No Messi but Argentina 'have to' beat Brazil, says Romero

Tanya Simon
October 17, 2018

Miranda scored at the death on Tuesday night, October 16, as Brazil defeated rivals Argentina 1-0 in a tough friendly encounter played in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported how Argentina FA made it clear that they will not give any player the No 10 jersey in their hopes of convincing Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to make a return to worldwide duty.

There was no time for Argentina to respond as they fell to their first defeat with Scaloni at the helm, leaving Brazil still ideal since the World Cup and now having kept 23 clean sheets in their 30 matches under manager Tite.

Miranda headed a Neymar corner past Sergio Romero to avoid this one ending as a goalless draw and to give the yellow-shirted supporters in the ground something to cheer about.

Brazil's listlessness going forward meant a different source was going to have to provide the goal and Miranda did just that, improving on his near-miss in the first half with a decisive late intervention.

Tite's side, unconvincing 2-0 winners over Saudi Arabia on Friday, were otherwise ineffective in attack as they struggled to create any notable chances despite the significant time they spent on the ball.

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The 49-year-old former all-rounder is accused of failing to co-operate with an investigation by the governing body. In 445 one-day internationals, the former all-rounder scored 28 centuries and claimed 323 wickets.

"I spoke to my teammates", he said.

He has only received five global caps despite scoring 123 goals in 223 club appearances in all competitions, but will be given a chance to impress against Brazil.

"The team felt exhausted in the second half but I think we dominated our opponents, we played well and we got the goal at the end", said Brazil's Filipe Luís.

Interim coach Lionel Scaloni picked an inexperienced line-up to face Iraq with Romero, defender Ramiro Funes Mori and striker Paulo Dybala the only established names on the team-sheet.

Giovani Lo Celso and Paulo Dybala came close to scoring for Argentina but Scaloni, who picked a young, relatively inexperienced side at worldwide level, insisted the all-round performance of the team bodes well for the future. Expect Neymar to score and for Brazil to win comfortably.

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