CUTRAL-CO - Argentina's 4-0
thumping of Haiti on Wednesday helped solve some World Cup
selection issues, coach Diego Maradona said.
Maradona is due to name his provisional 30-man squad on
Monday. The definitive squad of 23 must be named by June 1 for
the finals in South Africa starting on June 11.
"The lads understood the message very well, they had
attitude, created chances, I liked several players very much,
now we have to sit down and think about it," Maradona said in a
touchline interview with TyC Sports after the final whistle.
"The truth is I was looking for people (to fill World Cup
gaps) and I think I found some," he added, without wanting to
elaborate. "I had doubts about some positions and this match
was very useful... no-one has their place assured."
Maradona has called up more than 100 players in his 18
months in charge, many of whom were locally based and never got
on the pitch.
Ultimately, though, it is Argentina's leading European
exiles who are almost certainly going to make up the bulk of
his World Cup 23.
Boca Juniors striker Martin Palermo, a near certainty to go
to the finals, stole between the centre backs of the weak
Haitian opposition to head the second goal on Wednesday from
point blank range off an exquisite chipped cross by right back
Ariel Garce just before halftime.
Palermo was cut on the chin by a splinter from a flare
thrown onto the pitch before kickoff but played after
Garce, a versatile 31-year-old former River Plate defender
who is a centre back for his club Colon and had won his two
previous caps in 2003, had a good game on the right flank and
it would be no surprise if he sneaked into the reckoning.
Teenage midfielder Facundo Bertoglio scored twice, putting
Argentina in front just past the half hour when he robbed a
defender in the middle and raced into the box to steer the ball
past the keeper.
Midfielder Sebastian Blanco made it three early in the
second half and Bertoglio rounded off the victory in the 56th
minute when he met a free kick on the left and beat the keeper
at the near post for his second.
The proceeds of the match in Cutral-Co, a town in the
southern Andean foothills, will go towards Haiti earthquake
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