Jun 30, 2006. In quarter-finals Argentina lost 4-2 to Germany on the penalties shoot-out at Berlin. The match had ended 1-1. Ayala opened the scoring from a header at 49th after Riquelme's corner-kick from the right. Klose, also from a header, scored the equaliser at 80th. In the penalties shoot-out, Alemania scored four; in Argentina, Cruz scored, Ayala got his shot saved, Maxi Rodríguez scored and Lehmann saved Cambiasso's shot. Argentina lined up Abbondanzieri (71st Leo Franco -Pato was injured-); Coloccini, Ayala, Heinze, Sorín; Lucho González, Mascherano, Maxi Rodríguez, Riquelme (72nd Cambiasso); Tévez, Crespo (78th Cruz). Argentina had control of the ball during first half and Germany after first Argentine goal. Argentina had two scoring chances from counterattack but couldn't take profit of them. In extra-time, Argentina suffered the substitutions and were not deep in attack, even though they had the ball during second half of extra time.
Jun 24. In eighth-finals, at Leipzig, Argentina beat Mexico 2-1 in extra time. Rafa Márquez opened the scoring for the Mexican team at 5th and Crespo scored the equaliser at 10th after a corner-kick shot by Riquelme from the right. In extra time, at 98th, Maxi Rodríguez received an air pass, stopped the ball with his chest out of corner of the area on the right, and shot high with his left foot before the ball touched the ground to the opposite angle of the goalkeeper. Argentina line up: Abbondanzieri; Scaloni, Ayala, Heinze, Sorín; Maxi Rodríguez, Mascherano, Cambiasso (76th Aimar), Riquelme; Saviola (84th Messi), Crespo (75th Tévez). Mexico had a very good start, played better than Argentina and deserved a bit more in first half. In second half, Mexico defended more but Argentina only had two clear goal chances. Argentina didn't play well but could take advantage thanks to a great shot.
Jun 21. In the third match of Group C in Frankfurt, Argentina and Netherlands ended in a scoreless draw. Argentina lined up: Abbondanzieri; Burdisso (24th Coloccini), Ayala, Milito, Cufré; Maxi Rodríguez, Mascherano, Cambiasso, Riquelme (80th Aimar); Tévez, Messi (70th Cruz). Argentina looked for the victory a bit more than the Netherlands but they were not as effective in the area as in previous games. It was not necessary to take many risks because we have to play again in three days for the final rounds.
Jun 16. In the second match of Group C in Genselkirchen, Argentina hammered Serbia & Montenegro 6-0. At halftime they were winning 3-0 with goals from Maxi Rodríguez at 6th after pass from Saviola from the left; Cambiasso at 31st, great goal after great team play with a wall pass between Cuchu and Crespo's backheels pass; and Maxi Rodríguez again at 41st shooting from the left to correct a Saviola's shot from the right which Serbian defense had saved. In second half, Crespo scored at 78th after Messi's pass from the left, Tévez extended the advantage at 84th dribbling on the left with two tunnels to the defenders and Messi closed the scoring at 88th. Lucho González got injured. Argentina lined up: Abbondanzieri; Burdisso, Ayala, Heinze, Sorín; Mascherano, Lucho González (17th Cambiasso), Maxi Rodríguez (75th Messi), Riquelme; Saviola (59th Tévez), Crespo. Argentina were very effective in first half and during second half they took advantage of Serbia keeping the 0-3 and played at excellent level with many skill plays.
Jun 10. In the first match at Hamburg, Argentina won 2-1 over Cote d'Ivoire. Crespo scored the first goal at 24th after a free kick from Riquelme from the left and rebound in the defense. Saviola extended the advantage at 38th after a great pass from Riquelme that let him alone with the goalkeeper. Drogba closed the gap at 82nd.
During first half Cote d'Ivoire had more possesion of the ball and attacked more but Argentina could take profit of their chances. Good job of our National Team defense. In the second half, Argentina controlled the game in the first twenty minutes and when Pekerman took Crespo out, the African team began to attack but they only could close the gap. Argentina lined up: Abbondanzieri; Burdisso, Ayala, Heinze, Sorín; Mascherano, Cambiasso, Maxi Rodríguez, Riquelme (92nd Aimar); Saviola (76th Luis González), Crespo (64th Palacio).
May 15. Pekerman confirmed the final squad: 1-Abbondanzieri, 2-Ayala, 3-Sorín, 4-Coloccini, 5-Cambiasso, 6-Heinze, 7-Saviola, 8-Mascherano, 9-Crespo, 10-Riquelme, 11-Tévez, 12-Leo Franco, 13-Scaloni, 14-Palacio, 15-Gabriel Milito, 16-Aimar, 17-Cufré, 18-Maxi Rodríguez, 19-Messi, 20-Cruz, 21-Burdisso, 22-Luis González, 23-Ustari.