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World Cup: Why Argentina can't lose to Australia

2022-12-03T18:08:19.509Z

ANALYSIS – Of all the knockout stages of this 2022 vintage, the opposition between Lionel Messi's Gauchos and the Socceroos appears the most unbalanced.



By taking second place in Group D behind France, Australia created one of the sensations of the group stage.

Especially after his clear inaugural defeat against the Blues (1-4), which did not bode well for the future.

But behind, the Socceroos were able to get their heads back and solidify their rearguard to dominate Tunisia (1-0) and Denmark (1-0) in turn and do so as well as in 2006 , when they were eliminated in the round of 16 by Italy (1-0) on a penalty in added time.

A fate that hangs in their face a priori this Saturday (8:00 p.m.) against Argentina, huge favorite on paper for an 8th final which appears from quite a distance as the most unbalanced.

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Because Argentina has already paid to know it in this World Cup

Like a man, a knowledgeable footballer is often worth two.

For their entry into the competition, the Argentinians, perhaps too confident or sure of themselves with their current unbeaten 36 matches, suffered the law of modest Saudi training led by Hervé Renard (1-2).

A real thunderclap, which turned South American heads upside down.

In a good way, fortunately for their supporters.

A setback which deflated some misplaced egos and which, above all, forced the Gauchos to raise their level, while playing simpler.

The kind of ideal booster shot before challenging another formation against whom they are big favorites.

After coming close to leaving the road early, Argentina cannot trip over the carpet a second time with experienced players like Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria or Nicolas Otamendi.

And if need be, the Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni recalled it in a pre-match press conference: “

I don't know if the opponent is inferior.

It's a good team and it's always difficult to face a group that knows what it wants.

I believe in putting aside the theoretical favorites and playing football.

We will try to play the best we can and have control of the game.

Because the Gauchos are growing in power

If Spain started with the pedal to the metal by crushing Costa Rica (7-0) before returning to the ranks, Argentina, it seems to follow an opposite curve, namely ascending.

After the football porridge offered against Saudi Arabia, the Gauchos clearly raised their level against Mexico, especially in the second half with goals from Messi and Enzo Fernandez (2-0).

And their last performance against Poland was by far the most successful (2-0).

Dominating in all areas, with more than 70% possession and 23 shots attempted (including 12 on target), the South Americans could, and should, have won with a larger gap without a great performance from Szczesny .

If they repeat the same type of performance against Australia, difficult to

Because Lionel Messi can't leave now

At 35, everyone knows, Lionel Messi is living the last World Cup of his career in Qatar.

In search of the only trophy missing from his formidable record.

The player of Paris SG is therefore invested with a mission.

With 2 goals and an assist so far, number 10 is there.

Especially since he is the true depositary of the Argentinian game.

Against Poland, in particular during the second half, it was he who drove each acceleration, not by running since he no longer has quite the same qualities of explosiveness as before, but by quality of his passes and his vision of the game. Can Australia succeed in restricting his scope of action, and thereby his dangerousness?

Unlikely…

Because Australia lacks assets

Let's start with the positive: since the start of this World Cup, Australia has scored on each of its outings, and has even opened the scoring each time.

Including, therefore, against France.

Defensively, the Socceroos remain on two matches without conceding a goal.

But the weakness of the Tunisian offensive game and the overall poor performance of Denmark in this competition do not really prove to be references when challenging Messi, Lautaro Martinez and others.

Above all, no player really stands out from the Australian collective.

Three goals scored by three different scorers - Duke, Goodwin, Leckie -, only 7 shots on target in all and for all in three matches, Australia made their way to the round of 16 thanks to their solidity than their shimmering game .

Except that when it comes to the knockout matches,

the strength of individualities weighs more.

And their absence could seriously handicap Matthew Ryan's band.

'Cause the Socceroos never did

Australia has never reached a World Cup quarter-final.

Never, either, has it beaten Argentina in three confrontations - two defeats and a draw dating back to October 30… 1993 (1-1).

This shows the magnitude of the task awaiting the Socceroos.

Even if Graham Arnold refuses to admit defeat before the hour: “

We are very happy to be here and impatient to play and make our country proud once again.

Anything can happen in knockout.

It will be 11 blues against 11 yellows and it's a battle we have to fight.

“Same story for his defender Harry Souttar:”

We believe so much in ourselves and in what we can do.

We are not surprised to be there, even if I know that many people are.

We have already surprised a lot of people, we will try to surprise a few others.

Now, from notes of intent to reality, there is often a big gap that is hard to bridge…

All World Cup winners since 1930

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Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2022-12-03

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