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Messi 1',Pezzella 67'

Argentina vs Australia summary: Messi goal, score, goals, highlights, international friendly

Beijing (China), 15/06/2023.- Lionel Messi of Argentina (L) in action during a soccer friendly match between Argentina and Australia in Beijing, China, 15 June 2023. (Futbol, Amistoso) EFE/EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

Argentina vs Australia: as it happened

FT: Argentina 2-0 Australia

It's all over in Beijing!

The world champions have only lost once in 46 games!

Argentina win 2-0 thanks to goals from Messi and Pezzella.

Australia lacked that cutting edge. They take on England next in October.

After a long season, Messi can now go off and enjoy a holiday.

Hrustic overhits the free and there is the final whistle!

Australia have a free after a clumsy Lo Celso challenge.

It is just one defeat in 46 games for Argentina!

The ball goes wide for Strain, but there is too much on it. 2-0

As friendlies go, this has been right up there.

There were 20,000 at the airport to greet Messi and Co. There are over 60,000 here today and it will be the last time many of these supporters will see him play live.

Graham Arnold's side have struggled in the final third. They remained competitive throughout but have not been able to get past Emi Martínez.

Garnacho gets in behind on the left and wins a corner for Argentina. They go short and the green and gold eventually clear.

With all the changes and the Pezzella goal, Australia have faded.

Messi has scored in his seventh straight game for Argentina. It’s his best streak ever.

Messi dinks past three or four players in the centre of the pitch and switches it out left to the fearless Garnacho.

This could be Messi's last ever game on Asian soil.

Argentina have kept five clean sheets in their last eight games. They will want another one today.

Argentina changes

OFF Nicolas Gonzalez
ON Alejandro Garnacho

OFF Enzo Fernandez
ON Leandro Paredes

Australia changes

OFF Nathaniel Atkinson
ON Ryan Strain

OFF Riley McGree
ON Conor Metcalfe

OFF Mathew Leckie
ON Alex Robertson

RYAN! What a stop!

He's at full stretch to deny Alvarez from scoring a third.

It's wonderful combination play from Scaloni's men, who turn it on again.

Argentina 2-0 Australia

Pezzella doubles Argentina's lead in Beijing!

Messi plays the corner short to De Paul. The blue-haired boy whips an excellent ball into the six-yard box, where Pezzella heads home unmarked. It's a glancing header into the far corner.


Pezzella heads home!

Someone is now on the pitch and the play is stopped. Messi waits at the corner flag like a fella waiting for a bus.

Messi free is rising... it takes a slight deflection and goes out for a corner.

Atkinson goes to ground and is part of a wall of six. Atkinson will aim to cover any low shots.

Messi is fouled 25 yards from goal. This spells danger.

As it is a friendly, there will be plenty of changes. Australia have a double change on the way.

There is still a long way to go and Australia will continue to threaten. They did, however, lose this fixture when the sides met at the 2022 World Cup.

OFF Angel Di Maria

ON Giovani Lo Celso

OFF Alexis MacAllister

ON Julian Alvarez

Argentina are about to make a couple of changes.

It remains 1-0 to Argentina.

Hrustic plays his corner from the right, short. It eventually heads to the back post but Martínez manages to punch it clear.


His header is on target but it's straight at Ryan, who is perfectly positioned.

OFF Nicolas Otamendi

ON German Pezzella

OFF Jamie MacLaren

ON Ajdin Hrustic

Messi whips the resulting corner out past the far post on the left. It goes out for a goal kick.

Ryan slaps Messi's corner away. It falls to Di Maria at the far post. Ryan then denies Di Maria with a solid stop.

Messi's free-kick hits the six-yard box but is headed away by Duke.

Atkinson picks up the first yellow of the game for a foul of Nicolas Gonzalez.

It looks like a harsh one to me.

Argentina lead 1-0, with Lionel Messi scoring with a wonderful strike after just 90 minutes.

Australia get us going for the second half in Beijing.

Messi is putting his armband back on. He has scored the only goal of the game.

Here come the teams for the second half!

HT: Argentina 1-0 Australia

It was that man again.

Some Messi magic inside two minutes is the difference between the sides in Beijing.

Australia have threatened but their end product has let them down.

There is the whistle for half-time!

Argentina 1-0 Australia (Messi)

There will be two additional minutes!


He's been so positive again, however, it is the final product that lets him down. He heads for goal from the left half-space, but his shot goes sailing over the bar.

Atkinson gets in behind on the right but his cross is poor and Argentina build out from the back.


It's an exquisite ball over the top from Di Maria to find Messi running in behind. The former Barcelona man, on his weaker right foot, chips it over the bar. 

Just when you say he has gone quiet...

Messi cam: after an excellent start, he has gone quite quiet.

Bos continues to cut inside onto his right foot. He's off balance and shoots well wide this time, but he has caused the Argentina right side some problems.

Australia continue to win it back high up the pitch. After a rocky start, they are well in this game. 

Messi did score after just 90 seconds!

