Dietmar Hamann worries it is "too late" for this Germany team as he called again for coach Hansi Flick to be sacked following Tuesday's defeat to Belgium.

Hamann was a vocal critic of Flick following the 2022 World Cup, where Germany exited at the group stage for the second consecutive finals.

Former midfielder Hamann wanted the coach to go then, and his stance was not softened by the March internationals.

With Germany hosting Euro 2024 and therefore absent from the qualification process, they played friendlies against Peru and Belgium.

A 2-0 win over Peru in Mainz was followed by a 3-2 defeat to Belgium in Cologne, in which Hamann suggested "it could have been 0-3, 0-4 or 1-5 in the first half".

Speaking to Sky Sport, the pundit said: "Nothing has changed at all.

"The team that started yesterday included eight World Cup players. [Florian] Wirtz and [Timo] Werner were also in the starting line-up, who were not there in Qatar due to injury.

"Marius Wolf was the only one who played against Belgium who wasn't at the World Cup. He did an excellent job in Dortmund in the last few weeks and months.

"So, it felt like there were 10 World Cup players in the line-up, and then I can't speak of a change.

"If [Flick] had let youngsters play and they had gotten under the wheels in the first half, then I would have understood because they would have learned something from it.

"But the way it was yesterday, that they play with the same players and we get served the same c*** as at the World Cup, sooner or later people will turn their backs on the national team."

Hamann felt that performance backed up his argument following a World Cup exit he had described as "pathetic".

"It's too late for me," he said. "I spoke after the World Cup, where it was clear to me that it's difficult to continue working with the coach when you're eliminated from the group for the second time in a row.

"I couldn't imagine it because you need a new impetus.

"They hid in Qatar, they let the team down, they didn't take responsibility. And if the coach doesn't take responsibility, then I can't expect the players to take responsibility.

"That's why I don't think the discussion [around Flick's future] comes too early. It's too late, for me, and they decided to continue with it.

"I have big, big concerns about whether things will get better in the coming weeks, months and then at the European Championships next year."

Lionel Messi hopes the "craziness never ends" after scoring his 100th goal and ninth hat-trick for his country amid Argentina's homecoming World Cup celebrations on Tuesday.

La Albiceleste routed Curacao 7-0 in Santiago del Estero, with Messi's 20th-minute opener bringing up his 100th international goal, joining only Cristiano Ronaldo (122) and Ali Daei (109) in achieving that feat.

Messi became the first world champion to score 100 international goals, and he showed no signs of stopping there with further first-half strikes for a treble, taking him to 102.

The milestone came as Argentina rounded out their first two games back in their homeland since December's World Cup triumph with wild celebrations, initially in Buenos Aires for Thursday's 2-0 win over Panama.

The players emulated their celebrations from Qatar after the Curacao game, hoisting the World Cup trophy again after it came down from the stadium roof and doing a lap of honour to greet the supporters.

Messi was also presented with a plaque by Argentine Football Association president Claudio Tapia to acknowledge his 100th goal.

"What a nice way to close these dates, impressive today all the people in Santiago del Estero," Messi wrote on Instagram.

"I wish we can continue to share together many moments like these and that this craziness never ends!!!"

Messi's achievement comes after netting 21 goals in his 14 games for Argentina, along with seven assists. That has taken him to 156 goal contributions, which is the most in international football.

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni added: "As for Lionel Messi, what I want is for him to be on the pitch and be happy."

He added: "These days were different to the previous friendlies because the players were allowed to be with their people.

"We felt that they had that desire to go out to contact the outside, although that meant that it was difficult to prepare these two games. But in the end we got them through by playing with intensity."

Lionel Messi scored his 100th international goal before capping his performance with a first-half hat-trick as Argentina routed Curacao 7-0 during Tuesday's friendly in Santiago del Estero.

Messi came into the game on 99 international goals but did not need to wait long to bring up triple figures, netting a 20th-minute opener, in a lopsided match-up where the world champions raced to a 5-0 half-time lead.

