By opening the score in the first half, Lionel Messi has once again guided Argentina, victorious over Australia in the Round of 16 of the World Cup 2022 (2-1). In the quarters, the Albiceleste will meet the Netherlands of Louis Van Gaal.
Messi is on a mission. In Qatar for what should be his last World Cup, he behaves as the perfect messiah of the Albiceleste. As against Mexico, the light came from his magic left foot. While Argentina was continuously stymied by the Socceroos' ultra-solid defense, La Pulga took advantage of a ball that came back to him at the edge of the box to send it into the net, despite a forest of Australian legs. 1-0 in the 35th minute.
Surprisingly, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner scored his first goal in the knockout phase of a World Cup. All of the other eight goals that tied him with the legend Diego Maradona, came in the group stage. Even in 2014 when he reached the final in Brazil and finished as the best player of the competition.
The Australian goalkeeper helped them in the second half to get on track for success. The Kangaroos' keeper lost the ball when he was pressed by the lively Rodrigo de Paul. Julian Alvarez, who had been given the lead in the Argentine attack, snatched the ball to find the back of the net (57th). 2-0. The game was almost ended for Australia who reduces the score but does not return in the game (2-1).
Messi and his teammates will face the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. In 2014, the Argentinians had slowed down Holland in the semi-finals (on penalties), the Oranje who have never lost a World Cup match under the leadership of Louis Van Gaal (11 games).