Argentina and Brazil faced off on Friday in an international friendly at King Saud University Stadium in Saudi Arabia, and while it was a game filled with some of the world’s best players, it wasn’t the greatest of displays when it came to finishing.
Argentina secured a 1-0 victory on a goal from Lionel Messi, but both teams missed penalty kicks and clear chances on goal in an open game. Argentina was the sharper team in attack with 14 shots and eight on goal, while Brazil managed just one shot on goal the entire game as Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino and Willian led the attack. Brazil was without superstar Neymar, who continues to recover from a muscle strain as the PSG man hasn’t played in a month.
Early on, Brazil was awarded a penalty kick thanks to a foul in the box by Leandro Paredes. Gabriel Jesus was a little too cute with his attempt and missed the goal completely. Take a look:
Three minutes later, Messi was taken down in the box but saw his penalty kick saved by Liverpool star Alisson. Messi managed to pounce on the rebound and finish for what proved to be the winning goal:
As always, it was an intense, physical and fun match between the two South American giants and was a rematch of the Copa America semifinal, which Brazil won 2-0 before beating Peru in the final. At times it was a bit slow with 41 total fouls hurting the game’s continuity and pace.
Each team will continue with international friendlies ahead of World Cup qualifying starting in March. You can watch World Cup qualifying on fuboTV (Try for free).
Argentina is set to face Uruguay on Monday in a friendly in Israel, while Brazil takes on South Korea on Tuesday.