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Lionel Messi Scores Argentina’s First World Cup Knockout Goal as Argentina Beats Australia 2-1 to Advance to Quarterfinals

Lionel Messi produced a moment of trademark quality to score Argentina’s first World Cup knockout goal on Saturday, sending Argentina into the quarterfinals. The 789th goal scored by Messi in his 1,000th World Cup appearance, his first in the knockout stages, helped set up a matchup with the Netherlands on Friday in the last eight.

Julian Alvarez scored the other in the 57th moment after some calamitous Australian defending, before Enzo Fernandez’s 77th-minute own goal set up an out of the blue nervy finale. One of the greatest players of all time, now 35, is aiming to win the World Cup for the first time in what will undoubtedly be his last tournament.

A brave Australian team that defied all expectations in Qatar and went down fighting was ultimately broken by Messi’s classy goal in the first half, bending the ball into the bottom corner.
At the 45,000-capacity Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Australia’s yellow-shirted fans were significantly outnumbered by Argentina’s raucous, bellowing, and bouncing supporters.

The Sydney Opera House was illuminated in green and gold back in Australia, where fans could watch the game live on television by getting up at dawn.
Although their team was a huge underdog and no one in their own country had anticipated that they would even make it this far in the tournament, this World Cup has been full of surprises.

When Argentina, two-time champions, lost to Saudi Arabia, 2-1, in their opening match, it was arguably the biggest surprise in Qatar.
However, this would not be a repeat.

The Socceroos of Graham Arnold set out to unsettle their opponents. Jackson Irvine was ticketed for slamming into left-back Marcos Acuna and Keanu Baccus left one on Messi.
Australia was held back by Argentina, but the Socceroos remained steadfast and gained confidence as the uninspiring first half went on.

Messi was fighting with Australian defender Aziz Behich on the sidelines, which was making him angry.
Ten minutes before the break, Argentina and their coach Lionel Scaloni desperately needed something special, and Messi provided it.

For an Argentina free kick, Alexis Mac Allister fed defender Nicolas Otamendi, who was still in the box. Otamendi mishandled the ball, which Messi bent left-footed into the corner.
Argentina’s first successful shot.

– Ryan makes mistakes:
Australia had only made it this far once before, in 2006, and in the second half, they needed to attack.
They instead self-destructed. Mathew Ryan, captain, and goalkeeper attempted to play out just before the hour under intense pressure from Rodrigo De Paul, who was running hard, but Alvarez dispossessed him.

The 22-year-old striker for Manchester City nipped in, stole Ryan’s ball, and swiveled to score against an empty net for his second goal in as many games. In anger, Arnold thumped his dugout.

With 13 minutes remaining, substitute Goodwin scored after latching onto a loose clearance and hitting Fernandez with a shot that ricocheted in.
After that, Behich went on an incredible wild run from left back and beat three players from Argentina before Lisandro Martinez made a crucial last-ditch challenge.

Before the hordes of South American fans gathered to celebrate a significant victory, teenager Garang Kuol made a last-ditch attempt to stop Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in the midst of the final minute of regulation.

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