Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni blasts ‘crazy’ schedule of last-16 games with his team set to face Australia less than 72 hours after beating Poland to book place in the knockout phase
- Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni not happy with scheduling of last sixteen
- Scaloni’s team play Australia less than 72 hours after they defeated Poland
- Lionel Messi says he was angry about missing the penalty in 2-0 victory in Qatar
- Alexis Mac Allister says Argentina must be wary of the Socceroos in next round
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni last night declared he was unhappy about World Cup scheduling which means his side must play their last-16 game against Australia less than 72 hours after qualifying from their group.
Scaloni’s side have a day’s less preparation time than Poland, who face France on Sunday, despite topping their group with one of the best team performances of the World Cup.
Speaking in the early hours, local time, Scaloni said: ‘I think it’s crazy we are playing in just over two days, as winners of this group. Its 1am and tomorrow we have to prepare. Conditions are not great but we all have to play it.’
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni is not happy with the timing of his side’s last sixteen game
Argentina are buoyed by seeing a vintage Messi performance, though he missed a dubious first half penalty and didn’t score. Messi said: ‘I was angry for having missed the penalty but the team came out stronger after my mistake.’
Australia beat Argentina 2-0 in last summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Argentina’s opening goalscorer Alexis Mac Allister said that defeat should be a warning to the team.
The Brighton midfielder said: ‘We know how difficult they are, of course. But they’re not the same team and we are not the same team. It will be a tough side.’
Lionel Messi was angry that he missed a penalty but credited his team for coming out stronger
Alexis Mac Allister knows how dangerous Australia could be in their last sixteen meeting
Scaloni said he had been forced to switch ask Angel di Maria to switch wings because he was ‘on the brink of a burnout’. The forward left the field with a quadricep problem.
He said he had not been tempted to substitute Messi. ‘I wouldn’t substitute him unless he tells me to do so,’ the coach revealed.
Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz hit back at an Argentinian journalist who claimed that Messi had outperformed Robert Lewandowski.
He said: ‘We didn’t assist Robert and help him to score. Our national team would have higher levels of possession if Messi played for our team. Robert would score five goals if Messi was on our time. He needs help. Messi didn’t score did he?’