Aguero: Acrobat of Argentina

GEORGE GROSS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:11 PM ET

Sergio Aguero, the future Maradona of Argentina, borrowed from Pele's book of acrobatics and scored a picture-winning goal to give Argentina a 3-1 victory over Poland in a FIFA under-20 World Cup second-round game.

A full house of 19,526 at the National Soccer Stadium was fascinated with Aguero's skills.

With his back to the goal in the 46th minute, he flipped the ball over the shoulder of a Polish defender, stepped around him and banged the ball with his left foot past the helpless Polish goalkeeper, Bartosz Bialkowski.

The great Pele, making his international debut at 17, performed the same move on Swedish sweeper Gustafsson in the 1958 World Cup at Stockholm's Rasunda Stadium as Brazil went on to capture the final 4-2. Pele scored two of the goals in that game, just as Aguero did yesterday.

Even the crowd, predominantly Polish fans wearing red and white, had to acknowledge the second-half artistry of the South Americans.

Argentina has won the under-20 World Cup five times and wouldn't surprise if it won it again this year.

The game began with the Poles creating scoring chances with the long ball. After half an hour, their best player, Dawid Janczyk, moved in on Argentina goalie Sergio Romero and found the far corner of the net. Near the halftime whistle, Argentina's Angel Di Maria tied it up and gave notice that after the break it was Argentina's turn to take over the management of the game.

That's exactly what happened and Aguero, one of the three sensational young players -- Di Maria and offensive catalyst Maximiliano Moralez, the smallest player on the field, being the others -- scored the next two Argentina goals to put the game on ice. Aguero also scored in the 86th minute.

The South American ball artists, playing a picture-perfect passing game on the ground, advanced to the quarter-finals.

Poland coach Michal Globisz was very complimentary after the match.

"We lost the game to a great team. We gave it a good try, but we should have done better. We played well in the first half unfortunately in the second half we ran out of gas."

Argentina's coach, Hugo Toccalli, also was very diplomatic.

"I would like to congratulate the Polish team and the Polish fans," he said. "I believe our team had a great attitude, because Argentina has many quality players, who are capable of playing offensive football. We call it character of the team. And this team has it."

It was quite evident yesterday.


Videos

Photos