Argentina beat Australia in the round of 16 to secure their place in the quarterfinal of the FIFA World Cup. Last night, the Albiceleste faced the Socceroos at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, where Lionel Messi’s brilliant performance helped Argentina to seal the victory.
It was Messi’s 1000 official matches in his career. Moreover, the Argentine superstar scored a stunning goal in his 1000th appearance, which is also Messi’s first-ever goal in the knockout stage of the Worl Cup.
As Angel Di Maria was ruled out due to injury, Argentine boss Lionel Scaloni replaced him with Papu Gomez. The remaining squad remained unchanged compared to the match against Poland. Scaloni set up the team formation with 4-3-3, where Lionel Messi led the attack with Julian Alvarez and Papu Gomez. On the other hand, Australia’s manager played his team in a 4-4-2 formation.
Argentina, as usual, tried to take control from the beginning of the match. They kept more possession in the first half. However, the Albiceleste created some crucial chances in the first 20 minutes but couldn’t find the net. After that, Lionel Messi came forward as a savior. He dribbled three defenders of Australia and scored a stunning goal. As a result, Argentina went to the break with a one-goal lead.
Returning from the break, Argentina became more aggressive. They highly pushed the Socceroos. Therefore, the Albiceleste didn’t have to wait for much to double the lead. Julian Alvarez scored the second goal in the 57th minute after grabbing the ball from the Australian goalkeeper.
It seemed Argentina were winning the match. But Australia made the game more exciting by returning a goal. Following a powerful shot outside the box that bounced off the shoulder of Enzo Fernandez, Craig Goodwin scored in the 77th minute. After that, Australia looked very threatening in the final ten minutes. They could have scored two more goals, but Emi Martinez made incredible saves to deny these shots. In the end, Argentina won the match by a 2-1 margin and secured a place in the quarterfinal. However, the Albiceleste will face the Netherlands in the quarterfinal.