Messi Gives Argentina Lead With First Career World Cup Knockout Stage Goal

Lionel Messi took the field for his 1,000th career game and what could be his final career World Cup match.

But he’s doing everything within his power to make sure the latter is not the case.

Messi broke a scoreless tie by scoring his first career knockout stage goal to give Argentina a 1-0 lead over Australia in the 35th minute.

After Messi’s set piece from the right flank was headed out of the box, Argentina maintained possession. Messi delivered a give-and-go to Alexis Mac Allister, who sent a pass back into the box to Nicolás Otamendi. Otamendi one-touched a short pass back to Messi, who fired a left-footed shot past a diving keeper and inside the far post.

It was Messi’s ninth career World Cup goal, moving him past Diego Maradona for most goals in the tournament by an Argentine.
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