Socceroos v Argentina live: Messi gets revenge for early brutal blow

The Socceroos carry the hopes of a nation as they square off with Argentina in the World Cup round of 16 on Sunday morning.

A quarterfinal against the Netherlands is on the line after the Dutch easily dispatched of the USA in the early game.

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All eyes are now on Australia as we attempt to fight back from a 1-0 deficit after Lionel Messi’s opener.

6.35am — Messi breaks Aussie hearts

Argentina has taken a 1-0 lead after Lionel Messi scored.

Messi slotted his 94th international goal between the legs of a diving Harry Souttar.

6.30am — Messi felled as Socceroos make a statement

Australia made a relatively stress-free start to the match, staying compact in defence and allowing Argentina few forward forays in the first 30 minutes.

Keanu Baccus made his presence felt instantly in his first international start by felling Messi with a strong tackle.

Jackson Irvine went a step further, earning himself a yellow card for a challenge on Acuna which will keep him out of the quarterfinals if Australia progresses.

But it wasn’t all just chasing and tackling for the Socceroos as they began to spend more time in the Argentine half.

After half an hour neither side had a shot on target.

5.05am — Fed Square already at capacity

Melbourne’s Federation Square has been the centre of the Socceroos’ World Cup charge outside of Qatar — and it was heaving early today.

Flares were being set off as thousands packed in to the site to watch the Socceroos’ date with history.

It was described by one fan as “absolute chaos”.

At 5.04am there was an official alert that it had reached capacity and any fans planning to head down were instructed to head to AAMI Park instead. It wasn’t long before the stadium was “half full”.

You can watch a live feed of the precinct here.

4.40am — Socceroos reveal starting 11

Graham Arnold has opted to start Keanu Baccus ahead of Craig Goodwin.

Goodwin scored the Socceroos’ first goal of the tournament against France but was replaced by Baccus midway through the most recent game against Denmark.

Baccus impressed in that opportunity and will start in an international for the very first time.

Argentina and Australia each made one change with Angel Di Maria out of the starting line-up for Lionel Messi’s side.

Messi will again captain an Argentina team which sees veteran attacking midfielder Alejandro Gomez come in for fellow 34-year-old Di Maria. Winger Di Maria had been an injury doubt.

Coach Lionel Scaloni keeps faith with youngsters Julian Alvarez and Enzo Fernandez after they combined for the second goal in their 2-0 win over Poland in their previous game.

Starting line-ups:

Argentina (4-3-3) Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Rodrigo De Paul, Enzo Fernandez, Alexis Mac Allister; Alejandro Gomez, Lionel Messi (capt), Julian Alvarez Coach: Lionel Scaloni

Australia (4-4-2) Mathew Ryan (capt); Milos Degenek, Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar, Aziz Behich; Mathew Leckie, Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine, Keanu Baccus; Riley McGree, Mitchell Duke Coach: Graham Arnold

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)

— with AFP

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