Created on 15-10-2009 at 00:00 AM
Long-serving Bayern defender Martin Demichelis was devastated by his omission from Argentina’s squad for the 2006 World Cup in his adopted home of Germany, but Micho has now bounced back from injury to play a vital role as Diego Maradon’s side seized their last chance of a guaranteed place at the global showdown in South Africa next summer.
Elsewhere on a night of qualifying drama, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and his Ukraine team-mates secured a berth in the European play-offs at the expense of Danijel Pranjic and Ivica Olic, while 17-year-old FCB reserve David Alaba made history by becoming Austria’s youngest-ever full international. fcbayern.de reviews the night’s action from a Bayern perspective.
Micho’s vital contribution
After a dismal qualifying campaign, two-time World Cup winners Argentina completed a dramatic salvage job on Wednesday night with a 1-0 win away to bitter rivals Uruguay, the first time the Albiceleste have ever won a competitive match in Montevideo. Sub Mario Bolatti secured fourth place in the South American table and a berth in South Africa for Maradona’s men with an 85th-minute winner, after lively Uruguay lost Juve defender Martin Caceres to a second bookable offence a minute earlier.
Demichelis, who has made just a single appearance for his club this term, returned from an eight-week lay-off to play the final half-hour of Argentina’s last-gasp win over Peru at the weekend, and completed the full 90 minutes in Montevideo, turning in an increasingly assured display once his side had weathered the early Uruguay storm.
Ukraine in the play-offs
In Europe, Tymoshchuk watched from the bench as Ukraine ran up a routine 6-0 away victory against minnows Andorra to seal the runners-up spot in Group 6 and a place in the play-offs on 14 and 18 November. Pranjic and his Croatia team-mates huffed and puffed their way to a 2-1 away win over Kazakhstan, but Ukraine’s victory in the Pyrenees rendered the result meaningless, as Pranjic and injured fellow-countryman Olic missed out on the play-offs by a single point.