In Beijing, Lionel Messi scored the first goal in Argentina’s 2-0 victory over a tenacious Australia, orchestrating yet another triumph for the world champions.

He scored the first goal in the friendly encounter in just two minutes, the fastest goal of his career, with a beautiful curling attempt past Maty Ryan.

  • Argentina had more opportunities in the first 15 minutes of their rampage, but Australia eventually calmed down and started attacking Argentina on the break.
  • Midway through the opening frame, Emiliano Martinez made a terrific reaction save on striker Mitch Duke after his header from a Riley McGree cross gave them their best opportunity of the game.
  • In a close game, both teams had opportunities to score, but Argentina increased their lead when German Pezzella, on the attack, powerfully headed home a cross from Rodrigo De Paul after the Socceroos had made some poor marking decisions.
  • Australia attempted to score a goal that would have made the game more exciting, but Argentina was able to hold on and win thanks in large part to Messi’s ability to wow the packed Workers’ Stadium audience.
  • Confirmed lineups

4-3-3, right to left, Argentina: 23. Martinez — 26. Molina, Romero, 19, Otamendi, and 7. De Paul, 8. Acuna Enzo Fernández, 24, Mac Allister, 20, and Di Mara, 11 Messi (10), Gonzalez (15), and

” Brave Socceroos lack cutting edge

  • When a scorching Argentina stormed out of the gates with an early goal and a strong pressing approach that forced several errors from the Socceroos, fans down under may have been excused for dreading the worst.
  • Jordan Bos at left-back was especially excellent on his starting debut for the national team; nonetheless, the side with youthful players refused to melt under the limelight and they soon warmed into the game and gave Argentina problems with their pace and agility in transition.
  • The single shot on target, the aforementioned Duke header, was despite the fact that they created many excellent opportunities and floated numerous threatening crosses into the area.
  • The Socceroos had to take their chances in a match against powerhouses and were unable to play with the same level of precision they did in Qatar.

Argentina vs. Australia live updates, highlights from international friendly

At the conclusion of the match in Beijing, the world champions defeated Australia 2-0 thanks to goals in each half. Messi scored the first goal for La Albiceleste in just two minutes with a wonderful curling attempt, and German Pezzella, a replacement, increased the lead in the 68th minute with a powerful header. Australia put forth a valiant effort and had its moments, but Argentina’s talent was evident.

80 minutes: With only 10 left, Argentina sends on Guido Rodriguez to replace De Paul, who provided the assist for the second goal.

74 mins: Argentina make another change, Nicolas Gonzalez and Enzo Fernandez are replaced by Alejandro Garnacho and Leandro Paredes.

73 mins: Three more changes for the Socceroos; Leckie, Atkinson and Riley McGree’s nights are done, and Alexander Robertson, Ryan Strain and Conor Metcalfe come on.

71 mins: Alvarez almost makes it three when he sends a defender flying and shoots, but Ryan gets down really well to his right to deny the substitute.

68 mins: GOAL! Argentina make it 2-0! Australia are slow to press Rodrigo De Paul from the short corner, who puts a brilliant cross for the onrushing Pezzella, who heads the ball past a helpless Mat Ryan. 

66 minutes in: Australia commit a foolish foul on the edge of the penalty area, allowing Messi an opportunity from a free kick. Rowles touches the ball in the wall and it is deflected for a corner, though.

63 minutes: Australia switches out Mitch Duke and Aiden O’Neill for Brandon Borrello and Denis Genreau.
59 mins: Who tonight’s primary attraction is is obvious…

4-3-3, right to left, Argentina: 23. Martinez — 26. Molina, Romero, 19, Otamendi, and 7. De Paul, 8. Acuna Enzo Fernández, 24, Mac Allister, 20, and Di Mara, 11 Messi (10), Gonzalez (15), and

Aiden O’Neill and Keanu Baccus start in midfield, and Graham Arnold starts Jordan Bos at left back for the Socceroos.

Alessandro Circati might come off the bench to make his national team debut, while Mitch Duke starts up front and Harry Souttar and Kye Rowles pair up at centre defence.

(4-2-2-2, right to left) Australia 3. Atkinson, 19. Souttar, 4. Rowles, 1. Ryan (c), 20. Baccus — 7. Leckie, 5. Bos — 6. O’Neill, 9. Maclaren, 15. Duke, and 14. McGree

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