GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany -- Serbia-Montenegro suffered its worst defeat on record when it lost 6-0 to Argentina on Friday (16 June). Previously, Yugoslavia had lost 6-1 to Uruguay in the 1930 World Cup and again 6-1 to the Netherlands in the 2000 European Championship.
The surprisingly toothless Serbia-Montenegro team was easy prey for Argentina. The South Americans opened the score early with a fifth-minute goal by Rodriguez. It took the Serbia-Montenegro players ten or so minutes to shake off the shock, though at one point in the middle of the first half it looked like that the Balkan team was on its way back into the game. Then came the 31st minute and a beautiful goal by Cambiasso from the middle of the box which doubled the score for Argentina.
Trouble continued to mount for Serbia-Montenegro as the team's play descended into near-chaos. It was not long before Crespo received a long ball again in the middle of the box and scored the third goal of the match, but the referee ruled him offside and punished the Argentine player with a yellow card. Most viewers, however, did not agree with the referee's call. Justice prevailed in the 41st minute when Rodriguez scored his second goal after a devastating mistake by the Serbia-Montenegro defence.
What was already a bad dream for the Plavi turned into an all-out nightmare in the second half when Kezman received a red card. Crespo and Tevez scored two more goals in the 78th and 84th minutes. Messi, the wonder child of Argentine football, scored the sixth goal in the 88th minute in the first World Cup match of his short career. This was also Savo Milosevic's 100th match for his country's national team. The ageing Serbian superstar has scored 35 goals for Serbia-Montenegro and Yugoslavia.
The defeat has practically sealed the fate of the Balkan team. Serbia-Montenegro could move into the next round of the World Cup only if it wins a big victory over Ivory Coast and the Netherlands loses its matches against both Ivory Coast and Argentina. (By Ivan Tchomakov for Southeast European Times)
Argentina: Roberto Abbondanzieri, Juan Pablo Sorin, Gabriel Heinze, Roberto Ayala, Nicolas Burdisso, Javier Mascherano, Maxi Rodriguez (Lionel Messi 74), Luis Gonzalez (Esteban Cambiasso, 17), Juan Roman Riquelme, Javier Saviola (Carlos Tevez 58), Hernan Crespo.
Serbia-Montenegro: Dragoslav Jevric, Milan Dudic, Mladen Krstajic, Goran Gavrancic, Ognjen Koroman (Daniel Ljuboja, 50), Predrag Djordjevic, Albert Nadj (Ivan Ergic 46), Igor Duljaj, Dejan Stankovic, Mateja Kezman, Savo Milosevic (Zvonimir Vukic 70).
Referee: Roberto Rosetti