Al Rayyan, Qatar — Argentina let go of the past Australia 2-1 for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final encounter at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium Netherlands,
target from Lionel Messi And Julian Alvarez saw off coach Lionel Scaloni’s side against a spirited footballing side that had chances to force the match into extra time.
Messi’s opener in the 35th minute was the only shot on goal for either side in the first half, while Alvarez took advantage of a goalkeeping error. Matthew Ryan to score his second after 57 minutes.
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Australia has Craig Goodwin Ricocheting in the 77th minute enzo fernandez to your goal and then got a great chance aziz behichGreat race. In the final round of the match, both the teams had Lautaro Martinez while firing at close range Thomas Deng there was an effort well saved by Emiliano Martinez In the last play of the match.
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1. Messi shines for Argentina after first half struggle
It was all going to plan for Australia, until they poked Lionel Messi.
It was in the 36th minute. Australia held off Argentina, restricting them to a long-range effort. papu gomez That bothered the cornerflag more than anyone near the goal. So far, so good. But then Aziz Behich angered him. There was a tussle on the touchline, shirts were pulled. Messi stood on the freekick. The first attempt was cleared.
But then he brought it to life. he got Alexis McAllister who gave it to Julian Alvarez. Álvarez passed it to Messi, who outpaced and fired past Ryan. It was another trademark spectacular moment for the man who still holds a match in his palm.
But do you think Argentina have yet to get the best out of Messi in this World Cup? He’s more of a playwright, master orchestral conductor, rather than a firecracker these days. And he needs the players running him to allow him to bring the match to life. While Alvarez made this offer, Gomez did not. Argentina need to take care of this before the Netherlands, but it was Messi’s night again.
Messi already has countless milestones in his record-breaking career. But tonight was something else. First, it was his 1,000th professional match. He also tied Paolo Maldini for the third most games played in the men’s World Cup – he is now 23 behind Miroslav Klose’s 24 and Lothar Matthäus’ 25.
If Argentina still come away with the trophy on December 18, Messi will break that record, much to the delight of his devoted fans.
2. Scaloni sits in midfield but Di Maria misses
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni seemed to have calmed down after a series of mishaps in the group stage. they made just one change from the winning over poland With Angel Di Maria injured, that meant he kept faith in the same midfield trio of Alexis McAllister, Enzo Fernandez and Rodrigo De Paul.
The trio played a key role in the match and looked a cohesive unit. De Paul was the standout of the trio – and it was his pressure that led to keeper Matty Ryan making his fatal mistake to gift Julián Álvarez the Argentine a second. McAllister has an amazing ability to create space through his pace on and off the ball. While Fernandez played a deep role in the first half, he stepped up further in the second half. He should now be given an equal opportunity to continue against the Netherlands.
But if there is one area where they still look a little weak, (with dodgy finishes to matches) this role is usually handled by Di Maria. Papu Gomez played there in the first half but remained largely anonymous. After 47 minutes, Scaloni replaced him with defender Lisandro Martinez, It was an intriguing call as it saw Argentina shift to a back-five, in a system very similar to the way their upcoming quarterfinal opponents play.
Perhaps it was Scaloni looking forward to how he would face-off against Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands team. Or maybe Scaloni just wanted his team to close the game. Somehow, he lost his grip on the match. That offensive balance still needs to be refined.
While Alvarez’s place is cemented after an assured performance, he desperately needs Lautaro Martinez back on form as he missed an incredible chance in the 88th minute, firing in from close range. So if Di Maria remains injured, Scaloni has two options: either stick with the back five, or call on Angel Correa. Thiago Almada, Lautaro Martinez or Gomez again. This is not a direct call.
3. Socceroos almost pull through with late surge
There was hue and cry among Messi-fans Albiceleste on fans Small pockets of green and yellow were scattered among the crowd at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium. Many Australia supporters will admit that before the tournament, they would have expected their Socceroos to be here for a knockout match – but it turned out to be more than expected. But they pushed Argentina all the way, and they had chances to push the game into extra time.
All this after a remarkable group stage where they lost 4–1. France – something manager Graham Arnold tried to split as “the best friendly we could be” – then to beat Tunisia 1-0 and past the lead Denmark With the same scoreline.