The Argentinian captain played the entire 90 minutes, scoring three goals within 17 devastating first-half minutes, while he also laid off the assist for Enzo Fernandez's powerful strike among the flurry.

Messi was denied early on by Curacao goalkeeper Eloy Room's sharp save, but soon after Giovani Lo Celso found him in space inside the box, setting him up to jink past two defenders and fire in a low right-foot shot for his 100th Argentina goal.

Nicolas Gonzalez added a second in the 23rd minute when he out-jumped Room to head home from a corner, before he played provider for Messi's second with a neat left-foot finish in the 33rd minute.

Two minutes later, Messi held up the ball and dished out a deft pass for Fernandez to lash home, with the Paris Saint-Germain star wrapping up his hat-trick when he raced on to Lo Celso's lofted pass and coolly converted after taking two touches.

Room brilliantly denied Lautaro Martinez twice early in the second half, while Leandro Bacuna fizzed Curacao's best chance over the bar from a 63rd-minute free-kick on the edge of the box.

Substitute Angel Di Maria added a sixth goal from the penalty spot in the 78th minute after Cuco Martina's handball, with Gonzalo Montiel side-footing home another from Paulo Dybala's cutback in the 88th minute.

With his strike against Curacao on Tuesday, Lionel Messi reached another landmark by scoring 100 goals for Argentina.

The 35-year-old brought up the milestone in style, receiving a 20th-minute pass from Giovani Lo Celso before jinking past two Curacao defenders and rifling in a low right-foot finish.

The man considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time had come in for some criticism over the years for his performances at international level.

That was until he led Argentina to Copa America success in 2021 and followed that up at last year's World Cup, starring as La Albiceleste recovered from a shock opening defeat to Saudi Arabia to beat defending champions France in the final on penalties.

Of course, the sheer volume of his goals has been breathtaking, with only Cristiano Ronaldo and Ali Daei scoring more in international men's football.

But Stats Perform picked out five individual strikes that were particularly memorable.

Argentina v Mexico (July 11, 2007)

Having only just turned 20, Messi was expected to win the Copa America for his country in 2007.

Ultimately, Argentina were beaten in the final by Brazil, but not before Messi had graced the stage with a sumptuous lob in their 3-0 win against Mexico in the semi-finals, being fed on the right of the penalty before an outrageous lob over Oswaldo Sanchez into the far corner.

Argentina v Brazil (June 9, 2012)

The two great rivals faced each other in New Jersey as they prepared for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and a topsy-turvy contest had already seen Messi score twice.

In the 84th minute and with the score tied at 3-3, Messi went as trademark as possible, picking up the ball on the right just into the Brazil half before dribbling for goal. He cut inside the nearest defender on the edge of the box and curled a shot into the top-left corner of the net.

Argentina v Paraguay (September 7, 2012)

Just a few months later, Messi was at it from distance again, this time even further out as he showed off his supreme free-kick taking ability.

With Argentina leading Paraguay 2-1 in their World Cup qualifier, Messi lined up a set-piece effort a little over 30 yards out, whipping the ball over the wall and in off the goalkeeper's left-hand post.

Argentina v Iran (June 21, 2014)

In their second group game of the 2014 World Cup, Argentina had struggled to break down a resolute Iran side who were on the verge of securing a famous 0-0 draw and valuable point.

That was until Messi picked up the ball on the right in the 91st minute in Belo Horizonte. He darted inside, as he so often does, and curled a sumptuous effort past Alireza Haghighi from some 25 yards, the ball nestling in the bottom-left corner.

Argentina v Mexico (November 26, 2022)

Having already lost to Saudi Arabia in their first game at the 2022 World Cup, Argentina could not find a way past Mexico in the first hour of their second encounter either.

Or, they couldn't until their captain stepped up.

