Lionel Messi scored his first World Cup knockout goal in stunning fashion, in his 1,000th career game.
The legendary Argentinian completed a fine stint with a signature curling finish into the far corner of the net to put his side against Australia.
In what is almost certainly the 35-year-old’s final World Cup, Messi finally scored his first knockout goal as he looks to guide his side to another final.
Earning a free-kick wide of the Australian penalty area, Argentina regained possession after a clearance and as Messi charged into the box and a deft passing motion saw Brighton’s Alexis Mac Alliser pick Nicolas Otamendi into the box.
The former Manchester City defender then had the simple but brilliantly excited task of passing the ball to his captain, who bent it into the far corner in typically unstoppable style.
“Messi is celebrating a lot of games with a big goal,” talkSPORT commentator Ian Danter said. “Argentina inevitably hit the front by Messi.”
Dean Saunders added: “It’s lightning fast, it’s in the net before you can see it, what a finish.”
More incredible than the fact that it’s Messi’s first knockout goal in five World Cups is that he’s not the only one, fellow tall and long-time opponent Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t. having yet to score a knockout goal in football’s biggest tournament.
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