Returning Messi extends Brazil's winless run

Returning Messi extends Brazil's winless run

Lionel Messi's winning goal against Brazil in an worldwide friendly on Friday marked his first against Argentina's fiercest rivals in seven years.

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. Brazil had a penalty of their own before Messi's opener when German Pezzella fouls Gabriel Jesus inside the box after nine minutes as Manchester City striker stepped up to take it but after missing woefully against Atalanta for his club before the worldwide break, produced an equally weak effort that rolled harmlessly wide of goal.

Messi netted the only goal of the game at the King Saud University Stadium on 13 minutes, tapping home the rebound after his penalty was saved by Brazil goalkeeper Alisson.

Two minutes later, Argentina received a penalty when Messi was shot down by Alex Sandro.

Real Madrid forward Rodrygo, who is in the Brazil senior squad for the first time, made his global bow in the 71st minute, coming on as a substitute for Willian.

Barcelona forward Messi was returning from a three-month ban for saying the Copa America was "fixed for Brazil", with the hosts beating Argentina in the semi-final and Peru in the July final.

Brazil extended their winless run to five matches with their latest defeat, while Argentina picked up a fourth win from their last six.

Brazil will play a friendly against South Korea in Abu Dhabi on November 19, in their final game before South American qualifying starts for the 2022 World Cup in March.



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