30 Mei 2024

Soccer-Argentina exit World Cup without a win but with hopes of a brighter future

2 min read

Argentina head home with a heavy heart rueing the failure to get their maiden Women’s World Cup win but hopeful that their performances in their three matches in New Zealand bode well for the future with a new generation of players. The Albiceleste’s first match at the tournament, when they came close to upsetting Italy before succumbing 1-0 to a late goal, raised hopes in a country that celebrated a men’s World Cup title last December.

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The team showed great spirit in recovering from a 2-0 deficit in their second match to draw 2-2 with South Africa before rounding out their campaign with a 2-0 loss to the best team in the group, Sweden. “We leave with mixed feelings that will help us a lot to learn from these ups and downs, ” Argentina coach German Portanova said after their elimination in Hamilton on Wednesday.

“If I think about the three games, they gave their all and did a lot of what I told them to do, that’s the best thing that can happen to a coach. But the dream fades when we don’t win or qualify. “The first half against South Africa we weren’t at our best. We managed to turn it around with attitude, but we lacked strength.”

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As Argentina wrap up their fourth World Cup appearance, core names such as midfielder Estefania Banini have played their final international game and will make way for new faces. Portanova hopes the younger players will be better equipped to compete physically with the best women’s teams in the world.

“There is a deficit on the physical side, a difficulty when it comes to competing,” he said. “There are also mixed feelings for the ones that played their last World Cup. There will be an inevitable renewal of players, I hope that the youngsters make that change.

“We have to double our efforts so that one of these days we can compete with these teams on equal terms for a longer time.”

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