Argentina faces Australia in the FIFA World Cup round of 16 clash on Saturday night at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar. The game will kick off at 12:30 AM Indian Standard Time (IST).
Argentina, who suffered a shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in the opening match, topped Group C after it beat Mexico and Poland.
Similarly, Australia also started with a loss when France defeated it 4-1. In the remaining two group matches, it beat Tunisia and Denmark to finish second in Group D and set up the pre-quarterfinal clash against Argentina.
The two sides have met seven times so far. Argentina won on five occasions, and Australia emerged victorious once as the remaining match ended in a draw.
Polish referee Szymon Marciniak will be in charge of the proceedings tonight.
Who is Marciniak?
The 41-year-old is a Polish referee. He has experience officiating the Euro Cup, UEFA Champions League, Ekstraklasa - Poland’s top division - and FIFA World Cup matches.
Marciniak joined the FIFA panel at the age of 30 in 2011 when he officiated Europa League matches. He officiated his first Champions League match in 2012 and made his international debut at the Euro 2016.
This is Marciniak’s second World Cup, and he is known to be running matches with an iron fist. In the 2018 World Cup, he officiated two games. In the Qatar World Cup, this will be his second match. He oversaw the Group D match between France and Denmark. In that match, he booked three players.
In the Champions League this year, he officiated three matches - Dinamo Zagreb vs AC Milan, Barcelona vs Inter Milan and Marseille vs Tottenham Hotspur - and booked 11 players.
In the past, he was criticised by former Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel after the Premier League side lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League last season. Tuchel accused Marciniak of ‘having a good time’ with the Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Marciniak will be assisted by his Polish compatriots Pawel Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz, while Mario Escobar of Guatemala will be the fourth official. The VAR official for this match Tomasz Kwiatkowski is also a Polish national.