- Title: ARGENTINA: SOCCER - Fans hail Maradona's first match in charge of Argentina
- Date: 21st November 2008
- Summary: (BN1) BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (NOVEMBER 19, 2008) (REUTERS) OBELISK
- Embargoed: 6th December 2008 12:00
- Location: Argentina
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA1BBGD7JNC3LNCDT7Y81JTS0FS
- Story Text: Buenos Aires celebrates Maradona leading Argentina to 1-0 win over Scotland in his inaugural game as the coach of the national soccer squad.
Soccer fans in Argentina flocked to televisions and bars for the debut appearance of soccer legend Diego Maradona as head coach of the Argentine national soccer side Wednesday (November 19).
Maradona's start was a winning one as his team beat Scotland 1-0 in a friendly in Glasgow.
Fans of both teams were on hand at the "Crazy for Football"
bar in downtown Buenos Aires for a soccer-filled happy hour, with Scotsmen wearing kilts and playing the bagpipes.
But it was the Argentines who were celebrating after their side won.
The bar erupted after Manchester United's Carlos Tevez set up Atletico Madrid midfielder Maxi Rodriguez, who put a low shot under Scottish goalkeeper Allan McGregor after eight minutes.
Scotland came close a few times, but never broke through for the match played at Hampden Park, and the end of play caused another outburst of jubilation.
Argentine fans on hand, famous for their at times even fatal devotion to soccer, were making sure to keep the victory in perspective.
"There are players they won't have, but the truth is they played well. It was their first game. We can't make any opinions yet. It's the first one," said Nicolas Alexander.
Argentina last won the cup in 1986, which was highlighted by Maradona's controversial "Hand of God" goal during the quarterfinals versus England.
Familiar with Maradona's famously unpredictable behaviour, fans were happy with the outcome.
"I saw it as very professional and with good concentration. I was very pleased. And I guess we'll have more players to fill out our team, two, three, four. There's a lot of time for the national team - this is the beginning," said Argentine fan Roberto de Maria.
As a player Maradona helped Argentina beat the Scots 3-1 when he was 18 in June 1979, scoring his first international goal.
He took charge of the Argentine national squad this month after Argentina lost a World Cup qualifier away to Chile 1-0 in October and coach Alfio Basile resigned.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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