Olyroos shocks the world with a stunning win over Argentina to kick off their Tokyo OIympics campaign
The Olyroos have kicked off their Tokyo Olympics campaign in spectacular fashion with an upset 2-0 win over Argentina.
Lachlan Wales and Marco Tilio were on target in a pugnacious game that saw 10 players booked and Argentine defender Francisco Ortega sent off before half-time.
Olyroos coach Graham Arnold had promised his players that they would produce ‘something special’ in Japan and they did so under the closed roof of the Sapporo Dome.
Marco Tilio from Australia celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates
Australia’s win, which puts them at the top of the Group C standings, avenged 1-0 defeats to Argentina at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics when the South Americans won gold.
The match started in a frenetic fashion with Daniel Arzani firing past several defenders in the first minute and Argentina just surviving the attack.
Harry Souttar produced a great final tackle for the Olyroos on the other side before breaking the deadlock after 14 minutes.
Joel King was released on the left by a free kick by Souttar and Mitch Duke came in front of the goal with his cross.
Duke missed his kick, but Western United striker Wales came in behind him to score the goal.
The Argentine duo Fernando Valenzuela and Fausto Vera had half chances and Esequiel Barco hit the bar from a distance.
But Australia was lively and Riley McGree, a 2018 Puskas Award nominee with an incredible scorpion kick for Newcastle Jets, almost scored another memorable goal.
This time, however, his powerful overhead kick was held by Argentine goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma.
The Olyroos got a crucial one-man advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Ortega was shown a yellow card for knocking down Nathaniel Atkinson and just seconds later, the Argentine fullback was shown a second yellow card for pushing McGree.
Olyroos coach Graham Arnold had promised his players that they would produce ‘something special’ in Japan and they delivered it neatly under the closed roof of the Sapporo Dome
Duke nearly doubled the Olyroos’ lead within seconds of the restart when his chip hit the bar.
Argentina made their way back into the match, but the flow was disrupted by a series of bookings.
Atkinson, Duke, Souttar, Caleb Watts, Connor Metcalfe and Denis Genreau all got a warning for the Olyroos, but the win was sealed 10 minutes from time.
Duke did a good job setting up Tilio and the substitute swept home from 20 yards just after he got on the field.
Australia nearly extended their lead in stoppage time when Duke hit the outside of a post.
The Olyroos’ next game on Sunday is against Spain, which was held to a goalless draw by Egypt in their opener.
The Olyroos’ next game on Sunday is against Spain, which was held to a goalless draw by Egypt in their opener