Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | International

Lionel Messi © Action Images

No record for Messi as Saudis hold Argentina



Lionel Messi failed in his bid to set an outright record for the most Argentina goals in a calendar year as his side were held 0-0 by Frank Rijkaard's Saudi Arabia in a friendly in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Saudi goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah did well to keep out substitute Augusto Fernandez and Messi who shares the Argentina record of 12 goals in a year with former striker Gabriel Batistuta.

"We didn't have a good match. We lacked spark and kept giving away possession," visiting right back Pablo Zabaleta told Fox Sports television at the King Fahd stadium.

The 112th-ranked Saudis, coached by Dutchman Rijkaard who gave Messi his Barcelona debut in 2004, defended in numbers and frequently troubled Argentina with quick breaks.

The home team had the ball in the net when defender Mohammed al-Sahlawi headed a free kick past goalkeeper Sergio Romero in the 28th minute but were unlucky to see a marginal offside decision go against them.

Messi has 12 goals in nine internationals this year and 31 altogether for Argentina.

Batistuta, who holds the overall record for his country with 56 goals, hit 12 in 1998.

"We deserved to win. In the second half we created six goal chances," said coach Alejandro Sabella whose Argentina team lead the South American World Cup qualifying table.

Messi's strike partner Sergio Aguero said: "The important thing is we didn't lose but it would have been nice to end the year with a win".

The Saudis, who had the clearer chances in the first half, went close from a 19th minute counter-attack but a weak shot by the nippy Naser al-Shamrani was palmed away by Romero.

Messi broke away on the right in the 42nd minute only to see his low cross intercepted by a defender just as midfielder Eduardo Salvio looked set to score.

In a flurry of action midway through the second half both sides cleared chances off the line and late pressure from Argentina, who played mostly at training ground pace, failed to yield a goal.

The Saudis usually had at least eight men behind the ball, giving the Argentine forwards little room.

Aguero was just wide with a shot from outside the box and substitute Franco Di Santo, making his debut, headed an Angel Di Maria cross over the bar.

Argentina have won two and drawn two of their meetings with the Saudis.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Mon, 21 Jul @ 00:00
Great Goals Of European Football - Show 1
Tue, 22 Jul @ 14:05

Sports Talk



Claudia Ekai
Save our Stars
First and foremost, it is not all over for Harambee Stars in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations...

Carol Radull
The Harambee Stars' secrets
A week ago Kenya’s Harambee Stars hosted Burundi in our first international friendly this year. I...

Emeka Enyadike
Joachim Loew: German lessons for Africa
How do you win the World Cup? How do you prepare a team for the greatest show on earth? How do you...

Segun Odegbami
New champions of the world
Last Sunday I lost my final bet. I had tipped Argentina to win the 2014 World Cup.

Sunday Oliseh
The best players of the 2014 World Cup
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is considered by many specialists as the most spectacular ever. The...

Neil Tovey
2014 World Cup team of the tournament
Despite the detractors, Brazil 2014 was a resounding success both on-field and off.