World Cup adventure comes to an end for 3 Hearts stars as Australia beaten by Argentina

The World Cup adventure for three Hearts players came to an end after Australia were beaten by Argentina in the last 16 encounter on Saturday evening.

Kye Rowles played in the starting XI for the fourth successive game at this tournament, while Nathaniel Atkinson and Cammy Devlin were on the bench for the 2-1 defeat.

The Aussies gave a good account of themselves in the first 45 minutes against the pre-tournament favourites. However, they fell behind on 35 minutes thanks to the genius of Lionel Messi, who dispatched a terrifically cool finish into the bottom corner after a set-piece was only partially cleared.

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A horrendous error from goalkeeper Mathew Ryan then gifted a second goal to Julian Alvarez on 57 minutes before Craig Goodwin pulled one back to set up a nervy finish for the Argentines.

Lionel Messi celebrates after giving Argentina the lead against Australia in the last 16 of the World Cup. Picture: Getty

Rowles played every game at the tournament while Atkinson started the first match against France. The right-back picked up an ankle issue in that game and wasn’t seen again. Devlin was one of a handful of Socceroos players not to play a single minute at the finals.

Former Hibs striker Jason Cummings came on as a substitute against France, while fellow ex-Easter Road forward Jamie Maclaren came off the bench in the 1-0 wins against Tunisia and Denmark. Jackson Irvine, another ex-Hibs player, started every game for Graham Arnold’s side.

Also in the squad were Celtic’s Aaron Mooy, Dundee United full-back Aziz Behich, St Mirren midfielder Keanu Baccus and former Dundee United defender Harry Souttar (and brother of ex-Hearts star John).

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