Argentina superstar Lionel Messi scored yet again on Saturday.
The 35-year-old forward netted his 789th goal of his illustrious career during the game. Argentina went on to win the match against Australia 2-1 on the night. The World Cup knockout round matchup was his 1,000th total senior appearance.
Messi started the scoring for his team in the 35th minute of the match. After a set piece failed to make an impact, the star pounced on the ball and slotted it into the bottom corner of the net.
The perfectly placed shot put Argentina up 1-0 in the game.
While he has scored a plethora of goals throughout his career, Saturday’s score was Messi’s first ever goal in the World Cup knockout rounds.
Despite the low production late in the competition, Messi now has nine career World Cup goals.
That is now second-most of all Argentina players. Only Gabriel Batistuta has more goals in the competition for Argentina.
However, Messi can tie, or surpass the legend in his next game.
The South American team has arguably become too reliant on Messi in recent years. Argentina’s defense previously hindered any chances of World Cup success during the 2018 tournament.
The team was sent packing after allowing four goals to the eventual champions France in the knockout round of the competition.
However, this team certainly appears to be more well-rounded. The lone goal by the Australians on the night came from a heavy deflection off of Enzo Fernandez in the second half.
Argentina also showed that they could win without a Messi goal in their previous group stage game.
Nevertheless, Messi’s undeniably magic should make Argentina a formidable force for the remainder of the tournament.
Soccer is certainly a team sport, but special teams almost always have a superstar that steps up when needed. Messi and company will look to keep momentum going against the Netherlands on Friday.
Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images
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Messi magic propels Argentina against Australia – World Soccer Talk