Diego Maradona began life as Argentina coach with a 1-0 win over Scotland that was as lackluster as his playing days were spectacular.
At the Hampden Park stadium where Maradona scored the first goal of an international career that would make him his country's greatest player, Argentina showed only flashes of the sort of skill that Maradona was famous for, not least for the move that led to Maxi Rodriguez's 8th goal yesterday.
"What made things happen is that I succeeded in making the players get over their fear of losing and that's what we needed to do. We played for the people, the shirt and the light blue and white of Argentina," Maradona said.
But after a first 20 minutes dominated by Argentina, Scotland troubled the visitors and could have earned a draw if it had taken advantage of several defensive lapses.
James McFadden had two good chances to equalize in the first half and another early in the second, but Argentina could also have had more goals, with Javier Mascherano and Ezequiel Lavezzi both going close.
After a strong opening spell, Argentina struggled to produce the entertaining performance Maradona promised would reward Scottish fans for their warm welcome. Still, Maxi's low shot past goalkeeper Allan McGregor at least rounded off a slick move and gave a hint of the passing game that could evolve under Maradona.
"There were lots of great performances to fill me with hope for the future," said Maradona, showing the confidence that once characterised his game on the field.
"With these players we can be confident looking ahead. I can assure the Argentine people these players will give their lives for the shirt. I could go on and on.
"They will give everything and not leave anything on the field when they play for Argentina.