Argentina beat Australia 2-1 in the Round of 16 of the football World Cup in Qatar, on Saturday, December 3, 2022, setting up a quarter-final showdown against the Netherlands.
Lionel Messi scored his first World Cup knockout stage goal of his storied career, and Julián Álvarez capitalized on an error by Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan as Argentina prevailed, 2-1, in its round-of-16 game Saturday.
Messi, playing in his 1000th game scored in the 35th minute. The ball bounced off of Nicolás Otamendi and into the path of the Paris Saint-Germain forward. He took a touch, then curled a shot into the back of the net.
It was Messi’s ninth World Cup career goal, one more than late Argentina legend Diego Maradona’s record.
Álvarez an English Premier League (EPL) champions forward, doubled the lead in the 57th minute after Ryan made a mess of a dribbling situation. The Argentinian forward was the beneficiary of his team’s excellent pressure, rolling the ball into an empty goal.
The Socceroos, who played a compact game, scored a 77th-minute consolation goal when Craig Goodwin’s shot deflected into the net off Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
Teenage sensation and English side Newcastle new signing Garang Kuol had a chance to tie the match in the 97th minute, only to see EPL club Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez make a huge save with his left arm. After he saved the shot and gathered the ball, two teammates collapsed on him. The whistle blew moments later.
In the quarterfinals on Friday, December 9th, 2022, Argentina will take on the Netherlands, which defeated the United States, 3-1, earlier on Saturday.