Monday, April 1, 2013
1 April 2009 - Bolivia Rises To The Occasion
It came in the twelfth round of CONMEBOL qualification. Argentina had a record of five wins, four draws, and only one loss, falling 1-0 to Chile the previous October. Bolivia, meanwhile, racked up an unimpressive collection of two wins, three draws, and six losses, including a 3-0 loss to Argentina in the teams' previous meeting.
But the rematch was played in La Paz, whose altitude had proven a hindrance to many teams in the past. Needing the win to preserve any hope of reaching South Africa, Bolivia attacked from the start and were rewarded with an 12th-minute goal from Marcelo Moreno.
Argentina drew level with a long-range blast from Lucho González in the 24th minute, but the match was all Bolivia's after that. A foul by Javier Zanetti ten minutes later led to a Bolivia penalty, converted by Joaquín Botero, who scored twice more (55', 66') to net a hat-trick on the day. As Argentina stars Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi struggled, Bolivia got additional goals from Álex da Rosa (45') and Didí Torrico (87').
The final score matched their 6-1 loss to Czechoslovakia in 1958, a margin equaled by 5-0 losses to Uruguay in 1959 and Colombia in 1993.
Unfortunately for Bolivia, they followed their performance with only one more win and five losses, which prevented them from qualifying. Argentina reached the World Cup and made it to the quarterfinals before falling to Germany.