Argentina defeated Australia 2-1 on Saturday to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals, setting up a matchup with the Netherlands in the round of eight.
In the 35th minute, Lionel Messi scored his first-ever goal in a World Cup knockout phase match, and shortly before the hour mark, Julian Alvarez added Argentina’s second.
With a late own goal, Australia restored parity.
In Argentina’s victory over Australia, Messi scored on his 1,000th career occasion, breaking Diego Maradona’s tournament record and securing a matchup with the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
On his fifth attempt, the mesmerizing Messi curled the ball low past goalkeeper Mat Ryan from inside the area in the 35th minute to send the legions of Argentine fans into delirium at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
In the 57th minute, Julian Alvarez scored from close range after Ryan made a catastrophic mistake with the ball at his feet after receiving a backpass.
The 35-year-old Messi’s goal was his third in the competition in Qatar and his ninth in World Cups, one more than Maradona.
Australia, who outperformed expectations to advance to the round of 16, and who are rated 35 spots lower than the twin World Cup winners, resolutely defended, with the gigantic Harry Souttar prominent. After Craig Goodwin’s attempt was diverted into his own goal in the 77th minute by Enzo Fernandez, they set up a tense finish.