Argentina striker Lucas Alario applauded “animal” Marcos Acuna after the Sporting CP star inspired Sunday’s 6-1 friendly win over Ecuador.
Acuna, normally a left-sided attacker, has been deployed at full-back this season and filled that role impressively in Elche as Argentina romped to victory, coming in for Nicolas Tagliafico after he disappointed last time out.
The 27-year-old had a hand in the first three goals and was generally a lively presence up down the left flank.
Alario – who scored for the second match running – was particularly impressed, having opened the scoring with a header from Acuna’s cross.
“Acuna is an animal,” Alario told TyC Sports. “The routes he took… He was uncatchable.
“He runs all the time, he has a very good delivery and as a centre-forward, you have to take advantage of those qualities.”
The victory ensures Argentina’s international break will be seen in a largely positive light, having drawn 2-2 with Germany in a friendly on Wednesday, fighting back from 2-0 down.
¡Final del partido en España! pic.twitter.com/O29QE42tcA
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) October 13, 2019
Lionel Scaloni was left feeling encouraged, especially after being able to give so many players a run-out over the two games.
“In all the internationals we are satisfied, although it’s true that because of the magnitude of the rivals we are also happy and that we could give many players minutes,” Scaloni said.
“There is quality and desire to be here, too. We only need time and that the players play as they have done today [against Ecuador].
“The boys are understanding the changes and that must be valued. Honestly, I think these guys can give us a lot, although there are some things to correct.
“What I liked most was the last 20, 25 minutes, which was the period where the team pushed the most and ran despite the victory [already being secured].
“I am excited about the way these guys understand the meaning of this jersey. With these feelings it will be difficult to beat this team.
“There are five or six players who are the base and have always played. It is easy to know who they are: Lautaro Martinez, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Nicolas Tagliafico, even Paulo Dybala and Marcos Acuna.”