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Home   /   Arnold admits Socceroos ‘worked hard not to be in awe’ of magical Messi in 2-1 defeat

Despite a late Australia resurgence, it was Argentina who booked their place in the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a 2-1 victory in Al Rayyan.

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Craig Goodwin’s 77th minute strike gave the Socceroos hope of a late equalizer, but goals from Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez were enough to see La Albiceleste progress to the next round. Following their exit, Australia manager Graham Arnold admitted that his team ‘worked really hard’ not to be starstruck by Lionel Messi.

‘We really worked hard not to be in awe of him, because of the great player he is’ said Arnold after the match.

‘I had the privilege of playing against Diego Maradona, and now coaching against Messi. They’re both wonderful players and Argentina should be so proud and happy to have players of that calibre’.

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In his post-match press conference, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni insisted ‘the difficulty was maximum’ against ‘a team that is intelligent’.

‘Today’s game was very difficult, the truth is that we put on very physically suffocating pressure’ Scaloni said after the match.

‘At half-time we corrected some things; I think the team did not deserve to suffer those last minutes’.

Argentina will face the Netherlands in their quarter-final tie on Friday evening.

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May 2024