With raucous fans urging them on at Lusail Stadium, Messi received a pass from Angel Di Maria before hitting a shot from outside the box low and hard to Guillermo Ochoa's left, lighting the touchpaper that would ultimately end with the trophy in his hands at the end of the campaign.

 

Kevin De Bruyne revelled in a reinvigorated Belgium realising their potential as the new Red Devils captain hailed the "fun" approach Domenico Tedesco has instilled.

Manchester City superstar De Bruyne assisted two and scored another as Belgium defeated Germany 3-2 in Tuesday's friendly at RheinEnergieStadion.

That made new coach Tedesco the first Belgium manager to start his tenure with two victories since Rene Vandereycken in 2006.

Tedesco also became the first Belgium boss to see his side score six goals in his first two matches since 1999 when Robert Waseige's new side managed nine from their first pair of outings.

De Bruyne, whose 46 assists for his country are 15 more than any international team-mate since his August 2010 debut, lauded the early work Tedesco has delivered since Roberto Martinez's exit.

"It was a nice match. The first 30 minutes were very good, full of effort. It's good to see that we can be so good," De Bruyne said on television channel VTM. "After that it was a bit more difficult, but it is logical that you also get into trouble against a team like Germany.

"The last quarter of an hour was hard, but it is good to see that this team can do that too. The combinations were there, defensively it was also pretty good. There were many positives.

"It's fun to play like this, fun for everyone. Not only with the ball, also defensively. We try to put pressure on quickly and win the ball quickly. Then you get the ball back so much faster, that is also the intention of the coach. There were many good moments. 

"The coach has already laid a certain foundation, for example in terms of structure. His way of playing is already a bit there, but there are of course also times when it is still a bit difficult. 

"But after eight days together, I think this is the best we could do."

Belgium crashed out in the group stages at the World Cup in Qatar as Martinez waved goodbye to what many deem a golden generation of international footballers for the Red Devils.

Martinez's side finished third at FIFA's top international tournament four years before at Russia 2018, sandwiched in between a pair of quarter-final eliminations at the European Championships.

While it appears a vastly talented group of Belgian footballers may end their career without international reward, Tedesco's new era has offered early promise.

A rare win over Germany, who were stunned by early goals from Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku, coupled with Friday's 3-0 victory over Sweden in Euro 2024 qualifying have left Tedesco impressed.

"Yes, I am satisfied after these two victories," Tedesco said on VTM. "Not only with the result, but also with the way we played. Only we should have finished the game in the first half.

"I wanted my players to show courage, to play forward and to claim the ball, even when Germany put pressure on us. We have the players for it. We have to believe in our own strengths, but we have to maintain the quality we bring for 90 minutes. And that's the problem."

Belgium's elimination at the World Cup came as somewhat of a surprise, given their recent success at major tournaments, and Tedesco is out to offer his new players a lease of freedom.

"The players have qualities, they can play freely here and are allowed to make mistakes," he said at his post-match press conference.

"The most important thing is that they develop as a team and as individuals. We must help and guide them in this.

"It is crucial that the enthusiasm is back. I have a good feeling and am extremely motivated. However, we still have a lot of work to do. If you win, it's more fun, of course. 

"But I do not agree that Belgian football was at a standstill after the World Cup. Losing matches at a World Cup, that can happen."

Hansi Flick rued a timid Germany performance as Belgium "took full advantage" to seize an unassailable early lead in Tuesday's 3-2 friendly triumph in Cologne.

Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku fired Domenico Tedesco's new-look Belgium into a 2-0 lead inside nine minutes at RheinEnergieStadion.

A Niclas Fullkrug penalty, his sixth goal in as many international appearances, brought Flick's side back into it before Kevin De Bruyne – who created Belgium's first two goals – put the game out of reach.

Serge Gnabry managed a late consolation but Flick acknowledged there was no way back after Tedesco's visitors punished a woeful start to earn Belgium's first win against Germany since 1954.

"We were too cautious, too passive and weren't able to put our opponents under pressure, and Belgium took full advantage," Flick said on RTL.