They were victories based on organization, complete trust in each other, and focus – although a lack of accuracy let them down to Argentina’s second win on Saturday evening. But he had opportunities and moments. Fernandez’s own goal gave them life, and Aziz Behich almost flipped the script when he ran through the entire Argentina defense – oh to see him on the left wing instead of a fullback! – only to see his final goal-bound effort blocked by Lisandro Martinez. And then it was his last gasp aloo kuol,
There have been memories to last a lifetime (like Matthew Leckiewinner against Denmark) and performances that will lead players to bigger and better things – take the defender harry soutar for one. So on this amazing, extended journey, Australia made their appearance at the World Cup, and came back home where, despite the horrendous time difference, fans watched their team in front of giant screens in public areas at the end of the night.
The Australians were not intimidated against Argentina, frustrating the favourites, but were easily outclassed.
Argentina: Emiliano Martinez 7, Nahuel Molina 6, christian romero 6, Nicolas Otamendi 7, Marcos Acuna 6, rodrigo de paul 8, Enzo Fernandez 7, Alexis McAllister 7, Lionel Messi 8, Julian Alvarez 7, Papu Gomez 5
sub: Lisandro Martinez 7, Lautaro Martinez 5, Nicolas Tagliafico 6, Exequiel Palacios6, Gonzalo Martel 6.
Australia: Matthew Ryan 6, Milos Degenek 6, Harry Soutar 7, Kai Rawls 7, Aziz Behich 8, Matthew Leckie 6, Aaron Moy 6, jackson irwin 6, Keanu Backus 6, Riley McGree 6, michelle duke 6.
sub: Craig Goodwin 7, ajdin hrustic 6, garang kuol 6, jamie mclaren 6, fran karasik 6.
best and worst performers
Best: Lionel Messi, Argentina.
It’s awfully predictable, but it only has to be Messi. He was an exceptional player and getting him player of the match is one of the few guarantees in this rollercoaster World Cup.
The Bad: Matthew Ryan, Australia.
After a steady tournament, unfortunately Australia’s wicketkeeper Ryan had a moment to forget as it was his stumble that allowed Alvarez to score Argentina’s second goal.
Highlights and Notable Moments
Give Messi an inch, he’ll find the back of the net 🎯 pic.twitter.com/eamX9eQxqn
— Fox Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 3, 2022
A perfect touch from Messi, taking him to 789 goals (94 with Argentina, barcelonaand with 23 Paris Saint Germain) in 1,000 games as a professional.
After the match: What the players and managers said
Argentina captain Lionel Messi on the win: “I’m very happy to take another step forward, to score another goal. It was a very strong and tough match – we knew it was going to be this way. We didn’t have much time to relax. And we were worried because we knew it was going to be a physical match and they were very strong.”
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni on Di Maria’s absence: “hope di maria can play [against the Netherlands], He was not fit today. It’s always tempting to bring him on when he’s on the bench, but I don’t think we’ve helped anyone by bringing him on. We are hopeful that he will keep developing and make a place in the next match.
Australia coach Graham Arnold on the defeat: “I just told the boys that I couldn’t be more proud of this effort and what they’ve given to me and the country. It’s been a journey of four and a half years, a tough journey for everyone, but we A little bit disappointed because we could have got a lot more out of this – but I hope Australia is proud of these players. I thank them for all the work they’ve done, the effort they’ve put in through this campaign, but it It is about making the country proud and I am sure we have done that.”
Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Info)
Having now played in five World Cups, this was Lionel Messi’s ninth goal in the tournament and his first in the knockout rounds. He passed Diego Maradona and Guillermo Stabile for second place in all-time goalscoring for Argentina at the World Cup, just one behind Gabriel Batistuta.
Argentina will face the Netherlands for the sixth time at the World Cup, the most notable being the 1978 win as hosts. Argentina are the only team in the history of the tournament to have faced more Germany (7).
Argentina: Next up would be the quarter-final match against the Netherlands, which the Netherlands defeated United States of america Earlier in the day, on 9 December.
Australia: End of the road for the Socceroos in Qatar after reaching the knockout rounds for the second time in a World Cup.