Jun 9, 2017 at 11.05am UK at ​Melbourne Cricket Ground
Attendance: 95,969

Paulinho (79'), Rafinha (80')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Mercado (45')
Maidana (31')

Live Commentary: Brazil 0-1 Argentina - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the international friendly between Brazil and Argentina in Melbourne, which ended in a 1-0 win for Argentina.

Sevilla defender Gabriel Mercado scored the only goal of the match as Argentina recorded a 1-0 win over Brazil in Friday's international friendly in Melbourne.

Mercado netted in the final minute of the first period as Brazil were denied a 10th straight victory, with Jorge Sampaoli tasting success in his first game in charge of the Argentineans.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

10.05amMorning all! Sports Mole's live international coverage continues from Melbourne, Australia as Brazil take on Argentina in an international friendly. There are no points or prizes on offer here, but there is simply no downplaying the importance of this match. There are so many side-stories to this wonderful fixture once again, so be sure to stay tuned and you will not miss a moment of the action.

10.08amThis will be the 108th meeting between the two nations in all competitions, and it is Brazil that lead the head-to-head 44 wins to Argentina's 38. Argentina have actually only won one of the last five fixtures, and they suffered a 3-0 defeat to the Selecao in last November's 2018 World Cup qualifier.

10.12amRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news for this match. Both sides are missing important players due to the Champions League final and indeed injury, but there are still plenty of superstars on display. Let's run through the two XIs that will start here...


BRA: Weverton; Fagner, Silva, Gil, Luis; Fernandinho; Paulinho, Augusto, Coutinho, Willian; Jesus

ARG: Romero; Gomez, Maidana, Otamendi, Mercado; Biglia, Banega; Dybala, Messi, Di Maria; Higuain

10.18amThe big news from the Brazil camp is that Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Silva makes his first international start in two years, with his last game coming at the 2015 Copa America. Weverton will earn just his second cap between the sticks, while Fagner and Gil also start at the back. Further forward, Renato Augusto is given the chance to impress, while Chelsea's Willian and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho will support Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus. Neymar is absent for this one!

Gabriel Jesus of Brazil takes a pass during the FIFA Under-20 World Cup semi-final against Senegal on June 17, 2015© AFP

10.22amAs for Argentina, Jorge Sampaoli's first selection is a very interesting one. There are two Premier League representatives - Sergio Romero and Nicolas Otamendi - while Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain are all in the XI. Further back, there will be just a fourth cap for River Plate's Jonatan Maidana, while Lanus defender Jose Luis Gomez will make his international debut.

10.25amSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild evening in Melbourne. As mentioned, there are no points or prizes on offer here, but it will mark Jorge Sampaoli's debut as Argentina boss. The former Chile head coach has left La Liga outfit Sevilla to take charge of La Albiceleste, and it is some way to start his tenure, that is for sure.

Jorge Sampaoli of Chile looks on during the international friendly match between Chile and Iraq at the Brondby Stadium on August 14, 2013© Getty Images

10.28amArgentina's squad is packed full of wonderful players – and then there is the small matter of Messi – but Sampaoli has taken charge of a team that have lost three of their last five competitive matches. Indeed, that disappointing run has left Argentina fifth in their qualification section for the 2018 World Cup, having won just six of their 14 fixtures, collecting 22 points in the process.

10.32amAs mentioned, Argentina suffered a 3-0 defeat away to Brazil last November, and although they responded with back-to-back victories over Colombia and Chile, a 2-0 defeat to Bolivia arrived last time out. Sampaoli has replaced Edgardo Bauza as head coach of the South American nation, with the 59-year-old leaving in April after just eight matches in charge and three wins.

10.35amArgentina lost to Germany in the final of the 2014 World Cup, but they have not actually won the competition since 1986, which was their second success. They have also finished as runners-up in four of the last five editions of the Copa America, and the fact that a team including Messi has gone without major silverware for so long is quite incredible. Speaking of Messi, he indeed starts here.