"Our passion brought us back into contention, but it wasn't quite enough to get a result."

While a late fightback offered Flick reason for hope, Germany must improve and make use of their international friendlies, given they have automatically qualified for Euro 2024 as a host nation.

Their cause was not helped by Leon Goretzka limping off with an ankle injury in the first half, raising fears the midfielder will not feature in Bayern Munich's crucial Bundesliga meeting with Borussia Dortmund.

Just a point separates Bundesliga leaders Dortmund and Bayern ahead of Saturday's Klassiker at Allianz Arena, with Thomas Tuchel set to take charge of the reigning champions for the first time.

The former Chelsea coach's appointment came after the dismissal of Julian Nagelsmann last week, but Tuchel may be boosted by the injury update Goretzka provided after the match.

Bayern star Goretzka, who appeared in an upbeat mood, told reporters: "I've twisted my ankle. It shouldn't last until Saturday."

Kevin De Bruyne produced an attacking masterclass as new Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco made it two wins in as many games with a 3-2 friendly triumph at Germany on Tuesday.

Tedesco's tenure started with a 3-0 victory over Sweden in Euro 2024 qualifying on Friday, and Belgium, inspired by new captain De Bruyne, impressed again at RheinEnergieStadion.

Germany had no answer inside the first nine minutes in Cologne as De Bruyne teed up goals for Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku.

Niclas Fullkrug's 44th-minute penalty offered Hansi Flick's hosts hope, but De Bruyne's slick 78th-minute finish ensured another victory at the start of a promising era under Tedesco as Serge Gnabry's late reply counted for little.

Carrasco fired Belgium into a sixth-minute lead after cutting inside from De Bruyne's pinpoint pass before coolly blasting into the roof of the net.

Another delicate De Bruyne throughball teed up Belgium's second, Lukaku racing through and lofting over an onrushing Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Dodi Lukebakio inexplicably dragged a glorious chance wide before Lukaku headed onto the crossbar from De Bruyne's corner, prompting Flick to make two 32nd-minute changes.

The injured Leon Goretzka and Florian Wirtz made way for Felix Nmecha and Emre Can, with Germany responding as Fullkrug converted his penalty after Lukaku was adjudged to have handled.

Germany ramped up the pressure after the interval as Gnabry smashed just wide before Timo Werner saw a strike ruled out for offside. Joshua Kimmich also went close with a whistling low strike.

But De Bruyne put the game out of reach, finishing into the bottom-right corner from Leandro Trossard's offload, making Gnabry's late strike from Kevin Schade's low cross – shortly after hitting the post – a mere consolation.

What does it mean? Flick warning as Belgium earn rare Germany win

Flick's side do not have to qualify for Euro 2024 due to hosting the tournament, but Germany cannot afford such early lapses in concentration at that showpiece competition.

Belgium had not beaten their hosts since 1954 but raced into the ascendancy after eight minutes and 26 seconds – their earliest 2-0 lead since February 2003 against Algeria.

Despite improving in response, Germany must show more if they are to build ahead of the Euros, with Flick needing a strong home performance after their group-stage exit at the World Cup in Qatar.

De Bruyne and Lukaku shine

Lukaku's treble against Sweden saw him join Robert De Veen on three hat-tricks for their country, the joint-most for Belgium.

The Inter loanee once again found the net here to continue his impressive form under Tedesco, although he could not have done so without De Bruyne, who created a game-leading three chances to go with his goal.

Fullkrug on fire

Fullkrug had to wait until November 2022 for his Germany debut in a pre-World Cup friendly against Oman – but he certainly has not looked back since then.

The Werder Bremen striker has scored six goals in his first six international appearances, with no Germany player this century managing as many goals in their first half-dozen outings.

What's next?

Belgium return to Euro 2024 qualifying action when they host Austria on June 17, while Germany are yet to confirm their next friendly opponents.

