Published On: Sat, Jun 10th, 2017


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Gabriel Marcado is the difference between the two rivals as he helped his team to a 1-0 victory against Brazil in front of 95,569 at the MCG in Melbourne.

The Albiceleste brought in the ex-Sevilla chief after sacking Edgardo Bauza, and he made an immediate impact, ending Tite’s nine-match winning run as Selecao chief.

Gabriel Mercado, the largely unheralded River Plate defender, scored the only goal, turning home from close range after Nicolas Otamendi’s header came back off the post.

With a 3-4-3 formation, also pairing both Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala in support of Gonzalo Higuain, Argentina dominated the first period, before resolutely riding out a second half storm.

Angel Di Maria hit the post after just two minutes as Sampaoli’s men looked to impress themselves on the game, but Brazil also looked dangerous on the break, with Coutinho denied by Romero when he should have done better.

The five-time world champions Brazil lacked a little of X factor in the final third.

Gabriel Jesus tested the hands of Romero and continued to offer threat, particularly with Argentina yielding ground somewhat after reverting to a back four.

But marshalled by the excellent Otamendi and with Messi offering an outlet with his intelligent use of the ball, Sampaoli’s side held on for victory



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