Argentina qualified for the quarterfinal of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after a thrilling 2-1 win over Australia in the Round of 16 at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Sunday.
Albiceleste’s captain Lionel Messi, in what is probably his final World Cup campaign, has led the side from the front after a shock 1-2 loss against Saudi Arabia in its Group C opener.
He scored the first goal, a stunning long-ranger, and provided the assist for the second goal in the 2-0 win over Mexico in the following match. In the process, the 35-year-old became the only male football player to provide an assist at five different World Cups.
He did, however, miss a penalty early in the final group stage match against Poland before playing an instrumental role in a 2-0 victory which ensured Argentina went to the Round of 16 as the group topper.
Messi scored his third goal of the ongoing World Cup when he gave his side a 1-0 lead against Australia in the pre-quarterfinal. The goal took him pass Argentine legend Diego Maradona’s eight World Cup goals and left him just one behind Gabriel Batistuta, the all-time top scorer for the country at the quadrennial event with 10 goals.
Messi will next be in action when Argentina faces the Netherlands in a battle for a spot in the semifinal on December 10 (12:30pm IST) and in a bid to clinch its third World Cup.
The two sides had last met in a World Cup fixture eight years ago in Brazil when the Albiceleste emerged victorious in the penalty shootout after a goalless draw.
Get all the results for the FIFA World Cup 2022 here: Full list of all matches, scores, results, goalscorers
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