Gilette Brasil Global Tour
 
Played
June 9, 2017 11:05 AM BST
Melbourne Cricket Ground — Melbourne
Referee:‬ C. Beath‎
Attendance:‬ 95969‎
 
 

Brazil 0 Argentina 1: Mercado makes the difference on Sampaoli's debut

Argentina recorded a 1-0 friendly win over Brazil courtesy of Gabriel Mercado's first-half winner in Melbourne.

Stefan Coerts

Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado celebrates after scoring the opener against Brazil
Getty Images

Jorge Sampaoli's Argentina reign began with a win as Gabriel Mercado's goal secured a 1-0 friendly victory over great rivals Brazil at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

The defender reacted quickly after Nicolas Otamendi's header came back off the upright and tapped home to make the difference shortly before the break.

Sampaoli fielded an attacking XI in his first game as Argentina boss, including Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria.

Brazil, meanwhile, were without star attacker Neymar, but Tite did name Premier League trio Gabriel Jesus, Willian and Philippe Coutinho in his line-up.

The Selecao were left to rue an astonishing miss in the second half, though, as Jesus struck the post with the goal gaping as Tite tasted his first defeat since replacing Dunga at the helm, bringing an end to a run of nine consecutive victories.

Brazil take on Australia on June 13 in another friendly, while Argentina meet Singapore before they attempt to revive their stuttering World Cup qualifying campaign against Uruguay in August.

Sampaoli's side made an encouraging start and came close to opening the scoring after just six minutes, Di Maria blasting a powerful shot against the left upright from a narrow angle after being set up by Dybala.

Brazil first threatened midway through the half when Willian escaped the attentions of his marker down the left and unselfishly squared for the unmarked Coutinho, only for the Liverpool man to take too much time and allow Otamendi to make a last-ditch block.

Di Maria then nearly surprised Weverton with an ambitious volley from the corner of the box after Gil failed to adequately clear a cross from the left, the goalkeeper only just managing to keep the winger's attempt out with his chest.

But there was no denying Argentina in the 45th minute as Mercado broke the deadlock with a calm finish from close range, reacting first to the rebound after Otamendi hit the upright following a cross from Di Maria.

Brazil went in search of the equaliser after the break and Jesus was first to try his luck when he forced goalkeeper Sergio Romero into a one-handed save with a curled shot toward the top corner from 15 yards out.

Jesus refused to give up, though, and the Manchester City man should have levelled the scoring at the hour mark. He rounded Romero after a brilliant throughball from Fernandinho, only to then hit the post, with Willian rattling the other upright from the rebound.

And those misses would prove to be costly for Tite's men as the Argentina defence held firm in the remainder of the game to get Sampaoli off to a triumphant start.

Brazil

-
Weverton
Goalkeeper
-
Fagner
Defender
73′
3
Filipe Luis
Defender
4
Thiago Silva
Defender
-
Gil
Defender
25
Fernandinho
Midfielder
10
Renato Augusto
Midfielder
66′
7
Paulinho
Midfielder
78′ 81′
22
Willian
Midfielder
10
-
Gabriel Jesus
Striker
92′

Argentina

22
Sergio Romero
Goalkeeper
2
-
-
5
Lucas Biglia
Midfielder
20
Ángel Di María
Midfielder
94′
-
Ever Banega
Midfielder
81′
20
10
Messi
Striker
-
Paulo Dybala
Striker
69′

Substitutes

-
Diego Alves
Goalkeeper
-
Ederson Moraes
Goalkeeper
-
Jemerson
Defender
7
Rodrigo Caio
Defender
13
Rafinha
Defender
73′ 80′
4
David Luiz
Defender
-
Alex Sandro
Defender
20
Douglas Costa
Midfielder
66′
-
Taison
Striker
92′
7
Diego Souza
Midfielder
-
Giuliano
Midfielder
81′
-
Rodriguinho
Midfielder

Substitutes

-
Nahuel Guzmán
Midfielder
-
Gerónimo Rulli
Goalkeeper
-
18
Toto Salvio
Midfielder
-
Lucas Alario
Striker
-
Marcos Acuña
Midfielder
94′
9
Mauro Icardi
Striker

Coach/Manager

-
Tite
Coach
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match