Argentina vs Australia Match Report by Charlie Semple
Massive Milestone for Messi
Lionel Messi scored in his 1000th career game, leading his team to a 2-1 victory tonight over Australia in the round of 16 of the World Cup. This was also Messi’s 100th game captaining his country.
The Argentine scored the opener in tonight’s game which takes his World Cup goal tally to nine goals, taking him above rival Cristiano Ronaldo and footballing legend Diego Maradona with eight.
The seven-time Ballon D’or winner claimed the Man of the Match award after the game and said: “It was a difficult game, a difficult day. We had little rest time.”
Messi’s goal was the only highlight of the first half with the second goal coming from Manchester City youngster Julian Alvarez pouncing on a Matt Ryan error to make it 2-0 to La Albiceleste.
The Australians got one back in the 77th minute through an Enzo Fernandez own goal after an ambitious attempt from Aussie forward Goodwin deflected off the midfielder, leaving Emi Martinez rooted to his spot as the ball rolled into the net.
The Socceroos made the round of 16 for the first time since the 2006 World Cup and gave it their all in this tournament as they exceeded expectations in getting through the group stage. Midfielder Jackson Irvine said, holding back tears in an emotional post-match interview: “I hope we made everyone proud.”
Substitute Lautaro Martinez is still waiting for his first World Cup goal despite missing three big chances in the second half. Fellow substitute Lisandro Martinez potentially made a game-saving challenge for Argentina when stopping Aussie defender Behich from scoring a goal of the season contender after a Messi-esc run through the opposition.
Both goalkeepers made some big saves for their team throughout the game with the biggest coming in the final minutes of the game from Aston Villa goalkeeper after Socceroos substitute and Newcastle youngster Kuol had a close-range strike saved, keeping the game at 2-1.
“Dream big. I have dreamed big my whole life,” said Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez on the chances of winning the World Cup.
“They have absolutely got a chance [at winning the World Cup,” said Alan Shearer after the game and Rio Ferdinand said: I don’t think they’re good enough without him [Messi].”
Argentina remain hopeful of winning the World Cup as they aim to continue their positive form against the Netherlands in the next round with only one loss in their last thirty-nine games with that loss coming in this World Cup group stage in one of the World Cups biggest upsets as they lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia after going 1-0 up.