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Soccer News of Friday, 2 June 2023


'No big deal' - Bosso reacts to Argentina triumph

Flying Eagles Head Coach, Ladan Bosso Flying Eagles Head Coach, Ladan Bosso

Flying Eagles head coach, Ladan Bosso, has played down his team’s impressive win over Argentina, saying the victory over the hosts is no big deal, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Bosso’s boys inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Los Cebollitas to qualify for the quarter-finals of the U-20 World Cup for the first time in 12 years while also sending Argentina packing from the competition.

The victory over the Little Onions, as they are fondly called, put an end to the country’s six consecutive defeats in the hands of the South Americans at FIFA tournaments.

PUNCH Sports Extra in it’s analysis prior to the game had pointed out five things the Eagles must do to stand a chance of advancing to the next round and the boys picked a cue from the analysis and booked a place in the quarter-finals where they face either Ecuador or South Korea in Santiago del Estero on Sunday.

Speaking after the game, a delighted Bosso said, “We had a game plan against Argentina and we stuck to it. Beating Argentina is no big deal.”

While Bosso is in a state of blissful happiness, his counterpart, Javier Mascherano, lamented his team’s ineffectiveness.

He said, “I knew that it would cost us if we were careless and that penalised us a lot,” Mascherano said.

“The team tried and the boys left everything. The guys have to try and lift their heads up and continue with their clubs.

“In this game, merit has nothing to do with the result. It hurts our soul. We did everything to try and continue in the tournament.

“Football is like this. At times it gives you and at other times it takes away. Today was that situation and you have to congratulate Nigeria.

“We showed calmness to play and we played the match we had to play but it didn’t give.”

The defeat immediately put the future of the coach in doubt and the former Barcelona and Liverpool midfielder commented on his future as coach.

“I have a great relationship with Chiqui Tapia (AFA President). I will continue if they believe that I am good for this.

“He knows that he has my resignation at his desk every day. In the meantime, I am calm. At no time did I come back just for this World Cup. My idea is to continue.”

Argentina fans however took to social media to take a swipe at the former midfielder.

An Argentine Dann wrote, “I knew from the start that he (Mascherano) was a hopeless manager, not sure why so many people wanted him to stay on.”

Arman Setiawan added, “Argentina is not worthy of qualifying for the World Cup. Because it’s a giveaway from Indonesia.”

Rodri sarcastically said, “It is clear we need Lionel Messi to beat Nigeria.”

Belen Lucia believed that the country’s favourites for the Los Cebollitas, Marcelo Gallardo, should have led the team to the tournament.

“Gallardo is without a job and they hire Mascherano. Resign everyone please,” he tweeted.

Leo Morganella angrily wrote, “The kids no, they didn’t save anything. Instead, the loser of DT yes, Perrone and Soulé were saved in the bank to put their representative’s business. I neither forget nor forgive Mascherano.”

An Argentine with the username, myright nut on Twitter wrote, “Nigeria are the first decent rivals that touch them and they disappear. We are talking about a group having Guatemala, Uzbekistan, and New Zealand. Of these 23 players, perhaps you have 4/5 who have the money to continue growing to go to the Elite. The others are fine…

“Mascherano may have certain concepts but he is an apprentice in training. They are delicate positions. Maybe you have to concentrate on another area of coaching. Because with the U-20 he proved to be a beginner, disgusting.”

In more reactions, Luffy Bostero tweeted, “Everything from Mascherano, how can you trust a guy who didn’t qualify on his own merit?”