Argentina Skips Past Australia, 2-1, to Advance to QuarterfinalsDec. 3, 2022, 4:16 p. m. ETImageCredit... Juan Mabromata/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesAL RAYYAN, Qatar — For all of his accomplishments, and there are many, there was one thing Lionel Messi had never at the World Cup: score a goal in an elimination game. Now that he has done so — his first-half shot helped carry Argentina to a 2-1 victory over Australia on Saturday — he still has a chance at another first: Messi has never lifted the World Cup trophy.
The Fox broadcast follows by showing Argentine fans theatrically bowing down to Messi in the stands. Alexander Hassenstein/Getty ImagesDec. ET Kevin Draper63′ Australia wins a free kick in a dangerous spot on the left. But the outswinging cross from Craig Goodwin sails harmlessly over the awaiting tall Australians. 3, 2022, 3:23 p. ET Tariq PanjaReporting from QatarAustralia has not really been a presence in this game, barring a few rough tackles in the early stages. The game was billed as a mismatch on paper, and it has proved to be one on the field. It is no disgrace: Australia was not expected to make it through the group stages. Being on the same field as Argentina tonight is an achievement for Graham Arnold’s team. 3, 2022, 3:22 p.
It is spreading the ball around, looking for an opening, but hasn’t quite yet found a crease in which to attack Australia’s goal. It hasn’t really taken a lot of shots yet, either, though. 3, 2022, 2:22 p. ET Kevin DraperMessi is nominally Argentina’s center forward, but you are about as likely to see him picking up the ball next to Argentina’s central defenders as you are to see him high up the pitch. He has license to roam wherever he feels like.
3, 2022, 2:31 p. ET Tariq PanjaReporting from QatarThe longer it remains 0-0, the more edgy the Argentines will get. The situation suits Australia perfectly: It only needs to catch one break to turn this game on its head. And it showed just how that could happen. An Australian head met a ball in from a corner, and on another occasion the outcome could have been a lot worse for the heavy favorite, Argentina.
One side of the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium now resembles a bouncy castle — fans are bobbing up and down — making this corner of Qatar resemble Buenos Aires tonight. And why shouldn’t it? The moment the fans needed their hero to deliver, he absolutely did. Messi had not scored a goal in a World Cup knockout game before tonight. Australia now has a mountain to climb. It needs to find a goal from somewhere, a change in emphasis that could create further openings for Argentina. 3, 2022, 2:38 p. ET Kevin DraperLionel Messi had done little of consequence during the first third of the game. But just like that, on the reset after a free kick, Messi gets a layoff from a teammate on the right side and curls the ball through a defender’s leg into the far corner of the net.
World Cup anxiety — there’s nothing quite like it. 3, 2022, 3:46 p. ET Tariq PanjaReporting from QatarThere is little sophistication in what Australia is doing, but it has Argentina rattled. Long balls are being punted up the field for a line of attackers to chase or go running after if played behind the back line. It is making for an absorbing final 10 minutes. Australia can’t get another one, can they? Dec.
ImageCredit... Manan Vatsyayana/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesToward the end of the first half, Argentina midfielder Alexis MacAllister flicked a pass to Nicolas Otamendi in the penalty area. In a slick give-and-go, Otamendi astutely stopped and left the ball to Messi, who took one dribble and fired a shot through the legs of an Australian defender and into the lower left corner of the net. And just like that, the massive pressure facing Argentina and Messi in Qatar, a tournament that began with a stunning loss to Saudi Arabia, felt as if it had lifted.
3, 2022, 3:45 p. ET Tariq PanjaReporting from QatarCrikey, as my Australian pals might say. Australia so close to drawing level. Aziz Behich, doing his best Messi impression, slaloming past a clutch of bodies and only denied by a last-gasp block. Strewth! ImageCredit... Carl Recine/ReutersDec. ET Kevin DraperEmi Martínez, the Argentinian keeper, could do little about that goal. The deflection completely changed the path of the ball, and sent it past him. 3, 2022, 3:38 p. ET Tariq PanjaReporting from QatarThat lucky strike might make for a more exciting close to this game, which was in danger of meandering toward an exhibition-game finish. Still, Australia will have to dramatically improve if it is to benefit from that enormous stroke of fortune.
