Lionel Messi celebrated his 1,000th senior match with the goal of helping Argentina reach the World Cup quarterfinals by defeating Australia.
After a smart combination with Nicolas Otamendi, a former Manchester City player, the football legend broke the deadlock at the end of the first half with a sweet finish.
This was Messi’s 789th goal in his career, his 94th in his 169 first team appearances for Argentina during his legendary career, and his first in the World Cup knockout stage.
Australia threatened to fight back at the Ahmad Bin Ali stadium after Craig Goodwin’s deflected goal halved the deficit. However, a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United denied Aziz Behich what would’ve been a equaliser in the 80thminute.
Argentina is now in the last eight after overcoming a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in the opening match to claim the top spot in Group C.
After beating the USA 3-1, the Netherlands will be their opponent on Friday.
After lapses in US defense, the Oranje extended their unbeaten streak by 19 games. The Dutch were treated with a treat when Memphis Depay scored in 10 minutes and Daley Blind in the first-half.
The US had hope when Christian Pulisic’s cross struck the second-half substitute Haji Wing’s foot and bounced over goalkeeper Andries Nppert.
After having assisted on the first two goals, Denzel Dumfries scored on a volley.
Continue reading: Who is the World Cup favorite?
France will face Poland today at 3pm. England will face Senegal at 7.