Argentina suffered against Australia, but Lionel's teammates qualified for the rest of the competition after a forceps victory (2-1). The Albiceleste captain netted his first goal in a World Cup knockout stage, opening the scoring and sending his team on the road to success.
< img class="aligncenter" src="/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/coupe-du-monde-2022-largentine-est-complegravetement-folle-de-lionel-messi-46a2e94.jpg" alt="Coupe World Cup 2022: Argentina are crazy about Lionel Messi" />
Argentina 2 – 1
L. Messi 35'
J. Álvarez 57'
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Argentina are in the quarter-finals! After disposing of Australia, despite a last stand by the Socceroos which made the Albiceleste doubt until the end of the match, the Argentinians will find the Netherlands with the objective of joining the last four of the competition. And if the collective has not completely lifted all the doubts weighing on the shoulders of Lionel Scaloni, the captain of the Albiceleste, he shone on the meeting.
To better understand the influence of Lionel Messi on the game of his team, let's go back to this round of 16 disputed at the Ahmad bin Ali stadium in Doha. As so often, it was the Parisian who launched the Argentine selection towards a capital victory. The sevenfold Ballon d'Or was the trigger for the meeting. La Pulga released his own with a sudden and unstoppable strike that deceived Mathew Rayan, the Australian goalkeeper. The Argentine number 10 scored his first goal in a knockout phase of a World Cup on this occasion for his 1000th match as a professional.
“It was a difficult match, they put a lot of pressure on us. Leo (Messi) opened the game and then we improved”, admitted Lionel Scaloni after the match. Simply the X factor of the Albiceleste
Present at the post-match press conference, the Argentine genius returned to the difficulties that his teammates and he had encountered -even against a valiant Australian selection.
“A lot of happiness to have reached one more goal, to have taken another step towards the goal. We didn't have much rest time, we were worried about that because we knew it would be a very physical game. We were able to take the lead, score the second and control the game. They scored against us and made it a bit difficult for us at the end, but it's the World Cup and that's how it is” Lionel Messi first said.
His teammate, Emiliano Martinez, was delighted to participate in his first World Cup in Qatar while recalling that the Pulga had a major role to play in helping the Albiceleste and all its supporters to believe in their dream:
“It's my first World Cup, I'm trying to do the best I can. We will have a great opponent who are the Netherlands, but they must also take us into account. Leo (Messi) brings the team forward when we need him and we have to help him.” One thing is certain, it will take a great night Lionel Messi to face the Netherlands in the quarter-finals .