Socceroos captain Mat Ryan in 'nightmare' World Cup moment

Socceroos captain Mat Ryan (pictured right) upset after a horror mistake (pictured left) during the World Cup against Argentina.
Socceroos captain Mat Ryan (pictured) made a horror mistake against Argentina in the round of 16 at the World Cup. (Images: Getty Images/SBS)

Socceroos Mat Ryan left fans stunned after has delivered a horror error against Argentina in the round of 16 at the World Cup to leave Australia reeling. Coach Graham Arnold made one change to their starting line-up and brought Keanu Baccus on to face Argentina in a knock-out clash in Qatar.

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However, Lionel Messi quickly put the Socceroos on the back foot with a lovely one-two and sweeping finish. Argentinian fans erupted at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium after Messi's magic. Australia held out till the second-half, until captain Ryan left the Socceroos reeling after a horror moment.

The Socceroos were opting to play the ball out from the back when it was passed back to Ryan. Instead of booting the ball long, Ryan attempted to dribble past the on-rushing Argentinian forwards. The Australian goalkeeper was caught in possession, which gave young Man City striker Julian Alvarez an easy tap-in to hand Argentina a pivotal 2-0 lead.

The football world reacted with utter shock at the incident, which left the Socceroos reeling in the round of 16.

In a huge shock, the Socceroos scored in the 77th minutes to keep the game alive. Craig Goodwin launched a wild shot from outside the box. While it was going wide, it took a wicked deflection off Enzo Fernandez and skipped past the keeper and into the net.

In the dying moments, the Socceroos nearly scored as the ball fell to young superstar Garang Kuol. The forward swivelled quickly, but Argentinian keeper Martinez made a brilliant one-on-one save to help send the South American juggernauts to the quarter-final.

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That victory followed the Socceroos' 1-0 triumph against Tunisia and marked the first time the Australians have won two games in one edition of the World Cup.

Arnold has stuck with Milos Degenek at right-back - he will form a defensive four also featuring Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles and Aziz Behich, who are tasked with stopping mercurial Argentina captain Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi (pictured) dribbles during the World Cup.
Lionel Messi (pictured) dribbles past the Socceroos at the FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) (Alexander Hassenstein via Getty Images)

The Argentines were without stalwart Angel di Maria, who suffered an undisclosed injury in their last match.

Argentina will now play the Netherlands in a quarter-final on Friday night (0600 AEDT Saturday) on a blockbuster match.

The Dutch earlier defeated the United States 3-1 in their knockout game.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is on SBS and SBS on Demand.

with AAP

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