Previous
Aston Villa
Arsenal
0
3
FT
Game Details
West Ham United
Liverpool
3
1
FT
Game Details
AC Milan
Juventus
0
1
FT
Game Details
Deportivo La Coruña
Real Madrid
2
8
FT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Celta Vigo
2
2
FT
Game Details
America
Pachuca
2
1
FT
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Seattle Sounders FC
1
0
LIVE 42'
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
FC Dallas
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Hamburg SV
Bayern Munich
0
0
FT
Game Details
Mainz
Borussia Dortmund
2
0
FT
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Seattle Sounders FC
1
0
LIVE 42'
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
FC Dallas
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Queens Park Rangers
Stoke City
2
2
FT
Game Details
Aston Villa
Arsenal
0
3
FT
Game Details
Burnley
Sunderland
0
0
FT
Game Details
Newcastle United
Hull City
2
2
FT
Game Details
Swansea City
Southampton
0
1
FT
Game Details
West Ham United
Liverpool
3
1
FT
Game Details
Deportivo La Coruña
Real Madrid
2
8
FT
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Granada
0
1
FT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Celta Vigo
2
2
FT
Game Details
Espanyol
Malaga
2
2
FT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Werder Bremen
4
2
FT
Game Details
Hamburg SV
Bayern Munich
0
0
FT
Game Details
SC Paderborn 07
Hannover 96
2
0
FT
Game Details
Schalke 04
Eintracht Frankfurt
2
2
FT
Game Details
VfB Stuttgart
TSG Hoffenheim
0
2
FT
Game Details
Mainz
Borussia Dortmund
2
0
FT
Game Details
Cesena
Empoli
2
2
FT
Game Details
AC Milan
Juventus
0
1
FT
Game Details
Marseille
Stade Rennes
3
0
FT
Game Details
Lorient
Stade de Reims
0
1
FT
Game Details
Metz
Bastia
3
1
FT
Game Details
Nantes
Nice
2
1
FT
Game Details
Toulouse
Caen
3
3
FT
Game Details
Watford
AFC Bournemouth
1
1
FT
Game Details
Brighton & Hove Albion
Blackpool
0
0
FT
Game Details
Derby County
Cardiff City
2
2
FT
Game Details
Fulham
Blackburn Rovers
0
1
FT
Game Details
Leeds United
Huddersfield Town
3
0
FT
Game Details
Middlesbrough
Brentford
4
0
FT
Game Details
Millwall
Nottingham Forest
0
0
FT
Game Details
Norwich City
Birmingham City
2
2
FT
Game Details
Rotherham United
Charlton Athletic
1
1
FT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Reading
1
0
FT
Game Details
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers
1
0
FT
Game Details
Colchester United
Bradford City
0
0
FT
Game Details
Doncaster Rovers
Chesterfield
3
2
FT
Game Details
Fleetwood Town
Bristol City
3
3
FT
Game Details
Gillingham
Walsall
0
0
FT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Crewe Alexandra
6
1
FT
Game Details
Notts County
Oldham Athletic
0
0
FT
Game Details
Port Vale
Barnsley
2
1
FT
Game Details
Preston North End
Crawley Town
2
0
FT
Game Details
Rochdale
Coventry City
1
0
FT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Leyton Orient
1
2
FT
Game Details
Swindon Town
Sheffield United
5
2
FT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Peterborough United
1
0
FT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Morecambe
1
0
FT
Game Details
Bury
Burton Albion
3
1
FT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Luton Town
0
1
FT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Dagenham & Redbridge
1
1
FT
Game Details
Mansfield Town
Carlisle United
3
2
FT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Accrington Stanley
4
5
FT
Game Details
Oxford United
Stevenage
0
0
FT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Hartlepool United
2
0
FT
Game Details
Portsmouth
Wycombe Wanderers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Newport County
0
0
FT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Exeter City
1
2
FT
Game Details
York City
Southend United
2
3
FT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Lincoln City
1
0
FT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Nuneaton Town
1
0
FT
Game Details
Barnet
Altrincham
5
0
FT
Game Details
Bristol Rovers
Woking
2
0
FT
Game Details
Dartford
Forest Green Rovers
1
2
FT
Game Details
Eastleigh
Braintree Town
1
0
FT
Game Details
Halifax
AFC Telford United
5
0
FT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Grimsby Town
0
1
FT
Game Details
Macclesfield Town
Southport
3
0
FT
Game Details
Torquay United
Dover
2
0
FT
Game Details
Welling
Gateshead
1
1
FT
Game Details
Aberdeen
Ross County
3
0
FT
Game Details
Hamilton Academical
Kilmarnock
0
0
FT
Game Details
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
St Johnstone
2
1
FT
Game Details
Linlithgow Rose
Fraserburgh
2
1
FT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Lugo
0
0
FT
Game Details
Barcelona B
Llagostera
0
1
FT
Game Details
Mirandes
Sporting Gijon
0
2
FT
Game Details
Real Zaragoza
Alavés
1
0
FT
Game Details
CD Sabadell
Ponferradina
1
0
FT
Game Details
Las Palmas
AD Alcorcon
4
1
FT
Game Details
Bari
Livorno
2
0
FT
Game Details
Bologna
Crotone
0
2
FT
Game Details
Brescia
Ternana
0
0
FT
Game Details
Catania
Modena
0
0
FT
Game Details
Cittadella
US Pescara
3
2
FT
Game Details
Lanciano
Frosinone
1
5
FT
Game Details
Latina
US Avellino
1
2
FT
Game Details
Perugia
Vicenza
2
2
FT
Game Details
Pro Vercelli
Varese
4
0
FT
Game Details
FSV Frankfurt
VfL Bochum
1
5
FT
Game Details
SpVgg Greuther Furth
Kaiserslautern
2
1
FT
Game Details
TSV 1860 Munich
