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Argentina - Copa América 1942

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-05-01 12:13:18

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
This article was made in honor of the dedication to the memory of Mr. Sebastián Gualco.
Champions of the last edition of the South American championship — 1941 edition —, Argentina had not yet confirmed its presence in the championship, due to some delays and the fact that its national championship ended so early. Unlike other national teams, Argentina took a while to confirm the names of the players in the championship. However, some more enthusiastic, if Argentina were to play in the tournament, had already confirmed some names that would be irreplaceable, as is the case of José Manuel Moreno, Adolfo Pedernera and José Salomón. Other names, such as Antonio Sastre, due to the last performances well below in 1942, had already lost space, therefore, probably, he would not be part of Argentina's squad for the tournament.
After confirming their place in the tournament, Argentina started to be considered the great favorites of the tournament, with Brazil and Uruguay being other possible names for the conquest.
In the end, Antonio Sastre was not called up to play in the tournament. Therefore, many questioned what the formation of the offensive line of the Argentine team would be. In the previous edition, Pedernera played a right wing alongside Moreno, but tended to start the 1942 edition in reserve. THE CAMPAIGN OF THE ALBICELESTE
Right after Argentina's first match — the second of the tournament —, a lower-than-expected audience attended the Centenario stadium, largely because expectations were quite high and focused on the selection Argentina. There wasn't much to expect from the Paraguayan team. Even before the first ten minutes, Sandoval opened the scoring for Argentina. Masantonio, still in the first half, scored Argentina's second goal.
In the first minutes of the second half, Masantonio raised the score to 3:0. At that exact point in the match, he already imagined that the result was sealed. However, Argentina's defensive system made several serious mistakes and failures. In a spectacular recovery, Paraguay tied the match, 3:3. The match had completely changed the storyline. With just a few minutes left to end the match, centre-half Perucca scored the goal that would give victory to Argentina.
The match against Paraguay was expected to be calmer, easier for Argentina. However, the match surprised with a very unusual plot, almost unimaginable even for the most optimistic Paraguayan supporter.
For the second match that Argentina would play against Brazil, who came from an excellent victory against the violent team of Chile. This time, the Brazilian team would have the exceptional full-back Domingos da Guia. On the side of Argentina, they enhanced their team with the inside right Adolfo Pedernera, who would be playing his first game in the South American Championship of 1942, being a starter for the confrontation. The feeling before the match started was that it would be a formidable dispute from the beginning until the final whistle.
Interestingly enough, as much as the presence of Domingos da GuIa was a reform for the Brazilian team, the defensive system of the Brazilians, although considered the most solid system in the entire tournament, made some mistakes. Therefore, Argentina scored twice due to these mistakes. Through goals scored by Enrique García and Herminio Masantonio, Argentina won the match 2:1. 12 : 0
Montevideo, 01/22/1942, Argentina, in its third match in the tournament, had on its way the fragile selection of Ecuador, which had already lost by 7:0 in a match against the Uruguayan selection. There were not many expectations for this match, but what was expected was a real massacre by the Argentines.
Right in the first minutes of the match, the clash becomes uninteresting due to the large superiority of Argentina. 12:0 was the final score for the match, with Moreno scoring five goals; Masantonio with four; García, Pedernera and centre-half Perucca scoring a goal each. That was — and still is — the biggest rout in Copa América history.
For the fourth match played in the South American Championship, the match against Peru, by centre-forward Loló Fernández, promised to be a much more difficult match than the previous match. Ecuador, in fact, was by far the worst team in the championship, therefore it did not serve as a more accurate parameter to measure Argentine power. However, Peru would be a tighter test.
The first half was very difficult, very disputed by both sides. In the second half, however, Argentina made three changes to its squad – and one due to an injury to Salomón. Leferrara debuted — and very well — in the Argentine national team. Moreno scored two headed goals for Argentina, therefore deciding the match for the Albiceleste. Tossoni subsequently came on for Heredia, who was injured, and Montañés replaced the injured Salomón. Argentina continued with 100% success in the competition for the match against Chile. HALF OF A MATCH.
The match against Chile was the only one that was not completed in the entire tournament.
