Brazil vs Argentina: Match report, goals, as it happened
A Gabriel Mercado goal on the stroke of half-time was enough to give Jorge Sampaoli a debut win as Argentina head coach. LAFC vs LA Galaxy: Vela vs Zlatan live online, MLS week 25
All eyes were on Lionel Messi with Neymar Jr. not making the trip down under and the CBF incurring a 2 million dollar fine for his "no-show" in this match that formed part of the Brazil Global Tour.
Argentina were the brighter side in the first period with Angel Di Maria looking busy striking the woodwork with an early drive at the Brazilian goal. Brazil looked sprightly on the break with Willian Jose and Liverpool's Coutinho the danger men for Tite's side. The only goal of the night was an untidy affair as Di Maria watched his header strike the woodwork (yet again) and Sevilla's Mercado was on hand to tap home. Brazil claimed offside but Atleti defender Filipe Luis played the Argentinian on-side.
The second period never managed the same tempo as the first half and the constant substitutions did little in generating a continued tempo to the match. Brazil almost equalised midway throgh proceedings but were miraculously saved by the woodwork as Gabriel Jesus and Willian Jose should have put the men in yellow level.
Smiles all round at the end from Jorge Sampaoli and a shot in the arm for "La Albiceleste" in their bid to get their Russia 2018 qualifying bid back on track.
Brazil vs Argentina: how it happened:
Brazil vs Argentina live online: match preview
The two heavyweights of South American football meet in Australia on Friday as Jorge Sampaoli takes charge of his first match as Argentina manager.
The sides last met in November 2016, when Neymar, Coutinho, and Paulinho found the net in a comfortable 3-0 win for Brazil, a result that was a further nail in the coffin of former-Argentina boss Edgardo Bauza.
Willian, of Chelsea and Brazil, has stated that 'there are no friendlies with Argentina'. It is sure to be a match with as much bite as quality.
Brazil: team news
Tite will be without star-man Neymar for the clash in Melbourne, having opted to spare the Barcelona winger the long trip to Melbourne. Roberto Firmino, Marquinhos, Dani Alves, and Marcelo will also not be involved, with the latter two having faced eachother in the Champions League final on Saturday.
Yet Brazil still have a deep well of talent to draw from. Gabriel Jesús will be keen to make an impression, having recovered from injury to end the Premier League season strongly for Manchester City.
City's most recent acquisition, goalkeeper Ederson, could feature between the sticks.
Argentina: team news
Jorge Sampaoli does not have a great deal of time to mould this Argentina team; La Albiceleste face a crucial run of World Cup qualifiers later in the summer. As such, this match will provide an important opportunity to tinker with a 3-3-3-1 formation, and work on the 'high press' that gave his Chile side such success.
Lionel Messi is expected to play, and he will also be available to face Uruguay in August, after his four-match ban for abusing a referee was rescinded. He should feature alongside Juventus' Paolo Dybala, which is a prospect that excites Sampaoli:
"Messi and Dybala are both great players in their own right, and these type of games give us the opportunity to test their compatibility and know whether they can work together"
Brazil vs Argentina live online: possible line ups
Brazil XI: Ederson; Fágner, Thiago Silva, Gil, Filipe; Fernandinho; Paulinho, Renato Augusto, Coutinho, Willian; Gabriel Jesús.
Argentina XI: Romero; Mercado, Mammana, Otamendi; Gómez, Biglia, Banega; Dybala, Messi, Di María; Higuaín.
Brazil vs Argentina live online: odds and betting
Mauro Icardi is in from the cold, and the Inter striker is at 6/4 to score at any time.