FC Ingolstadt 04
1
1
FT
Game Details
Le Havre AC
Troyes
3
2
FT
Game Details
Excelsior
Dordrecht '90
1
1
FT
Game Details
ADO Den Haag
Go Ahead Eagles
1
1
FT
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Heerenveen
1
1
FT
Game Details
Roda JC Kerkrade
Jong Ajax
1
0
FT
Game Details
NEC Nijmegen
FC Emmen VV
4
0
FT
Game Details
RKC Waalwijk
FC Volendam
1
3
FT
Game Details
FC Penafiel
Vitoria Setubal
2
0
FT
Game Details
CD Nacional de Madeira
Braga
1
1
FT
Game Details
FC Ufa
Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast
0
1
FT
Game Details
Rostov
Zenit St Petersburg
0
5
FT
Game Details
Kuban Krasnodar
FK Rubin Kazan
2
1
FT
Game Details
Spartak Moscow
Terek Grozny
1
1
FT
Game Details
Erciyesspor
Akhisar Belediye
1
2
FT
Game Details
Balikesirspor
Galatasaray
2
0
FT
Game Details
Mersin Idmanyurdu
Caykur Rizespor
2
0
FT
Game Details
FC Xanthi
Levadiakos
2
0
FT
Game Details
OFI Crete
Atromitos
1
0
FT
Game Details
Olympiakos
Veria
3
0
FT
Game Details
Mouscron-Peruwelz
Racing Genk
1
2
FT
Game Details
Anderlecht
Cercle Brugge KSV
3
2
FT
Game Details
KV Oostende
KAA Gent
1
3
FT
Game Details
KVC Westerlo
Lierse SK
6
1
FT
Game Details
Rapid Vienna
Wolfsberger AC
3
0
FT
Game Details
FC Trenkwalder Admira
SV Grodig
0
0
FT
Game Details
SC Rheindorf Altach
FC Magna Wr. Neustadt
2
0
FT
Game Details
SV Josko Ried
SK Sturm Graz
0
1
FT
Game Details
Hobro IK
Esbjerg
1
1
FT
Game Details
Brommapojkarna
BK Hacken
1
5
FT
Game Details
Falkenbergs FF
Orebro SK
1
3
FT
Game Details
Bodo/Glimt
Stromsgodset
0
4
FT
Game Details
Valerenga
Molde
0
2
FT
Game Details
Sligo
Drogheda Utd
0
2
FT
Game Details
Portland Timbers
Vancouver Whitecaps
3
0
FT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Houston Dynamo
0
0
LIVE 56'
Game Details
Columbus Crew
New England Revolution
0
0
LIVE 38'
Game Details
Montreal Impact
San Jose Earthquakes
0
0
LIVE 43'
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Seattle Sounders FC
1
0
LIVE 42'
Game Details
Chicago Fire
DC United
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
FC Dallas
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
America
Pachuca
2
1
FT
Game Details
Puebla
Chiapas
1
1
FT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
U. de G.
1
0
LIVE 18'
Game Details
León
Veracruz
1:06 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlas
Cruz Azul
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlanta Silverbacks
Ottawa Fury FC
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Carolina RailHawks
New York Cosmos
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Indy Eleven
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
San Antonio Scorpions
Minnesota United FC
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Gimnasia La Plata
0
0
FT
Game Details
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
Belgrano de Córdoba
1
0
FT
Game Details
Vélez Sarsfield
Atletico Rafaela
0
0
LIVE 50'
Game Details
Altamira
Lobos BUAP
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Zacatepec
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
At. San Luis
Celaya
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
Correcaminos
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Oaxaca
Necaxa
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atletico Paranaense
Internacional
0
1
FT
Game Details
Criciúma
Botafogo
0
0
LIVE 20'
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
Oeste
5
1
FT
Game Details
CR Vasco da Gama
Náutico
2
1
FT
Game Details
Joinville
Goianiense
2
0
FT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
ABC
2
1
FT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Icasa
1
1
FT
Game Details
Vila Nova-GO
América Mineiro
0
1
FT
Game Details
Boa MG
Paraná Clube
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Bragantino
Luverdense
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Sud América
Cerro
0
0
FT
Game Details
El Tanque Sisley
Peñarol
1
1
FT
Game Details
Boyacá Chicó FC
Deportivo Pasto
0
0
FT
Game Details
Deportes Tolima
Atlético Huila
1
5
FT
Game Details
La Equidad
Once Caldas
2
0
LIVE 90'
Game Details
Millonarios
Atlético Junior
0
0
LIVE 60'
Game Details
Independiente Medellín
Patriotas F.C.
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Sport Huancayo
Real Garcilaso
3
1
FT
Game Details
Unión Comercio
UTC
3
0
FT
Game Details
León de Huánuco
Juan Aurich
0
3
FT
Game Details
César Vallejo
San Simón
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
3 de Febrero
2
3
FT
Game Details
Cerro Porteño
Sportivo Luqueño
4
0
FT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Deportivo Quito
1
1
FT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
U. Católica
Postp
Game Details
Dep. Metropolitano
Deportivo Lara
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
The Strongest
Blooming
4
0
FT
Game Details
Universitario de Sucre
Club Petrolero de Yacuiba
4
3
FT
Game Details
Gamba Osaka
Cerezo Osaka
2
0
FT
Game Details
Kashima Antlers
Yokohama F. Marinos
1
0
FT
Game Details
Kawasaki Frontale
FC Tokyo
0
0
FT
Game Details
Sagan Tosu
Vegalta Sendai
2
1
FT
Game Details
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Albirex Niigata
2
0
FT
Game Details
Tokushima Vortis
Omiya Ardija
0
2
FT
Game Details
Urawa Red Diamonds
Kashiwa Reysol
3
1
FT
Game Details
Vissel Kobe
Shimizu S-Pulse
3
1
FT
Game Details
Next