Argentina's forward Angel Di Maria (L) remains on the ground after getting injured next to Argentina's forward Lionel Messi during their 2015 Copa America final football match, in Santiago, Chile, on July 4, 2015© Getty Images

10.38amAs for Brazil, Tite's team have no such concerns about next summer's World Cup in Russia. Indeed, they have already booked their spot in the 2018 competition with four matches to spare. A total of 33 points from 14 matches has left them nine points clear of second-place Colombia, meaning that Brazil can rotate their squad in the final rounds of the qualification group.

10.42amBrazil have actually won their last nine games – overcoming Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay in World Cup qualifiers, in addition to beating Colombia in a friendly. Indeed, they will enter this match off the back of a 3-0 win over Paraguay in March.

Tite participates in a Brazil training session at the team headquarters in Sao Paulo on June 15, 2016© AFP

10.45amFive-time World Cup winners Brazil finished fourth in the 2014 edition on home soil, although that was an improvement on their quarter-final exits in both 2006 and 2010. They will not compete in the 2017 Confederations Cup, but indeed landed the trophy in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

10.48amIn terms of the Copa America, Brazil have not actually been past the group stage of that competition since 2007, when they won the title for a fifth time. It would be fair to say that the team has had its problems in recent years, but things are looking pretty good ahead of the 2018 World Cup.


10.55amIn terms of what is ahead for Brazil, they will face Australia in another friendly next Tuesday, before returning to World Cup qualification action at home to Ecuador at the end of August. Argentina, meanwhile, will face Singapore in a friendly on Tuesday, before visiting Uruguay at the end of August in what is a massive game in terms of qualification for next summer's tournament in Russia.

10.58amA reminder of the two teams that will start this match...


BRA: Weverton; Fagner, Silva, Gil, Luis; Fernandinho; Paulinho, Augusto, Coutinho, Willian; Jesus

ARG: Romero; Gomez, Maidana, Otamendi, Mercado; Biglia, Banega; Dybala, Messi, Di Maria; Higuain

11.02amRight, the time for talking is almost over. This might be a friendly, but both teams will be desperate to win. It is a mild evening in Melbourne, with the conditions perfect for a game of football. Can Brazil make it 10 wins in a row, or will Sampaoli enjoy the perfect start to his Argentina tenure? Stay tuned!

0 minKICKOFF! Brazil kick things off in Melbourne...

2 min... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium tonight. Let's hope that the football matches the occasion. Messi has already looked to camp on the back of the Brazil defence, but the offside flag stops the Barcelona forward from advancing. Fast start to this one.

4 minBrazil are enjoying most of the possession inside the opening four minutes, with Silva, Gil and Luis seeing plenty of the ball in a defensive area. Argentina, however, are pressing high as they look to force a mistake. Messi looks like a man who has a point to prove for his international team tonight.

6 minGabriel Jesus goes down outside the Argentina box after a heavy challenge from Man City teammate Otamendi, but the offside flag had already been raised. Coutinho then looks to dance into the Argentina box, but he does not pull the trigger, allowing Otamendi to come across to clear.

6 minPOST! Argentina come close to making the breakthrough as Di Maria drives into the Brazil box before firing towards goal, but his effort hits the crossbar. End-to-end stuff here!

8 minDi Maria has some treatment after going down in a tough challenge with Paulinho, but the attacker returns to the field moments later. Plenty happening here as this game continues to warm-up.

11 minPossession football from Argentina in the last couple of minutes as they work the ball from left to right, but Brazil are very busy in the final third as they look to steal possession in a dangerous area. Still goalless, but it has been an open and entertaining start to this international friendly in Australia.

12 minFirst sign of ill-feeling here as Mercado is chopped to the ground before Paulinho is upended. This might be a friendly, but it is clear to see that both Brazil and Argentina are fired-up here.

14 minMessi bundles Fernandinho to the deck as the stop-start nature of the match continues.

16 minHalf-chance for Brazil as Coutinho breaks down the right before looking to pick out Willian with a low cross, but Otamendi is on hand to clear behind. Super defending from the Man City centre-back.

