Lionel Messi, the Argentina superstar put on a spectacular performance in the 1,000th professional game to help his team set up a meeting with the Netherlands in FIFA World Cup quarter-finals.
Argentina beat Australia 2-1 in the Round of 16 of the football World Cup in Qatar, setting up a quarter-final showdown against the Netherlands.
Lionel Messi, playing in his 1000th game, opened the scoring in the 35th minute, one of a few highlight of a first half at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium last night on Saturday. It was his ninth World Cup career goal, one more than late Argentina legend Diego Maradona’s record.
And the second goal for Argentina was followed just before the hour mark by Julian Alvarez, after a notable lapse by Australia’s defense.
For Australia’s squad of unheralded players, it proved to be a match too far at a World Cup in which the team has exceeded expectations by reaching the knockout stage for only the second time. Australia also lost in the last 16 in 2006, to eventual champions Italy.
Honestly, Australia did perform well on Saturday head-to-head with Argentina. It was a good game. It wasn’t their day, and that’s football. The players did better than we expected.
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