Romania vs. Argentina, final score 0-0: Albiceleste couldn't quite get it together

Jamie Squire

Romania were the better team in the first half, and while Argentina had more chances in the second, the visitors still had difficulty stringing together coherent attacks.

The point of this round of international friendlies, for many coaches, was to evaluate their players and make their final selections for the World Cup roster.

It's uncertain whether Alejandro Sabella learned anything from Argentina's goalless draw with Romania, however. Sabella didn't try anything new from the start -- which makes it all the more worrying that it was the hosts that showed themselves the better side in the first half. In fact, if it weren't for the offside flag, this would've been a win for Romania. Just minutes after Sergio Romero had to push a shot from Alexandru Maxim away, the Stuttgart man had the ball in the back of the net, only to see the flag go up.

Argentina looked a bit better in the second half, although you still wouldn't think they were a side hoping to go deep in Brazil. The introduction of Rodrigo Palacio for Sergio Aguero did nothing to help the coherence of the attack, which still looked rather stuttery for much of the match. The visitors' best chance came with five minutes left to play. A quick forward move saw Palacio cross to Ezequiel Lavezzi, on for Gonzalo Higuain, but a fantastic save from Costel Pantilimon kept the match scoreless.

About the best thing that could be said for Argentina was that Lionel Messi played 90 minutes and didn't get himself injured. He threw up a bit, but that seems par for the course.

As for Romania, they were unlucky to be denied a spot in Brazil after losing in the playoffs to Greece. If this match was a warmup for Euro 2016, well, they showed they'll be a side that shouldn't be taken lightly.

Romania: Tatarusanu (Pantilimon 45), Rat, Matel (Luchin 75), Grigore, Gardos, Chipciu (Grozay 88), Tanase (Lazar 57), Bourceanu, Pintilii, Maxim (Torje 45), Marica (Rusescu 67)

Argentina: Romero; Zabaleta, Basanta, Fernandez, Rojo; Gago (Biglia 57), Mascherano, Di Maria (Rodriguez 90); Aguero (Palacio 57), Messi, Higuain (Lavezzi 77)

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