Marcotti: A tournament to remember

World Cup Jul 14, 2014
Read
 Posted by Gabriele Marcotti
Jun 15, 2014

Sabella's tactics need a rethink

Our panel of soccer experts review the changes Argentina made at half-time that led the Albiceleste to a 2-1 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- In a competition that thus far has been Space Mountain in terms of entertainment and skill level, the clash between Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina -- save for the delightful run and finish that put Lionel Messi back on the World Cup score sheet after eight years -- was more like one of those spinning teacup rides.

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella's much talked about 5-3-2 experiment blew up right in his face for a number of reasons: wrong personnel, wrong execution and wrong opponent. That's right -- if tactics are about move and reaction, feint and deception, he was thoroughly out-thought by his counterpart, Safet Susic.

And to think that Argentina enjoyed the gift of an early goal -- and it was just that, a colossal slice of luck -- courtesy of Sead Kolasinac, who felt Marcos Rojo's header bounce off him and past Asmir Begovic after a flighted Messi free kick.

ArgentinaArgentina
Bosnia-HerzegovinaBosnia-Herzegovina
2
1
FT
Match 11
Game Details

For a minute, you wondered if there was some kind of hex in the works, given that the previous meaningful act by a Bosnian in a World Cup came in 1990, when Faruk Hadzibegic -- playing for Yugoslavia -- missed the final penalty of a quarterfinal shootout against -- who else? -- Diego Maradona's Argentina.

Would this be another Balkan beatdown like the 6-0 Argentina inflicted on Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, the very game in which Messi scored his very first and, until Sunday, last World Cup goal?

Not quite, because Susic's side simply shrugged and executed their game plan. Sabella's 5-3-2 -- dreamed up for a number of reasons, including the fear of Bosnia's twin giants, Vedad Ibisevic and Edin Dzeko -- was rendered obsolete by the fact that Ibisevic was kept on the bench.

"It was all planned beforehand -- I told you I wouldn't play Ibisevic [who played alongside Dzeko in qualifying and, with eight goals, was prolific]," Susic said postmatch. "It would have been too risky against Argentina, given the number of attack-minded midfielders we have."

Indeed, that's what he'd said. Plus, that's what he'd done in pre-World Cup friendlies. Evidently, either Sabella didn't pay much attention or he thought it was some kind of giant misdirection from his opposite number.

