Thursday, 6 March 2014

Keepers shine as Argentina held in lively draw in Romania

Keepers shine as Argentina held in lively draw in Romania

Last Updated: Thursday, March 06, 2014, 08:58
Keepers shine as Argentina held in lively draw in Romania
Bucharest: Romania held Argentina to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday in a lively friendly at the National Arena that featured a host of missed chances and good displays from the goalkeepers.

The match in the Romanian capital was Argentina`s last test before coach Alejandro Sabella announces his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Brazil.

The visitors dominated the early stages with captain Lionel Messi delivering a corner that was headed just over the bar by defender Federico Fernandez and Gonzalo Higuain going close following a neat passing move.

Romania`s side, dominated by players from league leaders Steaua Bucharest, then started to press forward and created a couple of scoring chances.

Sergio Romero had to produce a fingertip save to deny home captain Ciprian Marica and he also parried Alexandru Maxim`s close-range header.

Six minutes before the interval Sergio Aguero almost broke the deadlock after a fine solo run but keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu pulled off an outstanding stop.

Argentina started the second half brightly and Florin Gardos had to make a goalline clearance after Aguero had rounded Manchester City team mate Costel Pantilimon who replaced Tatarusanu in goal at halftime.

Romania, roared on by their passionate fans and defending in numbers, escaped again when substitute Rodrigo Palacio fired wide from five metres and Pantilimon made a brilliant save to deny Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Victor Piturca`s men failed to reach the World Cup and used the game as preparation for their Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Argentina open their campaign at the finals against Bosnia on June 15 and also face Iran and Nigeria in Group F.
Reuters ----------------------

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