Leon Goretzka limped off injured for Germany in Tuesday's clash with Belgium, making him a doubt for Bayern Munich's crunch Bundesliga clash with Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern trail Dortmund by just one point at the Bundesliga summit but may have to do without Goretzka for Saturday's crucial Klassiker after the midfielder suffered an apparent ankle injury.

The Germany international initially went down and required treatment in the 29th minute before failing to continue as Hansi Flick sent on Felix Nmecha three minutes later at RheinEnergieStadion.

That was in a double substitution, the second part of which was not enforced as Emre Can replaced Florian Wirtz with Germany trailing 2-0 after early goals from Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku in Cologne.

A potentially title-deciding meeting with Dortmund will also mark Thomas Tuchel's first game in charge of Bayern, who brought in the former Chelsea coach after dismissing Julian Nagelsmann last week.

The Bundesliga champions will hope Goretzka soon returns to fitness, with the two-legged Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City also on the horizon.

Emerson Royal will miss a string of important games for Tottenham in the Premier League run-in after he undergoes surgery on a left knee injury.

The Brazil international faces a battle to play again this season, with the news of his setback coming as the club head into their final 10 games of the league campaign.

Spurs have Pedro Porro at their disposal at right-back, and the Spaniard is set to have a run in the side with Emerson Royal sidelined.

The north London giants let Matt Doherty join Atletico Madrid on loan in January, so acting head coach Cristian Stellini will hope Porro stays fit.

Tottenham said in a statement: "We can confirm that Emerson Royal suffered a meniscus injury to his left knee while on international duty with Brazil last week.

"The defender will undergo surgery before beginning his rehabilitation with our medical staff."

Emerson Royal has made 32 appearances for Tottenham this season, taking all competitions into account, including 23 starts.

He played in Brazil's 2-1 friendly defeat to Morocco on Saturday, suffering the injury in the 90th minute after a challenge from Sofyan Amrabat.

Domenico Tedesco does not believe he has anything to prove on his return to Germany with new side Belgium after previously being sacked by RB Leipzig and Schalke.

Leipzig parted company with Tedesco in September 2022, nine months after he took up the position, despite winning the DFB-Pokal in the 2021-22 campaign.

The 37-year-old was also ousted by Schalke in March 2019, a year on from guiding the club to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga.

But ahead of Belgium's friendly with Germany in Cologne on Tuesday, Tedesco insists he is content with what he achieved across his two spells in the country where he grew up.

"I love my job and I am happy with what I have already achieved," he said at Monday's pre-match press conference. 

"I always want to win, but I feel I have nothing to prove to the Germans. The coach is not that important, either – the players make the difference."

Germany and Belgium endured disappointing World Cup campaigns, each exiting at the group stage in Qatar despite pre-tournament hopes being high.

Four-time world champions Germany have slipped to 14th in the FIFA rankings – 10 places below Belgium – but that is not a true reflection of their quality in the view of Tedesco. 

"How is it possible that they're 14th?" he asked reporters. "At the World Cup in Qatar they had so many chances, they just didn't score enough. 

"No one had more expected goals than Germany. Even if Germany were last in the FIFA rankings, that wouldn't change anything. We want to win, even if it's a friendly game.

"Germany have a few new young players, but they are players from top teams. They remain a strong country."

Germany beat Peru 2-0 on Saturday, while Belgium kicked off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 3-0 win in Sweden on Friday thanks to Romelu Lukaku's hat-trick.

The 29-year-old has 71 goals in 105 senior international appearances, but he has struggled this term for club side Inter, where he is on loan from Chelsea for the campaign.

However, Tedesco says there is more to Lukaku's game than goals alone.

"Don't judge him solely on that," the Italian said. "He is looking in good shape and was proud after scoring his hat-trick – rightly so.

"I want him to be happy. He has the qualities to play for any side, including Inter. He is a good guy and he deserves to be happy when he plays."

Kai Havertz and Nico Schlotterbeck have been ruled out for Germany, while first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has not made the trip for Belgium.