As it happened, Dzeko is a large man, but he doesn't warrant a posse of three guys corralling him. The alignment had all sorts of knock-on effects in midfield, where Argentina were overrun centrally. Maxi Rodriguez and Angel Di Maria had to continually come inside to help Javier Mascherano, who had his hands full with Zvjezdan Misimovic and Miralem Pjanic, not to mention Senad Lulic cutting in from wide areas.

Sabella has plenty to ponder, despite making a winning start.

"The idea was to protect the defence while having two wings [Maxi and Di Maria] who could offer width," Sabella said afterward. "It didn't work."

That's an understatement. Wingers can offer width when they play wide. When they're sucked inside to help the lone genuine midfielder, they don't offer much width. And the issue was compounded by the fact that full-backs Marcos Rojo and Pablo Zabaleta were a lot less proactive than usual.

Up front, the idea was that Sergio Aguero and Messi, freed from defensive responsibility, could pierce the soft underbelly represented by defenders Emir Spahic and Ermin Bicakcic. But Messi, perhaps annoyed by the lack of service, dropped deeper and deeper in pursuit of the ball, while Aguero got lost among the big centre-backs. When Messi did see the ball, he also saw the hyperactive Muhamed Besic in his way.

"I thought of man-marking Messi [with Besic]," Susic said. "But frankly, you can't man-mark him for 90 minutes because you'll just have players get booked and sent off. So we simply decided that whoever was closest would come and contain him. We got enough guys there, and it worked."

He makes it seem so simple, doesn't he?

- Delaney: Three Points -- Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Highlights (U.S. only)

Of course, it helps when the opposition don't give Messi any targets or anyone to dialogue with, and he himself takes up positions too far away from the opposing goal.

Messi wasn't shy about expressing his displeasure afterward.

"As strikers, we like it better when we have more possibilities of attacking and scoring," he said. "When we don't do that, it's more difficult. We strikers struggle when we don't have support. I was alone, and it was very difficult in the first half."

Well, not exactly alone -- Aguero might be small, but he's not invisible -- but you get the point. Argentina needed another front man to draw defenders away and create space and another passer to deliver the ball.

Sabella delivered both at halftime -- Gonzalo Higuain up front and Fernando Gago in the middle of the park -- and ditched one of his redundant centre-backs (Hugo Campagnaro) and the ineffective Rodriguez.

With a more rational lineup, the game was won, though not before, early in the half in a startling moment of pointless risk-taking, a clearly out-of-sorts Rojo executed a clumsy "rabona" in his own box.

Messi was frustrated until one moment of magic won the game for Argentina.

Still, Argentina were more incisive and less prone to panic. Messi warmed up with a trademark east-west run to set up Aguero, whose effort was well saved by Begovic. It was a dress rehearsal for the photo negative, which came in the 65th minute. Messi seized the ball on the center-right, cut left with Besic in hot pursuits, skipped past Bicakcic (while basically tricking him into upending Besic) and then unleashed a low left-footed strike reminiscent of Diego Maradona against Greece 20 years ago. He celebrated like a man who had waited eight years for this moment.

Susic looked to the heavens. Countermeasures? Apart from Ibisevic, he had none. That's what happens when you coach a small nation. You can get your tactics right at the start, but short of moving your men like chess pieces around the board, you know that if you call upon your reserves, there will be a considerable gap in quality.

Argentina had a few more chances and at least looked like the Albiceleste. However, just as things seemed to settle down, they engaged in another round of self-harm when Lulic brilliantly released Ibisevic, whose tame shot should have been saved by Sergio Romero. Instead, it somehow trickled under (through?) him and slowly, cruelly oozed over the goal line.

Romero is, supposedly, Argentina's weak spot. He hardly saw minutes this year as Monaco's reserve keeper, yet he had earlier pulled off a stunning save from a Lulic header. But this is a low-scoring sport, and that was what you call a howler. Of the kind that can cost you dearly. As a result, the finale was a lot nervier than it should have been for Argentina.

The takeaway for Sabella? There's plenty to work on. The three-man defence isn't necessarily a bad idea, but it becomes a wretched one when you're playing against just one striker, there's no Gago (or equivalent) to spread the ball in midfield and Messi decides to wander back and congest the middle.

This Argentina side is simply too talented, and even when they play poorly and with the wrong setup (as they did for most of this game), they can still beat most opponents. But just as he knows that, Sabella knows that once he's out of the group stage, he won't get away with stuff like this.

Gabriele Marcotti

A London-based journalist and broadcaster who covers world soccer, he is the author of three books, the world soccer columnist for The Times of London and a correspondent for the Italian daily Corriere dello Sport. You can catch him on ESPN FC TV and read him here twice a week.