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AS IT HAPPENED: Magic Messi a class above plucky Socceroos in Beijing friendly

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15th June, 2023
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Socceroos vs Argentina

Venue: Worker’s Stadium, Beijing
Socceroos Argentina

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The world champions face the Socceroos on neutral territory, when Argentina takes on Australia in China. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 10pm (AEST).

As the leagues of the world go into recess, international friendlies launch into action around the globe. It is doubtful there is one as interesting as the World Cup champion Argentina taking on the team that pressed them all the way during the Round of 16 in Qatar.

With qualification for North America 2026 on the world’s mind, the respective managers will be looking to build some early momentum. The Socceroos are not too far away from the first matches that will kick-off their qualification campaign and Argentina will begin the challenging task of navigating a tense South American group of ten that will toss and turn in fortune over the next 18 months.

Socceroo coach Graham Arnold has been forced into some changes, yet brings more exciting talent into his squad. Tom Glover and Joe Gauci will be looking for an opportunity between the sticks, Jordan Bos deserves a chance to impress after a stunning season in Australia and the front line of Mitchell Duke, Jamie Maclaren and Mathew Leckie will provide the leadership and experience required, up against a world class opponent.

Lionel Messi will no doubt play – yet for how long we are simply not sure. Angel Di Maria, Julian Alvarez and Manchester United star Alejandro Garnacho will ask plenty of questions of the Australian’s defence, with Enzo Fernandez a likely provider. It looks a tall order for the Socceroos on paper, yet the fighting Socceroo spirit served them well against Argentina in Qatar and frankly, they were within close distance of extra-time against the eventual winners.


Logic says the World Cup champions win comfortably, yet friendlies are perfect moments for teams to cause upsets. The Australian belief is strong when the national shirt is placed on their backs and despite the class of their opponents, a 2-2 entertaining draw is my predicted result, in what will be a terrific spectacle for the Chinese fans.

Game information


Venue: Worker’s Stadium, Beijing
Kick-off: 10pm (AEST)
TV: 10 Bold
Streaming: Paramount +
Odds: Argentina $1.17, Draw $6.50, Australia $14 – odds via PlayUp



Mat Ryan (c), Tom Glover, Joe Gauci, Nathaniel Atkinson, Jordan Bos, Alessandro Circati, Joel King, Kye Rowles, Gianni Stensness, Harry Souttar, Ryan Strain, Keanu Baccus, Cameron Devlin, Denis Genreau, Ajdin Hrustic, Riley McGree, Connor Metcalfe, Aiden O’Neill, Alex Robertson; Brandon Borrello, Mitch Duke, Jamie Maclaren, Mathew Leckie.


Emiliano Martinez, Geronimo Rulli, Walter Benitez, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Tagliafico, German Pezzella, Nahuel Molina, Gonzalo Montiel, Cristian Romero, Leonardo Balerdi, Facundo Medina, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Giovani Lo Celso, Guido Rodriguez, Exequiel Palacios, Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, Lucas Ocampos, Thiago Almada, Lionel Messi (c), Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Gonzalez, Julian Alvarez, Giovanni Simeone, Alejandro Garnacho

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