That means a rare chance to shine for Koen Casteels, who is perhaps better known to the home fans having spent made than a decade in the Bundesliga.

"I don't have to show myself in Germany anymore – they know me here," the Wolfsburg goalkeeper said. "Germany is my second home. It's nice to play here.

"I feel a lot of recognition in Germany, maybe more than in Belgium. I am spoken of more positively here; in Belgium less so. I have resigned myself to that. 

"I owe a lot to Germany and also have German punctuality picked up, but after my career I'm just going to live in Belgium again."

Hansi Flick says the injury that ruled Nico Schlotterbeck out of Germany duty is "nothing serious" and the defender should return for Borussia Dortmund's clash with Bayern Munich.

Schlotterbeck started Germany's 2-0 win over Peru last week, but he has been ruled out of Tuesday's friendly with Belgium in Cologne due to a thigh injury.

However, the 23-year-old – who has both played in (36) and started (33) the most games of any BVB player this season – is expected to be available for Saturday's trip to Bayern.

"We didn't want to take any risks with him," Flick said at Monday's pre-match press conference. "It's nothing serious and in two or three days he'll be back on the pitch."

Bundesliga leaders Dortmund head into Der Klassiker a point better off than Bayern, who sacked Julian Nagelsmann and replaced him with Thomas Tuchel last week.

Chelsea attacker Kai Havertz was another withdrawal from the Germany squad due to illness ahead of the prestige friendly with Belgium at RheinEnergieStadion.

Flick announced Thilo Kehrer and Serge Gnabry will come into the starting line-up in place of Schlotterbeck and Havertz respectively, with "one or two" other changes possible.

Belgium kicked off a new era under Domenico Tedesco with a 3-0 Euro 2024 qualifying win over Sweden thanks to Romelu Lukaku's hat-trick in Stockholm.

The Red Devils are in somewhat of a transition period, with a number of their 'Golden Generation' making way after their recent World Cup group-stage exit.

Germany head coach Flick expects the nation ranked fourth in the world to pose more of a challenge than Peru.

"We started the new year with a win, but in Belgium we have an opponent of a different calibre," he said.

"They have a new coach and a new spirit. You can see immediately they have outstanding footballers in their ranks.

"They are able to defend compactly, but they are also convincing in an attacking sense when they have possession of the ball. They scored brilliant goals against Sweden.

"Even under pressure they always find good solutions. In terms of football, they are one of the best teams and will be a good opponent for us to measure ourselves against."

Russia defeated Iraq 2-0 on Sunday in their first home international since the country invaded Ukraine.

European and global football governing bodies UEFA and FIFA announced in February 2022 that Russia's international and club sides would be suspended from their competitions.

Russia have played Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Iran in friendlies since then, but not since November 2021 had they played on home soil.

Anton Miranchuk gave Russia the lead against Iran early in the second half at the Gazprom Arena and Sergey Pinyaev added a second just before the hour mark.

The venue in Saint Petersburg had been due to host last year's Champions League final, but it was instead held at the Parc des Princes in Paris in wake of Russia's military actions.

Kai Havertz and Nico Schlotterbeck have withdrawn from Germany's squad for Tuesday's friendly with Belgium.

Both players started Saturday's 2-0 win over Peru, but the German Football Association (DFB) confirmed on Sunday they have now returned to their clubs.

Chelsea attacker Havertz is ruled out of the Belgium match through illness, while Borussia Dortmund defender Schlotterbeck has a thigh injury.

Germany head coach Hansi Flick has decided against calling up any replacements for the friendly at RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne.

Belgium, who beat Sweden 3-0 in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday, will be without Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois due to a minor strain injury.

Germany coach Hansi Flick credited Niclas Fullkrug with having the ability to "pull the team along" after the striker's double against Peru.

Fullkrug's two first-half goals ensured Euro 2024 hosts Germany claimed a routine 2-0 victory in their opening match of 2023.

