First published December 4, 2022 2:40 AM IST
Argentina triumphed 2-1 in a thrilling play-off against Australia at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in front of a packed Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Sunday. Goals from legendary striker Lionel Messi and young sensation Julián Alvarez propelled the South American giants to the quarter-finals of the exhibition tournament, and they will now face the Netherlands on December 10 (12:30 IST).
Argentina applied early for a penalty cancellation when Papu Gomez’s pass was blocked by Keanu Baccus’ hand in that area, but the referee brushed off the cries. Before the World Cup in Qatar, the player was a free agent.
Before the Argentinean team led by Lionel Scaloni found a way out thanks to Messi, Australia upset Argentina for most of the first half.
In the 35th minute, Nicolás Otamendi deflected a pass from Alexis McAllister on his way to the edge of the box, and the No. 10 Argentine scored with a left footed kick into the bottom corner in his 1,000th career game. Messi has now scored 789 goals in 1000 games in his career and with 9 goals he also surpassed Diego Maradona’s World Cup record.
See also: Messi fans are delighted that the Argentine is making history in the 1000th game; outnumbers Maradona’s World Cup goals
The second half started with the same tension, but Julián Lvares arguably landed the decisive blow with two in the 57th minute. While trying to run with the ball in his own zone, Australia goalkeeper Matthew Ryan allowed Angel Di Mara to make a mistake that Alvarez made into an empty net.
In the 77th minute of the meeting, the Socceroos scored a surprise goal when substitute Craig Goodwin shot from 25 yards, but swerved hard and fell into the bottom corner, leaving Amy Martinez in shock.
After running through the maze and beating three Argentine defenders in the box, Aziz Behic was poised to create a heartbreaking tournament moment when Lisandro Martinez made one last effort to block his shot.
Also Read: Peter Drury for Messi’s 1,000th game has fans excited as Argentina and Australia battle it out for a place at the 2022 QF World Cup
Following Argentina’s victory over Australia, fans took to Twitter to praise the present and future of the nation that shines at this 2022 World Cup as they prepare for their next challenge with the Dutch.
“This Julián Alvarez has the privilege of… Scores a goal in the World Cup and still puts Messi on his knees,” one fan tweeted, while another added: “Alvarez is the perfect striker to play with this version of Messi. Incredible pressing mechanism, technically refined, thoughtful mechanism and clinical finish.
A third Argentinean fan remarked: “The Netherlands can’t stand this Argentinian team full of tension. They will actually smoke them out,” while a fourth commented, “This Argentinian team is so scary, they play like animals. The Netherlands against Argentina will be epic.”
Read also: ‘This is football, not football’: US trolled after clinical Netherlands ruined their dream of a World Cup in Qatar in 2022
Here’s how other fans of the legendary Messi and wunderkind Alvarez reacted to their 2022 World Cup magic, and what to expect from the match against the Netherlands:
Last updated: December 4, 2022 2:45 AM IST