Messi scores as Argentina ends Australia’s World Cup campaign

A goal in either half for Argentina prevented a late Australia surge from coming to fruition, sealing a 2-1 nervy but deserved victory.

Despite few chances for either side in the first half, Messi capped his 1000th game for club and country with his first World Cup knockout goal in clinical fashion, following a free-kick that wasn’t adequately cleared.

Alvarez’s strike three minutes before the hour looked to wrap up the result but a late Goodwin volley – deemed an own goal thanks to Fernandez’s deflection – made it anything but easy in the end.

Scaloni’s side would ultimately see out the remainder of the game without adding to their lead despite promising opportunities in injury time, but hung on to book their fourth quarter-final trip in the last five World Cups.

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