Status : 03.12.2022 at 10:10 PM
Superstar Lionel Messi can continue to dream of his maiden title in his fifth World Cup. The striker powered Argentina to a 2-1 win over Australia in the last 16 and are now three wins away from victory.
Lionel Messi scored his first World Cup goal in the knockout game to put the South American champions ahead against Australia in the 35th minute at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium. Julian Alvarez made it 2-0 (57th) after the break. A shot by Craig Goodwin (77th), deflected into his own goal by Enzo Fernandez, gave the Australians, who were until then harmless and without any chances, fresh hope in the closing stages.
But this was not enough for the “Soccers” to cause a sensation. They have to go home while Argentina take on the Netherlands in the quarter-finals next Friday (12/9/2022, 8:00 PM). “Elftal” had previously won 3–1 against the USA.
Australia has made life difficult for Argentina
For Argentina, it was the expected game of patience from the outset. Australia played a very disciplined defense in a 4–4–2 system, often switching to a 4–5–1 formation, and cleverly closing down spaces. Moreover, the “Soccers” gained respect in the early stages through one or another somewhat strong duel.
Referee Szymon Marciniak (Poland), not wanting to be too harsh, gave Jackson Irwin a yellow card in the 15th minute after Germany veteran Marcos Acuña stepped on his foot.
nothing happens for a long time
This was the correct signal from the referee for the Australians, who from then on held back the one-on-one battle. However, the initially difficult duets were not necessary to disturb the rhythm of “Albiceleste”. The high favorite did not get up to speed and acted without thoughts of further movement. It seemed as though the South Americans were banking on Messi’s talent.
Messi scores from anywhere
But even the captain was unable to utter an accent 35 minutes into his 1,000th game as a professional footballer, 169 of them in an Argentina jersey.
But then he displayed his exceptional quality impressively: after a free kick that was initially blocked by the Australians, the ball came through to Messi through Alexis McAllister and Nicolas Otamendi, who beat keeper Matthew Ryan from far away. Beaten with a low shot into the post.
First World Cup goal in knockout stage
It was the 35-year-old’s first goal in a World Cup in a knockout game. and was synonymous with the 1:0 halftime score. After that, nothing relevant happened in an already eventful first half.
“Soccerus” keeper Ryan beat Argentina 2-0
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni immediately after the break replaced attacker Alejandro Gomez (50′), who started for Angel Di Maria, who was only on the bench. A keeper came on for Gomez in Lisandro Martinez. This exchange suggested that Scaloni now expected far more stormy Australians.
But the “Soccers” initially stuck to their wait-and-see approach. And then Matthew Ryan made sure the underdog went down the road of forever losing. After a back pass, the keeper dribbled past Rodrigo de Paul and Álvarez lost the ball to the latter. Alvarez now had no problem making it 2–0 from Bari.
It was almost sad that Ryan, of all people, made this mistake. In the group stage, the 30-year-old scored in wins against Tunisia and Denmark (both 1–0). In addition, he and former Hertha and Ingolstadt player Matthew Leckie replaced ex-pros Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano as Australian World Cup record players with their tenth World Cup appearances each.
Australia hits out of nowhere
After the Argentine’s second goal, there was no sign that the “Soccers” would return to the game. Then, out of nowhere, he pulled the ball back when a Goodwin shot from 20 meters out was deflected by Enzo Fernández and shot past his keeper Emiliano Martínez.
Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (left) was unemployed long before scoring a goal.
Image: BuildByron / Imago
Soon after, Aziz Behich almost completely turned the game around. The defender let some Argentinians stand like slalom poles and was unlucky at the end that Lisandro Martínez threw himself into the shot and was able to clear the corner (81′). At the other end, Lautaro Martínez missed three times (89′, 90’+2, 90’+3) to make it 3-1.
Argentina goalkeeper Martinez saved victory in stoppage time
So Australia could continue to hope for a 2:2 and in fact had a great chance to make it 2:2 through Garang Kuol. Seconds after the final whistle after a cross, the ball fell in front of the 18-year-old’s foot, he shot straight from the turn but failed at Martínez, who was then duly persuaded by his teammates to make a save (90+7 ) ).