Day 14 of the World Cup in Qatar belonged to Argentina captain Lionel Messi who scored his team’s first goal in what would have been a 2-1 win over Australia – a victory that saw Argentina reach the quarter-finals and see Messi win. World Cup goals of Argentine soccer legend, the late Diego Maradona.
Saturday night’s other round of 16 matches saw the Netherlands start slowly but steadily to score three goals against the USA in what would become a 3-1 defeat for the US team. In doing so, the Dutch booked a place in the quarter-final showdown against Argentina.
Here’s a quick recap of everything you need to know from Day 14 – Saturday, December 3 – at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Argentina advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup following a 2-1 win over Australia, with Argentina captain Lionel Messi making his 1,000th appearance as a professional footballer by opening the scoring in the 35th minute.
Messi’s goal on Saturday night against Australia at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar was his third in this year’s competition and his ninth in a World Cup campaign, surpassing the record set by former Argentine football legend Diego Maradona.
A stubborn Australia gave Argentina no space before Messi burst through their defence, and his team-mate Julián Álvarez pulled off Australia’s second goal in the 57th minute after a challenge from Socceroos midfielder Mathew Ryan.
It was not a one-way affair, as Argentina struggled when Australian substitute Craig Goodwin scored in the 77th minute after deflecting off Enzo Fernandez and into the Argentinian net.
Hopes appeared in the final seconds of the game that Australia’s Garang Kuol could send the teams into extra time with a lead, but his shot was blocked by Argentina’s Emi Martinez.
The knock-out game against Argentina turned out to be Australia’s most distant game, having already surpassed expectations by reaching the Round of 16 for only the second time. Australia also lost in the last 16 in 2006 to eventual champions Italy.
Looking ahead, the Argentina vs Netherlands match will be their sixth World Cup meeting, including Argentina winning the final in 1978 3-1, losing the 1998 quarter-final 2-1, and winning the 2014 semi-final 4-2 on. penalties after a 0-0 deadlock.
“We played the game and we could have scored another one…. There were a few dangerous moments but we managed it,” said Messi, who hopes to finally win the World Cup in his fifth and final attempt.
“It wasn’t easy but I’m glad we made it. We have to play every three days but we look forward to playing in front of our fans. We must continue to stand together as a team. “
Australian player Mathew Leckie said: “It hurts me. We came into the game to win. We had a lot of chances and kept ourselves in the game. We saw that we are competitive, we have a good fighting spirit and we are a team.
Although the USA got off to a strong start in their match against the Netherlands, it didn’t take long for the Dutch to find the measure of the Stars and Stripes and score three goals to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
US star striker Christian Pulisic missed a golden opportunity early on when, just three minutes into the game, he found himself with nothing between him and the Netherlands net other than the players.
But Dutch forward Andries Noppert, the tallest player at the World Cup, stuck his left leg out to stop the opening goal of the match.
Denzel Dumfries of the Netherlands led the charge on Saturday night by providing an assist to Memphis Depay, who found the net for the USA in the 10th minute.
A low pass from Dumfries to Daley Blind set up the Dutch’s second goal before the break.
Haji Wright, who was substituted in the second half by the USA, gave his team the first and only goal in the 76th minute.
But five minutes later, it was Dumfries who made it two goals for the Netherlands again when he scored in the 81st minute, Daley Blind this time providing the assist.
The Dutch now face Argentina in the quarter-finals, where the Argentines beat Australia 2-1 on Saturday.
“It’s an important win for us,” said Dumfries after the game. “We played a very good game, but I still think we can do better.”
USA coach Gregg Berhalter said: “It’s a great group of guys, but we came up a little short today, but not because of failure. I’m very proud of this team but I’m very disappointed.