Argentina will play the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals after defeating Australia 2-1 on Saturday.
As the Argentine superstar entered the field for his 1,000th match for club and country, it was a momentous evening for Lionel Messi. In the game, he scored as well.
In the 35th minute, Messi opened the scoring by beating Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan with a low drive from inside the box.
At the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Ar-Rayyan, the Paris Saint-Germain forward scored his first-ever World Cup goal in the knockout round, giving Argentina the lead at the break.
When Messi scored his ninth goal of the World Cup, he broke Diego Maradona’s record for most goals in a tournament.
The global champion in 1986 was Maradona, who passed away in 2020.
After a collective press against Ryan, Manchester City attacker Julian Alvarez extended Argentina’s advantage in the 57th minute.
Prior to throwing the ball into the Australian goal, Alvarez tackled Ryan to steal the ball.
When Craig Goodwin’s deflected shot unexpectedly went in at the 77th minute, Australia reduced the deficit to one.
The Socceroos were inspired by Goodwin’s goal.
Australian forward Garang Kuol got a great opportunity in the 97th minute, but Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez stopped his shot.
Australia’s World Cup aspirations were dashed by the defeat.
The Netherlands will play Argentina next on Friday.