Germany dominated Saturday's friendly in Mainz, and only a twist of the rules prevented Kai Havertz making it 3-0 in the second half, with the Chelsea forward's first-time finish on the rebound after he hit the post with a penalty disallowed as no other player had touched the ball.

Flick reserved special praise for Fullkrug, who has netted five goals in as many international games, and became the first Werder Bremen player to start for Germany since Serge Gnabry in 2016.

"Niclas is a player who is special, he is very confident, he wants to win and can pull the team along. He also gives the team a lot of positive energy," Flick told Sky Sport.

Sandro Wagner is the only other player this century to have scored five goals across his first five appearances for Germany.

However, there are elements for Fullkrug to work on, with Flick noting: "There were a few situations that I wasn’t happy with today.

"If we play forward, we have to have a certain seriousness about it.

"Niclas has also had one or two situations where he can be better, but he's still there for goals and he scored them."

Germany's game was their first since their disappointing showing at the World Cup, where they suffered a group-stage exit.

However, Germany are on a 13-game unbeaten run in friendlies (W8 D5) equalling their record, which was set between 1994 and 1996.

"I think you could see that the team played with a lot of dynamism, especially when it came to attacking," Flick said.

"A lot of things were good, but not yet at 100 per cent, although you couldn't expect because we didn't train very much.

"The team has never played together in this formation, but there were still a few situations that we played out well, where the last pass was missing.

"We scored two nice goals and kept a clean sheet, which was a focus for us this week."

Brazil's first game under interim boss Ramon Menezes ended in defeat as Morocco claimed a 2-1 win in Tangier.

Menezes is in temporary charge after Tite's reign ended in the quarter-finals of last year's World Cup.

And his debut in the Selecao dugout proved a frustrating one against the surprise World Cup semi-finalists, as Brazil saw several chances go begging and were ultimately undone by Abdelhamid Sabiri's 79th-minute winner.

Sofiane Boufal had initially put Morocco ahead, with Casemiro levelling for Brazil courtesy of Yassine Bounou's dismal error before Sabiri delighted the home crowd

Brazil wasted a gilt-edged chance in the 13th minute when Rony fired over from point-blank range and was again frustrated as, after Noussair Mazraoui fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box at the other end, Yassine Bounou pulled off a remarkable double save.

Having inexplicably passed the ball straight to Rony, Bounou denied him and Andrey Santos in quick succession, and his flushes were spared again when he sliced an attempted clearance straight to Vinicius Junior to lob home, only for the Real Madrid man to be denied by the offside flag.

That reprieve was made all the more important when Boufal tucked into the bottom left corner on the turn after linking up superbly with Bilal El Khannouss. 

A Rodrygo volley drew an eye-catching Bounou save three minutes after the restart but the Morocco keeper was finally left red-faced in the 67th minute when he allowed Casemiro's tame long-range effort to squirm under his body.

Sabiri would not allow Bounou's error to be decisive, though, and he lashed a volley in off the underside of the crossbar to seal victory with an emphatic finish.

What does it mean? - New-look Brazil misfire

Menezes picked a much-changed squad for this game featuring a host of uncapped players, but the mix of inexperience and established stars like Casemiro and Vinicius did not pay off as the Selecao paid the price for failing to take their chances.

For Morocco, this victory was another demonstration of the fortitude and international pedigree that was on show at the World Cup.

Profligacy punished

Brazil finished the game with an xG of 1.42 compared to 0.63 for Morocco. The better openings consistently fell the way of Brazil, but Morocco were rewarded for cutting edge the Selecao lacked.

Bounou's eventful evening

Bounou committed one error leading to a goal and was fortunate not to be the cause of at least one more for Brazil, but he recovered brilliantly to atone for his misplaced pass in the first half and his horror show for Brazil's equaliser eventually proved immaterial.

What's next?

Morocco host Peru on Tuesday. Brazil are not in action again in this international window.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.