Lionel Messi has finally scored his first-ever goal in the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup when he handed Argentina the lead against Australia in the Round of 16 stages.
After a tepid start to the contest in which neither team impressed, it was Messi who produced the moment that made the difference as he curled in a low effort from inside the box to put La Albiceleste in the driver’s seat.
It was a fine strike from the Argentina captain as he came alive when it mattered most, getting into the box before hitting a precise finish past Mat Ryan in the Socceroos’ goal, followng a layoff from Nicolas Otamendi, bagging his ninth World Cup strike in the process.
Making his 1000th career appearance, Messi has now made it memorable by finding the back of the net. He now has more World Cup goals than fellow Argentine legend Diego Maradona. Only Gabriel Batistuta (10) has more World Cup goals for La Albiceleste.
Should Argentina win, they will set up a quarter-final tie against the Netherlands, who defeated USA earlier in the day.