Lionel Messi scores in 1000th career game as Argentina reach World Cup quarter-finals | TheSN


Lionel Messi Scored in what would have been his 1,000th career cap as Argentina beat Australia 2-1 to advance world Cup quarterfinal.

His national captain Group For the 100th time, Messi ignited the last 16 Match Midway through the first half, curls home cutely after neat build-up play – his 789th career goal.

In the second half, Julian Alvarez capitalized on some loose goalkeeping by Australia stopper Matt Ryan to score his second goal of the tournament and extend Argentina’s lead.

Just when it looked like Argentina might run away from proceedings, Craig Goodwin’s volley from outside the box settled into the bottom corner to set up a thrilling finish, but Argentina held on.

Aziz Behich looked like he might grab an unlikely equaliser, but Lisandro Martinez’s last-ditch tackle parried the Australian defender’s shot after slaloming past a succession of Argentina defenders.

The win means Argentina will meet the Netherlands on Friday in the quarter-finals, after the Dutch beat the US men’s team 3-1 earlier on Saturday.

Messi’s quest to win that elusive World Cup title got off to a rocky start at Qatar 2022 – Argentina were surprised by Saudi Arabia in their opening group game – and La Albiceleste Barely troubled Australia in the opening half hour.

Many football critics have commented on how much Messi tends to walk in games these days, but that was not the case when the 35-year-old closed down Beech as he tried to clear the ball.

Messi and Behitch got into a little shoving match and that little act of passion was enough to get the Argentina fans at the Ahmed Ben Ali Stadium off their feet and singing again.

Those fans soon attacked even harder when Messi curled a beautiful left-footed effort past Australian goalkeeper Ryan following a slick Argentina move.

The goal was Messi’s ninth at the World Cup, taking him above Diego Maradona and Guillermo Stabile who have eight each. Only Gabriel Batistuta has more for Argentina with 10.

Messi celebrates after scoring Argentina's first goal against Australia.

It was the highlight of what was an even first half, with Australia looking organized and never looking out of Argentina.

However, after the break, Argentina started to turn on the style of La Albiceleste The second goal was due to hard work and pressing.

After Ryan tried to control a back lane, he took a heavy touch to avoid the onrushing Rodrigo de Paul.

Unfortunately for Ryan, Alvarez joined the press and took advantage of the Australian keeper’s error to push home his second goal in as many games.

See more Messi magic as the 35-year-old dunked and skipped past a succession of Australian players to the delight of the thousands of Argentina fans in attendance.

Argentina were in cruise control, but with just under 15 minutes remaining, Australia’s Goodwin’s shot looked safe away from Argentina’s goal before hitting Enzo Fernandez and flying past Emiliano Martinez.

As Australia pushed for a second goal, Argentina had chances to catch the footballers on the break, with Lautaro Martinez missing numerous chances to seal the game.

Bhitch almost scored one of the goals of the tournament when he weaved through a line of Argentina players before a flying tackle from Manchester United defender Martins thwarted the Australian at the last minute.

Australia went close last time out, teenager Garang Kwal – making just his third appearance for the Footballers – almost forced extra time but his close-range shot was smothered by Argentina keeper Martinez.

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