Argentina advances to play Netherlands in World Cup quarterfinals

Baku, December 4, AZERTAC

Argentina beat Australia 2-1 on Saturday and will take on the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals, Anadolu Agency reports.

It was a historic night for Lionel Messi as the Argentine superstar took to the pitch for his 1,000th match for club and country. He also scored in the match.

Messi scored the opening goal in the 35th minute as his low shot in the box beat Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward netted his first-ever World Cup knockout stage goal as Argentina went into halftime leading at Ar-Rayyan's Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

The goal surpassed Argentine legend Diego Maradona's World Cup goal tally when Messi scored his ninth goal.

Maradona, who died in 2020, was the 1986 world champion.

Argentina doubled the lead in the 57th minute as Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez scored after a team press against Ryan.

Alvarez tackled Ryan to steal the ball before putting it into the Australian net.

Australia narrowed the lead to one in the 77th minute when Craig Goodwin's deflected shot surprisingly went in.

Goodwin's goal encouraged the Socceroos.

In the 97th minute, Australian forward Garang Kuol had a big chance but his shot was denied by Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

The loss for Australia ended their World Cup dreams.

Argentina will next play the Netherlands on Friday.

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