Football fans on Twitter erupted as Lionel Messi scored to help Argentina advance to the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. La Albiceleste managed a 2-1 win against Australia in their Round of 16 clash on Saturday, December 4.
Messi opened the scoring for his country in the 35th minute of the game.
Harry Souttar defended the initial free kick before Lionel Scaloni's side got the ball back. Nicolas Otamendi took a nice touch to set Messi up just inside the box. The Argentine captain, who was playing his 1000th senior game, found the back of the net through an army of Australian defenders. The goal marked Messi's first in the knockout stages of the competition.
Argentina started the second half convincingly. Julian Alvarez put clear daylight between the two sides when he netted in the 57th minute of the game.
The Manchester City striker has now scored in back-to-back games as he also netted against Poland in their last group game. Alvarez capitalized on a poor back pass from Kye Rowles before scoring.
Australia managed to pull one back in the 77th minute as Craig Goodwin’s effort took a massive deflection off Enzo Fernandez and ended up in Emiliano Martinez's goal.
Here are some of the best reactions across Twitter as Messi helped La Albiceleste proceed to the last eight of the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
Lionel Messi and Argentina will play the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup
The two sides have produced many classic games in the World Cup over the years. Their last meeting came in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup, where the South American side won the game via penalties.
Messi is in top form for his country in Qatar. He has already scored three goals and is tied with Alvaro Morata, Marcus Rashford, Kylian Mbappe, Enner Valencia, and Cody Gakpo in the race for the Golden Boot.
Messi has also scored more FIFA World Cup goals than the late great Diego Maradona. His tally stands at nine at the moment.
However, Oranje will likely offer a sterner test than Australia. Gakpo is shining and Memphis Depay also looks to be in good touch for Van Gaal's team. The two sides will face off on December 9.