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Crespo has his say on bright Argentina day

Written by: Staff
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GELSENKIRCHEN, June 16 (Reuters) In a multi-talented squad like Jose Pekerman's Argentina at the World Cup, a traditional centre forward like Hernan Crespo could go unnoticed.

While Javier Saviola, Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez delight fans with their jinking runs and close control, Crespo plugs away at defences looking for a gap to blast the ball home.

Crespo, however, was not to be outdone today, scoring one of Argentina's six in their 6-0 rout of Serbia&Montenegro in Group C.

''We won a great match. In a World Cup it's not easy to play at that level,'' Crespo said.

''Applause for Argentina, it's not easy to seal such a difference at a World Cup, on top of that with lovely goals,'' he told reporters.

SUCCESSIVE TOURNAMENT Crespo's goal took his tally to 31, three short of second-placed Diego Maradona, as he seeks to come out of the shadow of Argentina's record scorer Gabriel Batistuta.

One of only four surviving members of Argentina's failed 2002 World Cup squad, Crespo found the net for the third successive tournament match.

Crespo netted Argentina's last goal in the Asia tournament four years ago, a 1-1 draw with Sweden that sealed their first-round exit, after coming on for Batistuta.

He followed that with his country's first goal of the tournament in Germany when Argentina beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in Hamburg last weekend.

''In the first match there was a lot of tension, today we were more relaxed,'' Crespo said. ''We enjoyed it a lot.

''To see Argentina like that, especially for one who plays up front and sees everything that's going on, is great.

''The second goal, there are no words (to describe it), it was beautiful. I'd like to see it again,'' he said.

Substitute Esteban Cambiasso scored the second after half an hour at the end of a superb move of 24 passes in which Crespo laid on the final shot with a back-heel.

Maxi Rodriguez scored two first-half goals and Tevez and Messi followed Crespo on to the scoresheet in the last 12 minutes.

REUTERS DH RAI0018

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