19 minMessi attacks the heart of the Brazilian defence before sliding a pass into Di Maria, but Brazil have a lot of numbers back, and manage to clear their lines. Still goalless with 19 minutes on the clock.

21 minNot an awful lot to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes, but Argentina are on the front foot at the moment as they continue to feed Messi. Brazil have gone to sleep just a touch here.

22 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Brazil to take the lead as Willian drives into the Argentina box before feeding Coutinho, but the Liverpool attacker takes far too long to have a shot, and a combination of Romero and Otamendi block the effort. That really should have been the opening goal!

25 minHalf-chance for Argentina as Di Maria drives to the edge of the Brazil box before having a strike, but Weverton is on hand to make a comfortable save. Argentina need more from Dybala and Higuain.

27 minMercado needs some treatment after a late challenge from Gabriel Jesus, and replays show that it was actually a very poor tackle from the Man City forward, who is fortunate to escape a yellow card.

29 minDi Maria remains Argentina's biggest threat, but the PSG attacker is caught offside, bringing to an end what was another positive move from Sampaoli's team. We are still all square in Melbourne.

30 minThis time, Gabriel Jesus is chopped to the deck by Maidana as the ill-temperated nature of this match continues. It was so poor from Maidana, and for some reason he has escaped a yellow card.

31 minBOOKING! Maidana (Argentina) is indeed carded for the challenge.

34 minLuis finds some space outside the Argentina box before having a pop on goal, but his effort moves over the crossbar. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining in Melbourne. It might still be goalless, but that does not mean that it has not been exciting. Both teams have had good chances to make the breakthrough, while there have been some very, very tasty challenges here!

36 minPossession for Argentina, but not an awful lot happening at the moment.

38 minHalf-chance for Argentina as Higuain meets a deep free kick from Messi, but it is a comfortable save for the Brazilian goalkeeper, who has not had much to do in the opening 38 minutes here.

39 minSAVE! Weverton gets down to keep out a powerful strike from Di Maria.

41 minSuper work from Fagner as the Brazil right-back turns on the after-burners to break into a crossing position, but Otamendi rises above Gabriel Jesus as Argentina clear their lines once again.

43 minDi Maria has been Argentina's most dangerous player in the opening half of this match, and only a brilliant clearance from Silva presents the PSG attacker from finding Higuain with a super cross.

44 minCLOSE! Dybala just misses the post with a curling effort from outside the Brazil box!

45 minGOAL! Brazil 0-1 Argentina (Mercado)

45 min+1Argentine make the breakthrough in the final minute of the first period as Mercado turns home from close range after Otamendi had hit the post with a header. Mercado simply could not miss!

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Brazil 0-1 Argentina

12pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Argentina leading 1-0 courtesy of a close-range finish from Mercado moments before the half-time whistle. Brazil have had a couple of super chances to register, namely through Coutinho and Willian, but Argentina just about deserve their lead after finishing the first 45 minutes in Melbourne very much on the front foot.

12.05pmSTATISTICS! Argentina dominated the first-half possession with 68%, while they managed seven attempts, four of which were on target. Brazil, meanwhile, only hit the target with one of their four attempts in the first period. Just the one yellow card to report - Maidana in the 31st minute of action.

12.10pmBENCH WATCH! Fazio, Icardi, Lanzini and Paredes are among those that will be hoping to feature for Argentina in the second period, while Brazil boss Tite has the likes of Alex Sandro, Diego Costa, Rafinha and David Luiz on a very strong bench. I suspect that there will be changes at the break.

46 minRESTART! Argentina resume the action here...

47 min... ARGENTINA SUB! Carlos Correa has replaced Higuain for Argentina.

48 minNo changes for Brazil at the break, and as far as I am aware, just the one for Argentina. So, Mercado's close-range effort separates the two teams, but I fancy some more goals here.

51 minWillian stands over a free kick outside the Argentina box, but his effort is straight into the wall. Not an awful lot to report in terms of chances in the opening stages of the second period, although Fagner has just had a pretty spectacular dive inside the Argentina box as he looked for a penalty!

