Argentina and Netherlands Set Up Quarterfinal Clash

Lionel Messi with Argentina in 2018
Lionel Messi with Argentina in 2018. Photo by Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/REX/Shutterstock (9724066ag)

Lionel Messi scored yet again for Argentina as they defeated Australia 2-1 in their World Cup Round of 16 showdown. In what was the 1,000th game of his professional career, Messi opened the scoring in the first half before Julian Alvarez doubled the South American giants’ lead after the break. The Socceroos pulled on back in the 77th minute when Enzo Fernandez deflected a shot into his own net.

“I am very happy for taking another step forward, achieving another objective,” Messi stated after the win. “We didn’t have much time to rest up and we were concerned as we knew it was going to be a physical match and they were very strong. Luckily we found the goal and we were one goal ahead, and then two goals ahead.

The Netherlands came head-to-head with the United States, who, like themselves, remained unbeaten in the group games. Memphis Depay opened the scoring for the Dutch in the 10th minute with a one-time finish off a blistering counter-attack while Daley Blind doubled the Oranje’s lead before the half-time whistle.

While American forward Hajo Wright pulled a goal back for the United States, Denzel Dumfries scored the Netherlands’ third; the final nail in the coffin for a hard-working American side.

Argentina and the Netherlands face off on Friday night.