It's been quite a fiery friendly, given that a long season has just finished. Both sides are up for this.

Duels won:

Argentina - 15

Australia - 5

Two Argentina players are down in the box after a clash. Otamendi slowly gets back to his feet.

That was Australia's best chance of the game so far, but Argentina hold onto their lead thanks to Emi Martínez, who played a huge role at the World Cup.


So close!

Bos finds Duke, who shoots from 10 yards, and it's a super stop by the Villa netminder.

Argentina play the corner short, but Australia manage to win it back. 1-0

Bos clips one to the back post but there is no one there to take advantage of it.

Argentina are working so hard off the ball to close the Socceroos down. Graham Arnold's side have settled into it and are looking more comfortable after a blistering start from Messi and Co.

Australia get down the right again. Leckie's cross is overhit as he looks for Duke at the back post. It remains 1-0 to the reigning world champions.

Mac Allister's journey from Argentinos Juniors to Liverpool has been an intriguing one. At Brighton, he developed into a top player and then found himself being called up to the Argentina World Cup squad, where he hit the ground running.

Mac Allister!

His volley inside the box is blocked superbly by Rowles.

La Albiceleste have made one or two errors early on but apart from that, they have held onto the ball really well. Messi and Mac Allister continue to link up, just as they did in Qatar.

Messi gives the ball away and Australia break on a rare counter. Argentina retreat well; Atkinson is unable to deliver the final ball on the right.

The "Messi, Messi, Messi" chants have started here at the Workers Stadium. His name, on the back of his Argentina shirt, is written in Chinese for the occasion.

Any Inter Miami fans watching on will be quite excited to see the freedom and joy Messi is playing with after a long season.


Di Maria plays the through-ball but Messi can only find the side-netting.

Messi is definitely in the mood today.

De Paul, with his blue hair, gets a couple of early touches, as Argentina look to play it through the thirds.

Liverpool's Mac Allister receives it over the top from Messi... He's through on goal but blasts over the bar. He hit double figures in the Premier League last season.

The world champions are off to a flyer in China. Messi has now scored in seven consecutive matches for Argentina.

He scored 18 times for his country in 2022!

Enzo slips it to Messi, who takes a touch and curls it into the near post from 20 yards. It's classic Messi! What a finish!




Argentina are playing from left to right.

Six months ago, these sides faced each other at the World Cup. It's another chance for the Socceroos to test themselves against the reigning world champions and the greatest player of all time.

We're underway in Beijing!

It's Argentina vs Australia!

It's time for the national anthems!

Here come the teams!

Lionel Messi is leading his team out today. It's early in the US and in Argentina, but Messi is always worth getting up for!

The Workers Stadium in Beijing has a capacity of 66,000. The crowd are making their way into the ground ahead of kick-off.

Argentina have made two changes from the side that beat the Socceroos at the 2022 World Cup, with Nicolás González and Ángel Di Maria replacing Julián Álvarez and Papu Gómez.

Australia look to the future

Mac Allister starts

Alexis Mac Allister has become a key man for Argentina. The No 10 has had a remarkable six months, winning the World Cup and he has just completed his move to Liverpool from Brighton.

Lionel Scaloni trusts him and so does Lionel Messi, who links up with the former Boca Juniors man as Argentina build in the final third.

Kick-off in Beijing is just 15 minutes!

Messi starts in attack

Messi will join Inter Miami this summer but he's back in action with La Albicelste before then. The World Cup winner has decided to remain with his national team for now after the December heroics.

Argentina won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but Argentine head coach Lionel Scaloni claimed the match against Australia was one of their most difficult of the tournament.

Argentina haven't lost in eight matches, and Australia head into this one in China as the underdogs.

Argentina XI vs Australia

Scaloni has selected the following XI:

Emiliano Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Enzo, Mac Allister; Messi, Di María, Nicolás González.

De Paul has died his hair blue! He definitely feels like he's on his summer holidays!

Australia starting XI!

Here's the Australia XI!

Argentina arrive

La Albiceleste are here, mates in hand, of course.

Australia changes

Just six months on since the sides met at the 2022 World Cup, Australia have made four changes to the team that was defeated 2-1 by the eventual champions.

Australia have landed

kick-off is just an hour away!

Today's venue: Workers Stadium

The Workers Stadium in Beijing is hosting today's friendly.

Messi: "I won't go to the next World Cup"

Lionel Messi may have played in his last World Cup.

Speaking to Chinese outlet Titan Sports on Tuesday when asked about playing at the 2026 World Cup, Messi said: "I think not. [Qatar] was my last World Cup. I'll see how things go, but as it is right now, no, I won't go to the next World Cup."

Argentina and Australia meet again

Argentina and Australia meet again after their World Cup Round of 16 clash just six months ago in which the South Americans prevailed 2-1.

Team news coming soon

Team news is on the way!

Here's the Australia dressing room ahead of kick-off.

World champions take on Australia

The world champions are back in action!

Hello & welcome!

Hello and welcome to AS USA's live coverage of this international friendly match between Argentina and Australia.

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