Lionel Messi scores on Argentina return to sink Brazil in Saudi Arabia

: Lionel Messi struck on his return to international duty Friday following a three-month ban as Argentina defeated fierce rivals Brazil 1-0 in a friendly in Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 16 November 2019

Lionel Messi scores on Argentina return to sink Brazil in Saudi Arabia

  • The meeting between the two South American giants was the second in Saudi Arabia
  • Messi, who scored with a pair of free-kicks in his last game with Barcelona, twice threatened from set pieces

RIYADH: Lionel Messi struck on his return to international duty Friday following a three-month ban as Argentina defeated fierce rivals Brazil 1-0 in a friendly in Riyadh.
The Barcelona forward was suspended by CONMEBOL for accusing South American football’s ruling body of “corruption” after he was sent off in July’s third-place play-off with Chile at the Copa America.
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.

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PHOTOS: Lionel Messi scores as Argentina beat Brazil in Riyadh

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His effort came shortly after Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus rolled a spot-kick wide for Brazil, who were playing without the injured Neymar.
Messi, who scored with a pair of free-kicks in his last game with Barcelona, twice threatened from set pieces in the second half before Liverpool ‘keeper Alisson beat away a powerful drive from Paredes.
Rodrygo, the 18-year-old who scored a sensational Champions League hat-trick with Real Madrid this month, made his Brazil debut as he replaced Willian for the final 20 minutes.
However, Brazil were unable to find an equalizer as their winless run since capturing the Copa America title extended to five matches.
The meeting between the two South American giants was the second in Saudi Arabia in little over a year. Brazil beat Argentina 1-0 in Jeddah in October 2018.
Brazil also defeated Argentina 2-0 at home in the semifinals of this year’s Copa America, a controversial match that left Messi complaining the hosts had benefited from favoritism.
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.


Coach Misbah says Pakistan must move on from Old Trafford defeat

Updated 10 August 2020

Coach Misbah says Pakistan must move on from Old Trafford defeat

  • England sealed an unlikely three-wicket victory on Saturday after slumping to 117-5 in pursuit of 277
  • The second test of the three-match series will begin on Thursday at the Rose Bowl in Southampton

MANCHESTER — Pakistan cannot dwell on their defeat by England in the first test at Old Trafford as it would make it tougher for them to respond in the next two matches, coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said.
England sealed an unlikely three-wicket victory on Saturday after slumping to 117-5 at one point in their pursuit of 277, as Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 139 runs to turn the tide.
“It was a thrilling test match and full credit must go to England for the way they fought back, came from behind and took the game away from us,” Misbah wrote in his column on the Pakistan Cricket Board’s website here
“There is disappointment, of course, but we must not keep that feeling in our minds otherwise it will be difficult to come back... the team believes we can fight back.
“Sometimes luck doesn’t favor you, sometimes the opposition plays well – that’s the beauty of the game.”
Misbah praised opener Shan Masood, who scored 156 in the first innings, as well as pacemen Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah who picked up two wickets each.
“It was a brave decision to bat first against England’s bowling attack in those conditions,” the 46-year-old said.
“Shan Masood batted really well and... should be given a lot of credit for his innings. He’s been working so hard... he’s changed a few things in his setup. He’s a different batsman.
“The bowling was also excellent. It’s a young seam attack, apart from Mohammad Abbas, and both Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah did really well.”
The second test of the three-match series will begin on Thursday at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.