The match reached the 43rd minute, when the chiline forward Contreras received a violent foul inside the area, committed by defender Salomón. The referee signaled the foul and ran to the place where it was committed. The maximum penalty was evident.
Approached by the players from Buenos Aires, Mr. Cuenca, to everyone's surprise, converts the penalty into a simple free-kick. The Andeans uselessly complain, who nevertheless conform to the referee's decision. Soon after, Heredia escapes on the right, and when he enters the Chilean area, he is brought down by defender Salfate. The referee signals the penalty, confirming it, despite protests from the Andeans.
The Chilean players then met with the head of the delegation, Mr. Valdivia, leave the field, disgusted with the attitude of the referee. On the other hand, the Argentines are ordered to remain in the field, where they await the return of Chile. However, the Chilean players did not return to the game, so the Argentines left, heading to the locker room.
Several attempts were made for the match to proceed. The Chileans were determined to get back into the game if the referee was replaced. Mr. Castillo, head of the Buenos Aires delegation, spoke out against the continuation of the match. He alleged that according to the tournament regulations, Argentina was considered the winner, due to the withdrawal of the opponent.
In such a way, consequently, the points were given to Argentina. ARGENTINA — URUGAY.
For the long-awaited match, the attendance was estimated at 70,000 people. There was severe nervousness, as the last match of the championship was, practically, a final to be played. Whichever team won would take the Copa America. On one side, Uruguay, with solid defense and harmonic attack. On the other hand, Argentina, with its stars and, above all, a formidable attack.
From the first minutes, this match was widely disputed, even when left winger Zapirain opened the scoring of the match. Anytime, anything; any action could score another goal for Uruguay or tie the match for Argentina. However, only one goal was scored in the match – and that gave Uruguay the title.
It was a real battle, Salomón, even though he was injured and obviously unable to move properly, was not replaced, thus remaining fighting in the final. CONCLUSION
To the surprise of most of those who followed the South American championship, Argentina failed to perform as expected. Even so, the expectation was that Argentina still managed to win the Copa America, but lost the last match to the mature and solid team of Uruguay. Even though they didn't win the title, Argentina was largely managed as the main team of the tournament.
Argentina continued to play matches in which, against better prepared opponents — ignoring, of course, the weak and inexperienced team of Ecuador —, they failed to assert their expected dominance. MASANTONIO OR LAFERRARA?
After Masantonio was substituted in the second half of the match against Peru, many affirmed that Laferrara remained in the center of the Argentina team's attack. Laferrara played one more game, the 0:0 draw against Chile, and then lost his place in the game against Uruguay. Interestingly, many claimed that Laferrara was playing better than Masontonio. THE MAIN WEAPON: THE FORWARD LINE.
This was a formidable attack, a very effective quintet of rare quality. Whoever leads the center of the attack; be Masantonio; Be it Pontoni, the Argentine attack worked with extreme quality. There were no excesses of feints or a characteristic of a backwards game, no, but an economy of energy and a voracious objectivity to reach the opponent's goal. Even scoring goals on a tremendous scale, this team was characterized by never ceasing attacks on the opposing defensive system, even though the match was already clearly decided — and this was perfectly reflected in the clash against Ecuador.
The highlight of the offensive quintet was, without a doubt, inside left José Manuel Moreno, who was in splendid form throughout the tournament. Among all the big names in Argentine football, Moreno stands out in a unique and sovereign way, he is the ideal inside forward, he is the ideal footballer. THE FINAL WORD.
Ecuador, once again, served to create top scorers for Argentina in the South American Championship. In the 1941 edition, in the match played in Santiago, Marvezzi — who only scored goals in that specific match of the tournament — scored five goals, therefore finishing the championship as top scorer. It was no different in the 1942 edition. In the match against Ecuador, in Montevideo, Moreno scored five goals; Masantonio four. Both ended the edition as top scorers in the championship – seven goals each.
Among the main footballers of the team, Gualco, Pedernera and Moreno were mentioned. Enrique García, once again, showed below-expected performances on Uruguayan soil.
Argentina ended the tournament as runner-up, scoring 21 goals and conceding 6 goals — best attack of the tournament, next to Uruguay, and second best defense.