Lionel Messi evokes Argentina previous Socceroos in Beijing

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The irrepressible Lionel Messi has as soon as once more delivered the Socceroos’ undoing as Australia fought out a 2-0 loss to world champions Argentina in Beijing.

Graham Arnold’s prices had hoped to precise some revenge in Thursday night time’s pleasant for his or her 2-1 round-of-16 loss eventually 12 months’s World Cup.

However six months on from their Qatar conflict, Messi wanted simply 79 seconds to attain his 103rd worldwide aim and break the impasse at a packed-out Employees’ Stadium.

Whereas the Socceroos had been shellshocked early, they discovered their groove and took it as much as the world champions.

Mitch Duke was denied by an excellent Emiliano Martinez save within the twenty eighth minute whereas left-back Jordan Bos, on his beginning debut, and Riley McGree had been glorious.

However German Pezzella headed house within the 68th minute to place the sport past Australia’s attain.

Australia made 4 adjustments to December’s beginning XI, switching to a 4-2-2 in assault, whereas Argentina made two adjustments.

In Qatar, the Socceroos held out Messi for near 35 minutes.

This time, the resistance lasted till the second minute.

Mathew Leckie acquired the ball trapped beneath his toes and Enzo Fernandez nipped it away, bursting ahead earlier than discovering Messi exterior the field.

The 35-year-old shimmied onto his left foot and curled a beautiful strike previous a diving Mat Ryan to attain in a seventh straight worldwide.

Three minutes later, Alexis MacAllister fired over the bar.

After the primary 10 minutes, Australia had simply 17 per cent of possession.

However they began to get a foothold within the recreation, then got here desperately near equalising.

Keanu Baccus whipped a beautiful ball out vast to Bos, who completely drove a intelligent cross into Duke’s toes.

The striker’s first-time end pressured Martinez to parry the ball onto his personal aim put up, then declare it.

Within the thirty seventh minute, Messi ghosted away from Kye Rowles, however chipped over the bar.

Ryan swatted away an excellent Angel Di Maria probability within the forty ninth whereas on the different finish, Martinez scrambled away a intelligent Socceroos nook routine within the 58th minute.

Argentina all however put issues to mattress when Rodrigo De Paul brilliantly mixed with Messi then dropped a beautiful ball onto the top of an unmarked Pezzella.

Ryan denied Julian Alvarez with an excellent diving save two minutes later, however the Socceroos had been unable to hit again on the scoreboard.

Australia additionally paid tribute to 1974 World Cup coach Rale Rasic, who died on June 8.

The Socceroos wore warm-up kits saying “Thanks Rale”, whereas a shirt with “Rasic 74” occupied one of many seats of their dugout.

-AAP


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