Argentina beat Australia 2-1 to go to the World Cup quarterfinals, and Lionel Messi shone.
Late in the first half, Messi scored the game-changing goal to celebrate his 1,000th senior game, and Julian Alvarez doubled the lead early in the second half thanks to a mistake by Mat Ryan. Argentina had late fright when Craig Goodwin’s strike deflected in off Enzo Fernandez; they were saved by Emiliano Martinez’s superb stop and Lisandro Martinez’s dramatic challenge.
Graham Arnold’s team put in a valiant effort, and they should be happy of their performance in the competition, but Messi and Argentina will play the Netherlands in the round of eight. Although this Argentina team is not always proficient, they can dream thanks to the team’s little genius.