling match in Group A tonight, with the host nation, Argentina, taking on New Zealand in what is the third game of the group for both sides.
The Albiceleste come into the match having won their first two games against Guatemala and Uzbekistan respectively, while the Kiwis got themselves a draw against the Central Americans, before defeating Uzbekistan.
It would be safe to say that the Argentinians are favored in this one, however, the New Zealanders have already shown that they know how to play the "beautiful game," which is to say, don't be surprised if they give Argentina a surprise.
Of course, playing at home, Argentina will be well supported and that's before we mention young stars like Manchester City's Maximo Perrone, who has already been called up to the full national squad. Yet, perhaps the shining light of the squad is 18-year-old Luka Romero, who has successfully broken into the Lazio team in Serie A and has since made 14 appearances and scored one goal. Known as the "new Messi," he will be one to watch.
Regardless of what happens tonight, be sure to stay with us throughout the action as we take you through the game play by play.
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