ETImageAfter an uncharacteristic loss to Saudi Arabia, Lionel Messi and Argentina beat their next two rivals on their way to the round of 16. Credit... Ariel Schalit/Associated PressOn paper, this looks like a monstrous mismatch. But as we all know, friends, games aren’t played on paper. They’re played on television. Beyond presenting divine in high-def, this glorious jersey matchup showcases somewhat of a rarity in teams that still qualified after losing their first game. Australia’s presence in the knockout round is far more surprising than its opponent’s, but far less than Argentina’s flabbergasting opening loss to Saudi Arabia.
ET Kevin Draper58′ Australia makes two substitutions after going down two goals. Craig Goodwin and Ajdin Hrustic come in for Riley McGree and Keanu Baccus, both midfielders. 3, 2022, 3:17 p. ET Tariq PanjaReporting from Qatar58′ GOAL! Good night. And goodbye. Julián Álvarez capitalizes on a calamitous error by the Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan. No coming back from here. ET Kevin DraperA horrific sequence for the Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan. He receives the ball in front of his goal with two Argentinians lurking. Instead of booting it long, he attempts to touch it through, but his touch is loose and Julián Álvarez slots it home into the empty goal.
Francois Nel/Getty ImagesDec. 3, 2022, 2:37 p. ET Tariq PanjaReporting from Qatar35′ GOAL! That was vintage Messi. Touch to a teammate, received the ball back, and on that left foot it was never in doubt. And just like that, the pressure is lifted. For those keeping track, that's his 789th goal for club and country. 3, 2022, 2:33 p. ET James WagnerReporting from QatarAustralia has a clear advantage in one area: its height and thus an edge in set pieces. The tallest player on the field on Saturday — and the tallest outfield player at this World Cup — is Socceroos defender Harry Souttar, who is listed at 6 feet 6 inches.
Argentina 2-1 Australia - World Cup 2022 LIVE - talkSPORT
Argentina 2-1 Australia: World Cup 2022, last 16 – live reaction
But that will be Messi’s last act. And it is still a ways away. So much about this era of Argentina’s World Cup history has revolved around Messi, the generational forward who, on Saturday, made his 1, 000th appearance for club and country. Yet even with so much mileage on his legs, his skill still shined through against Australia. In the first half, Messi and Argentina quietly probed the Australian defense, controlling possession of the ball and looking for any crease. With the guile and shiftiness of Messi, who roams freely around the field, that opening can come at any moment — and through any defender.
They remain just one lucky bounce, or inspired strike, from drawing level. Paul Childs/ReutersDec. Carl Recine/ReutersWhat did you expect? Argentina, a superior team with more pedigree at this level, is leading 1-0 after a vintage goal by Lionel Messi and his left foot. In a World Cup defined by upsets — Argentina knows this well, from its group stage opening loss to Saudi Arabia — one of the favorites of this tournament has settled into a groove.
3, 2022, 3:57 p. ET Kevin DraperFINAL: Argentina 2, Australia 1. Messi is through to the quarterfinals. ET Tariq PanjaReporting from Qatar90+7′ And that was the chance! Emi Martínez has pulled off a huge save to deny Thomas Deng, just seconds before the referee blows the final whistle. Argentina is through, but was made to work for it in the end. What a thrilling finish. 3, 2022, 3:55 p. ET Kevin Draper90+5′ This is impossible to keep up with. Lautaro Martínez has another chance on the left side, but Maty Ryan parries it away with his legs. The rebound falls awkwardly to Messi, but he cannot put a shot on target.
Argentina 1 Australia 0 LIVE SCORE: Messi scores - The Sun
It has won two straight — against Mexico and Poland in group play — and is 45-plus minutes away from winning a third and advancing to a quarterfinals showdown with the Netherlands. After quietly probing the Australian defense throughout the first 35 minutes, Messi broke through. Amazingly, in Messi’s fifth trip to a World Cup, it was his first goal in the knockout stage. Australia will need to attack more, though, if it has any hope of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in its history. 3, 2022, 2:49 p.
3, 2022, 2:17 p. ET Kevin Draper15′ The first yellow card of the game goes to the Australian Jackson Irvine, who stamps on the foot of Marcos Acuña while challenging for the ball. If Australia wins, he will miss the quarterfinal matchup against the Netherlands. Kai Pfaffenbach/ReutersDec. 3, 2022, 12:56 p.
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