Friday, June 12, 2015

12 June 2002 - Argentina Evicted

On 12 June 2002, one day after favorites France were eliminated from the 2002 World Cup, fellow title hopefuls Argentina were knocked out by Sweden. It was the first time since 1962 that Argentina failed to advance past the first round.

Argentina entered the match in Group F's third place on three points, one point behind England and Sweden, and needed a win to secure their place in the next round. They dominated possession, with 65% to Sweden's 35%, but squandered several chances to take the lead. In the first half, midfielder Juan Pablo Sorín received a cross right in front of the goal, but headed the ball over the bar. Later in the half, another cross found forward Claudo López on the left edge of the goal, but he put it into the side netting.

Sweden finally broke the deadlock when midfielder Anders Svensson curled a 59th-minute freekick over the wall and into the goal's top left corner, just past the outstretched hand of Argentina's keeper, Pable Cavallero. The Swedes had a chance to extend their lead late in the second half, but Andreas Andersson's shot hit the bar.

Argentina drew level in the 88th minute, as forward Ariel Ortega was tripped in the box. Swedish keeper Magnus Hedman blocked the ensuing penalty kick, but it rebounded to the feet of second-half substitute Hernán Crespo, who slammed it home for the equalizer. The Argentines were unable to find another, however, and the match ended 1-1 to send Argentina home.

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