Argentina clinched a narrow win to start their knockout journey in the World Cup.
Argentina defeated Australia 2-1 in their World Cup game on Saturday. The Socceroos put up a fight against the title favourites but fell short of equalizing the game in the second period.
Messi breaks a Maradona record!
The game started with both sides avoiding full-on attacks as they tried to find their feet in the game.
Argentina dominated the possession but rarely created a serious chance until Lionel Messi broke the deadlock in the 35th minute.
Following an assist from Nicolas Otamendi, the PSG star smashed the ball into the far corner of the net with a precise low shot.
The goal was Messi’s first-ever goal in the World Cup’s knockout stages. His total World Cup tally reached nine goals, surpassing Diego Maradona with eight.
Argentina found a solid start to the second half as they increased the pressure on Australia’s backline for a second goal.
They finally managed to double their lead when Julian Alvarez scored three minutes before the hour-mark.
A terrible blunder from Australia’s goalkeeper saw the Manchester City star latch onto the ball before slotting it home with a powerful shot.
Australia then went all-in with their attacks while Argentina waited for counter-attacking chances. Following a few missed chances from both sides, Australia got back into the game through Enzo Fernandez’s own goal in the 77th minute.
The Socceroos came close to snatching an equalizer a few times in the final ten minutes. But they had no luck in converting their opportunities.
The victory sends Argentina to the quarter-finals, where they take on Argentina on Friday.