GLASGOW - Argentina did enough to dispel memories of their poor recent form in a 1-0 friendly victory over Scotland on Wednesday, coach Diego Maradona said after his first match in charge of the team. Maradona said he was pleased with the work the squad had done to overcome a bleak period in which the team won only once in eight matches. "Argentina had 25 brilliant minutes at the beginning and couldn't put away more chances. It was a totally fair result," Maradona told a news conference after Maxi Rodriguez's early goal gave the South Americans victory. "We gave the ball away later on but Scotland were unable to profit from that...We could have had the ball more and won by more. "The match with Chile was a bad experience that is now behind us," added Maradona in reference to a 1-0 defeat in Santiago in a World Cup qualifier last month that sparked former coach Alfio Basile's resignation. "It was easy to overcome the mini-crisis of the Chile match which had been a breaking point for all of us," he said. "We put a lot of work into that, looking for the reasons why the team had not been able to win for such a long time." The only exception after a run of six draws in a row was an unconvincing 2-1 home win over Uruguay four days before the match in Chile. "We managed to take away the team's fear of losing," added Maradona, who scored his first Argentina goal as an 18-year-old player at Hampden in a 3-1 win over the Scots in 1979. Maradona singled out midfielder Fernando Gago as having played well enough to earn eight points out of ten "but there were quite a few other good individual performances that leave me satisfied enough to face the future calmly." He said the scare his pregnant daughter had in Madrid on Tuesday had worried him immensely and he was grateful to the squad for their support. Giannina Maradona, expecting striker Sergio Aguero's child in February, had a complication. Her partner left Glasgow to be with her, missing the match.
19 November 2008
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