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Messi and Argentina knock Australia out of World Cup

Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 round of 16 soccer match between Argentina and Australia at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday. Photo by Friedemann Vogel/EPA-EFE
Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 round of 16 soccer match between Argentina and Australia at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday. Photo by Friedemann Vogel/EPA-EFE

Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez each scored goals to lead Argentina past Australia 2-1 in a round of 16 match Saturday at the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

The world's top player got the scoring started in the 35th minute for Argentina, who have bounced back from a historic loss to Saudi Arabia to reach the quarterfinals. They will face the Netherlands, who beat the United States 3-1 on Saturday.

Julian Alvarez's goal in the 57th minute ended up being the difference maker. Australia's Craig Goodwin scored on a deflection in the 77th minute to cut the lead to 2-1, but that was as close as they could get.

Three minutes after Goodwin's goal, Aziz Behich had a chance to tie it when he beat four Argentina defenders but was thwarted in the box by Lisandro Martinez.

The win keeps Messi's quest for a title alive in what is likely his final World Cup.

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