Just before seven o’clock on a pleasant Saturday night, eleven young men dressed in the very familiar sky- blue-and-white striped jersey entered the Corporation Stadium, and the goodly crowd welcomed them warmly.
The Argentina Under-23 side, though, could not quite live up to their expectations, as they went 0-3 down to TSV 1860 Munich in the opening match of Group B in the Mahindra & Mahindra Sait Nagjee international tournament.
The Argentines, after being completely outplayed in the opening half, played much better after the interval and created a series of scoring opportunities. But for a superb display under the bar by TSV’s Kai Fritz, they could have even scored a couple of goals. However, substitute Christian Koppel’s 78th minute strike killed all their hopes.
And it was a fine goal too by Koppel, who had replaced Nicholas Helmbrecht just four minutes earlier. He darted in down the left and shot from close in, and a difficult angle, to beat the Argentine keeper Facundo Ferrero.
It was quite an impressive performance by the young Germans – they have come here with their Under-21 side – though their tactic to drop back a bit to their own territory in the second half would have backfired. But, the splendid Fritz served bailed them out, often spectacularly, under the bar. And he was fittingly named the Man of the Match.
They had gone ahead in the 18th minute, following a penalty kick awarded to them for a foul on Felix Bachschmid. The spot kick from Felix Webber was pushed away by the keeper, but only as far as an opportunistic Bachschmid, who made no mistake.
Seven minutes later, TSV went 2-0 up, with Simon Sefferings slamming in from 25 yards to the top right corner of the post. It had seemed all over for the Latin Americans, coached by Julio Olarticoecha, who was part of the 1986 Argentine team that won the World Cup.
But, they regrouped in the second half, with Franco Mantovano, Sergio Acosta and Braian Sanchez all threatening to score. They were all denied by Fritz, though.
TSV 1860 Munich 2 (Felix Bachschmid 18, Simon Seferings 25, Christian Koeppel 78) bt Argentina Under-23 0.
- Saudi Pro League 2023-24: Al Nassr without Ronaldo draws against Al Hazem despite Talisca hattrick
- Al Nassr vs Al Hazem Highlights Saudi Pro League: NAS 4-4 HAZ; Talisca scores hattrick, Ricardo scores stoppage time equalizer
- WPL 2024: Smriti’s heroics in vain as Kapp, Jonassen help Delhi beat Bangalore by 25 runs
- German Open: Jolly-Gayatri advance to quarterfinals
- RCB-W vs DC-W Highlights WPL 2024: Delhi Capitals beats Royal Challengers by 25 runs