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World Cup: Garang Kuol misses dream chance to take Argentina to extra time

Agony for Garang Kuol as he misses dream chance to take Argentina to extra time in ‘the biggest what-if moment in Australian football’ – as Alan Shearer praises Newcastle United wonderkid

Garang Kuol had long been hoping for his moment to announce himself to the football world and on Sunday he went agonisingly close to etching his name in World Cup folklore. 

Kuol became the youngest player since Pele to feature in a World Cup knockout match when Graham Arnold brought him off the bench in search of two late goals after Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez gave Argentina a comfortable lead in their last-16 match.

Craig Goodwin halved Australia’s deficit with a deflected strike before Kuol went so close to sending the game to extra time.

This was the moment Garang Kuol almost sent Australia to extra time against Argentina

The 18-year-old had a glorious chance to score Australia's second goal of the game in Qatar

The 18-year-old had a glorious chance to score Australia’s second goal of the game in Qatar

However, Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez managed to parry the effort for his side

However, Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez managed to parry the effort for his side

Socceroos fans took to Twitter to lament the missed opportunity on Sunday morning

Socceroos fans took to Twitter to lament the missed opportunity on Sunday morning

Receiving a cross at the back post from the left hand side, Kuol set himself with a glorious first touch and, shooting on the half turn, put all his strength behind a right-footed strike at goal. 

However, Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was equal to the chance and stretched an arm out to parry and break Australian hearts.

There are lofty expectations surrounding Kuol – who will join Premier League side Newcastle United in January – and Socceroos fans took to Twitter to lament the spurned opportunity, with one fan describing it as ‘the biggest what if moment in Australian football for a long time.’

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer praised the 18-year-old's cameo in the round of 16

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer praised the 18-year-old’s cameo in the round of 16

Another said: ‘Imagining a reality where Garang Kuol scores there.’

A third added: ‘That may have been a missed opportunity to be a hero, but I hope Garang Kuol goes on to have bigger moments in his career’. 

Toon legend Alan Shearer praised Kuol’s cameo, crediting Martinez with a superb save rather than a poor effort from the 18-year-old.

‘He came on as a substitute and put himself around didn’t he,’ he said. ‘He let the defenders know he was there and we were thinking, is this his opportunity.

‘The goalkeeper deserves a lot of praise for being quick out there. Martinez blocks it, the last kick of the game virtually there.’ 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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