Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni feels that the pressure his team has to deal with puts them in a war-like situation.
La Albiceleste sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the Copa America by beating Qatar 2-0 thanks to goals from Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero. Argentina had a poor start to the tournament with a 2-0 defeat to Colombia. However, a draw against Paraguay and a win over Qatar helped Argentina reach the quarters.
Following the match against Qatar, Scaloni said, “We have things to improve but we are satisfied. We needed a game like that to gain confidence. Especially in the second half, we played without fear. We will have to adjust some things against other types of opponents.”
Scaloni came under plenty of criticism following Argentina’s opening defeat to Colombia. The 41-year old said that he is unfazed by the criticism he receives. Scaloni said, “I never think of myself. I always think of the national team.
I would like the message to be different, to be balanced at the end of the tournament. Everything surrounding the national team should be more balanced. Sometimes, these guys go out to play a soccer game and they seem to go out and play a war. With the pressure on them sometimes it is difficult to play. The message should be that while playing in the Copa America we are all on the same side.”
Argentina’s win against Qatar means that they finish second in Group B and will take Group A runners-up Venezuela in the quarter-finals at the Maracana on Friday. A win for Argentina could set up a semi-final clash against the hosts and Argentina’s arch-rivals Brazil who play Paraguay on Thursday at Porto Alegre. The other quarter-finals are Colombia vs Chile and Uruguay vs Peru.