FIFA World Cup 2022: Messi, Alvarez scores as Argentina cruise into quarter-final with 2-1 win over Australia

Lionel Messi after scoring the opening goal against Australia in the FIFA World Cup 2022 quarter final at the Ahmad Bin Ali stadium on Saturday night. Image Courtesy: [email protected]

Xtra Time Web Desk: Superstar Lionel Messi made his 1000th senior appearance memorable with a brilliant finish against Australia in the pre-quarter final of FIFA World Cup 2022 as Argentina registered a 2-1 win against Socceroos. Julian Alvarez scored the other goal for Albiceleste at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Saturday night. Australia managed to pull one back after Craig Goodwin’s shot deflected in off Enzo Fernandez.

The two-time former world champions had some scary moments in the final few minutes as Lisandro Martinez made a dramatic tackle to block Aziz Behich’s shot. Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez pulled off a brilliant save to thwart an attempt from Garang Kuol.

Argentina took the lead in the 35th minute of the match. The Latin Americans got a freekick as Aziz Behich fouled Messi outside the box. Messi’s freekick was cleared only for the ball to come back into his path. The talisman shuffled his way infield, playing it into Mac Allister whose pass was relayed back to Messi by Otamendi. The maestro perfectly placed the ball away from the outstretched hands of Ryan into the nets.

Argentina extended the lead in the 57th minute from a rare mistake by Ryan. Closed down by Alvarez and Rodrigo de Paul, his misguided attempt to dribble between them proved costly. Alvarez dispossessed him and the Manchester City striker then finished neatly.

There was a slight twist in the match as Argentina scored an own goal through Emiliano Fernandez in the 77th minute. A shot from Goodwin deflected off him into the back of the nets.

Argentina will now take on Netherlands in the quarter final.