52 minARGENTINA SUB! Tagliafico replaces Gomez in Argentina's second change.

54 minHalf-chance for Gabriel Jesus as the Brazilian forward finds some space in the final third of the field, but his effort was always straight at Romero. Still 1-0 Argentina with 54 minutes played here.

56 minSmart work from Correa as the Sevilla forward drives down the right before delivering onto the boot of Di Maria, but he gets it all wrong, allowing Brazil to resume from a throw-in - yes, a throw!

58 minIt is Di Maria with another shooting chance for Argentina, but his effort is wide of the post after smart work from Correa. Little over 30 minutes of normal time remaining in Melbourne here.

60 minWe are entering the stage of the match where Brazil boss Tite will be considering changes. Just a reminder that there is no Neymar for the Selecao tonight, which is a big shame.

60 minCoutinho dances into the Argentina box before curling one towards goal, but it hits his own teammate Gabriel Jesus, and the flag is raised. That just about sums up Brazil's night so far!

61 minSAVE! Good save from Romero to keep out Gabriel Jesus.

62 minArgentina struggle to clear a free kick from Willian, which drops to Gabriel Jesus at the far post, but from a narrowing angle, the forward hits the side-netting. Still 1-0 Argentina in this friendly match.

62 minCHANCES! Oh my word! Incredible! Wonderful double chance for Brazil as Gabriel Jesus rounds Romero and looks certain to fire home, but the Man City forward hits the post. The rebound falls to Willian, who then also smashes the post under pressure. Just incredible!

65 minWe have seen very little from Messi tonight, but his team lead with 25 minutes left to play. Still no movement on the Brazil bench, but head coach Tite must now be considering alterations.

66 minBRAZIL SUB! Douglas Costa replaces Coutinho.

68 minLittle over 20 minutes of football remaining in this international friendly. I am not entirely sure how, but Argentina are leading 1-0. That is not to say that Brazil have been much the better team, but they have had some excellent chances in the second period. It has been a very entertaining game.

69 minARGENTINA SUB! Rodriguez replaces Dybala for Argentina.

72 minI would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals, but Argentina have tightened up defensively in the last couple of minutes. Douglas Costa has not seen too much of the ball.

73 minBRAZIL SUB! Fagner is replaced by Rafinha for Brazil.

75 minMercado looks to have a problem for Argentina as he hits the deck.

76 minARGENTINA SUB! Mammana replaces Mercado.

78 minWillian dances into the Argentina box before delivering a low cross towards Costa, but once again Argentina clear their lines, and Romero can collect the second cross after smart work from Gabriel Jesus.

79 minBOOKING! Paulinho (Brazil) is booked for a late challenge on Biglia.

80 minBOOKING! Rafinha (Brazil) is booked for a foul on Messi.

81 minBRAZIL SUB! Paulinho is replaced by Giuliano.

81 minARGENTINA SUB! Special moment for Lanzini as he debuts, replacing Banega.

83 minNot an awful lot to report in terms of chances in the last few moments, with the amount of changes harming the flow of the match. Argentina still lead with 83 minutes on the clock in Melbourne.

85 minCosta misses the target with a speculative effort from outside the Argentina box.

87 minPressure from Brazil late on as they force two corners in quick succession, but the offside flag is raised once again when Gabriel Jesus moves towards the ball. Argentina are close to the win here.

89 minGabriel Jesus has come in for some rough treatment in this match, and he is again on the deck following a heavy challenge from two Argentines. Play has stopped as everyone crowds around.

90 min+2BRAZIL SUB! Taison replaces Gabriel Jesus, who was stretchered off the field.

90 min+2Gabriel Jesus looks in a bad way - let's hope that is not as serious as it looks!

90 min+3We are into the third and final minute of added time, with Argentina still ahead here.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Brazil 0-1 Argentina

1.06pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Argentina recording a 1-0 win over South American rivals Brazil in this international friendly. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live action from Melbourne once again. Until next time!

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Jorge Sampaoli of Chile looks on during the international friendly match between Chile and Iraq at the Brondby Stadium on August 14, 2013
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