Philippe Coutinho produced an eye-catching performance in Brazil’s friendly with Argentina on Friday, but couldn’t prevent his country losing 1-0 to their bitter rivals.
An astonishing crowd of over 95,000 were crammed inside the MCG in Melbourne, as they witnessed the latest chapter in one of international football’s most famous rivalries.
Coutinho started on the right-hand side of a front-three, as has often been the case for Brazil, and he had an early chance to open the scoring.
Unfortunately, the 24-year-old couldn’t get his shot away, having wriggled past a couple of challenges and into the penalty area.
Angel Di Maria hit the post for Argentina and Renato Augusto went close for Brazil, before Coutinho blew another great opportunity to strike first, having been found by Chelsea‘s Willian.
He was made to made to pay, as Argentina took the lead a minute before half-time.
Nicolas Otamendi’s header came back off the post, and Gabriel Mercado was on-hand put the ball into the net from close-range.
After the break, Coutinho was once again one of Brazil’s most dangerous players, with a typically dazzling run and shot was eventually thwarted because of teammate Paulinho getting in the way.
Occasionally popping up in a more central role, the Liverpool man was looking every bit the magical footballer he has become in the last couple of years.
Man City‘s Gabriel Jesus somehow hit the post with the goal at his mercy, and Willian did the same seconds later, in an entertaining contest Down Under.
Despite Brazil bossing a large chunk of the game, Coutinho and his teammates could not find an equaliser, with Mercado’s strike the difference the two sides.