Magic Messi Fires Argentina into World Cup Quarters

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Magic Messi Fires Argentina into World Cup Quarters

December 4: Lionel Messi scored his first goal in a World Cup knockout round in his 1,000th match to beat Diego Maradona's tournament tally, as Argentina beat off a frenzied Australia fightback to win 2-1 on Saturday and reach the quarter-finals, Reuters reported.

According to the news agency, Messi his side ahead after 35 minutes with a coolly taken low strike for his 94th international goal, passing the great Maradona's eight World Cup goals, in a match where he was instrumental in almost every Argentine attack.

Julian Alvarez made it two near the hour mark after pouncing on a howler by keeper Mat Ryan to set up a mouth-watering last-eight clash next Friday with the Netherlands, who beat the United States 3-1 earlier in the day, Reuters added.

With nothing to lose, the Socceroos, chasing a first World Cup quarter-final berth, pulled a goal back 13 minutes from time when Craig Goodwin's wayward shot took a huge deflection off Enzo Fernandez and flew into the net for an own goal.



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