Angel Di Maria once again failed to perform at the big event Copa America. Maria’s drab performance in the first half of a 2-0 defeat to Colombia has left both of those hanging by a thread. After struggling in the group stage of the World Cup in Russia, Argentina also got off to a bad start at the Copa America in Brazil.
And another setback on Wednesday against Paraguay will leave the team in danger of enduring its worst fiasco in nearly four decades. The last time Argentina failed to advance past the group stage in the South American competition was in 1983.
Di Maria, meanwhile produced a performance of such anonymity — he touched the ball just 15 times, playing 10 passes — that coach Lionel Scaloni hauled him off at half-time. Di Maria won his 98th cap against Colombia, but now the next two seem anything but a foregone conclusion. “An Angel without wings,” wrote the Argentine sports newspaper Ole the night of
Argentina’s defeat. “If Lionel Messi’s life with the national team is marked by failures, Angel Di Maria’s seems to have been an ordeal,” said the Ole article. Like Messi, Di Maria was left out of a succession of Argentina friendlies following the team’s World Cup exit at the last 16 stage in Russia.
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17 November, 2019