Argentina coach champions new West Ham pair

September 4, 2006

Argentina coach Alfio Basile believes Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano can thrive in England despite their disappointing showing in Sunday's 3-0 friendly defeat by Brazil at the Emirates Stadium.

A brace from Elano and a late solo effort from substitute Kaka were enough to give Brazil victory.

In defence, Brazil successfully shut down Tevez - though not for lack of effort from the young forward - while Mascherano was largely ineffective before being withdrawn at half-time.

But Basile still sees a bright future for the 22-year-old pair.

'They are great players and they will get to know the Premier League very well,' he said through an interpreter. 'It's one of the best leagues in the world and players who play in the best leagues grow.'

Mascherano was the most disappointing of the pair, his one noticeable contribution coming when he surrendered possession to allow Brazil striker Fred to run through on goal before Fabricio Coloccini intervened.

Tevez worked tirelessly, but was limited to one header - well saved by Gomes - as he got close attention from the Brazil defence.

'The marking was very close,' said Brazil coach Dunga, who revealed how he had instructed his defence to limit the space available to both Tevez and Juan Roman Riquelme.

'We knew we couldn't give them any bad fouls so what we asked them to do was to close down the space,' he said.

Brazil stunned their opponents by taking the lead inside three minutes and while Argentina impressed in flashes, they too often took out their frustrations with niggling fouls.

'The Argentina team is a great team, with great players and great technique,' Dunga said. 'But football won. When Argentina wanted to play they were able to put us in difficulty but when they tried to hit us we beat them easily.'

In such a fierce rivalry as this, winning a game 3-0 is a major achievement for Dunga in his second game in charge, while it is a major blow for Basile, for whom this was the first game of his second spell in charge.

While refusing to gloat, Dunga was happy to be on the right end of the scoreline, but expects Basile to get up to speed quickly.

'When we play Argentina it is always a war,' he said. 'If you lose 3-0 it's not good for anyone, but it's not like that's going to define anyone.'

Basile shrugged off the scoreline, and promised to make improvements soon.

'This is just a beginning. We have a very good team, but we only had a little time together - about 48 hours - and that showed. Once I have had the team together for some time and worked with them every day it will be different.'