After escaping their group in dramatic circumstances, Argentina and last-16 opponents Australia meet at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium just three days later on Saturday. After the Albiceleste’s recovery from a shock opening loss to Saudi Arabia and the Socceroos’ defeat to Denmark in midweek. Both countries’ World Cup adventures now continue in the knockout stages. Argentina vs Australia FIFA World Cup
Argentina vs Australia FIFA World Cup
Overcoming a sluggish start to their latest World Cup campaign, an Argentina squad secured a place in the last 16 on Wednesday. With a hard-fought victory over Mexico in their second Group C match.
The South American champions saw talisman Lionel Messi spurn a controversial first-half penalty. But were eventually rewarded for a dominant 90 minutes to leapfrog their European rivals at the top of the group standings.
At a Glance Argentina
After Alexis McAllister – who was promoted to the starting lineup as one of a handful of changes made by coach Lionel Scaloni – made the breakthrough just seconds before the break. Julian Alvarez’s 67th-minute strike helped the Albiceleste post a second. 2-0 win in a row.
As a result, the two-time world champions reached the knockout stages for the 11th time in the last 12 finals. and they remain among many pundits’ favorites to lift the World Cup trophy later this month.
While the situation will be the same for both his side and their next opponents, Scaloni lamented that they will return to action after just over two days’ rest. – especially following such an emotionally draining route to the top of Group C. However, he knows that any excuse will not be accepted by the expectant public back home in Argentina.
To combat fatigue concerns, the Copa America-winning coach could call upon a number of talented players emerging from the fringes of his squad. such as McAllister, Alvarez and Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez. although of course Messi still has much of the creative burden on his shoulders. .
Argentina’s irreplaceable playmaker will surely be integral again as they try to set up a quarter-final with either the Netherlands or the USA. but he will need plenty of help from a supporting cast that saw their 36-game unbeaten streak finally come to an end. week
At a Glance Australia
Given the gulf between the two countries football-wise, it’s no surprise that Australia have lost each of their last four meetings with Argentina – including a crucial play-off to reach USA’94 – despite the Socceroos winning 2-0. Last year’s Tokyo Olympics was when two different teams met.
Still, Graham Arnold’s men rode the crest of a wave before arriving at Al Rayyan with a destiny that saw them take part in the knockout rounds. of the World Cup for the first time since the ‘Golden Generation’ of 2006.
The underdog Socceroos defied expectations to finish second in Group D. behind defending champions France on goal difference alone after winning two of their three matches – against Tunisia and then Euro 2022 semi-finalists Denmark.
A hard-fought rearguard action led by Harry Soutar and goalkeeper Matt Ryan. and a superb winner from Matthew Leckie finally sent them through to break the deadlock on 60 minutes to beat the latter 1-0 at the Al Janoub Stadium. Last 16.
Realism is never far from a pragmatic Australian side, made up largely of players from their European clubs. so to bask in the excitement of their historic win. they will be keenly aware of the step up in class that awaits them. on Saturday.
Statistic Between Argentina vs Australia FIFA World Cup
An already fluent French side, who won the side’s opening match 4-1. Arnold’s well-drilled unit will be outsiders to top Argentina to reach the last eight for the first time.
If they somehow manage to do that, the jubilant scenes of fans celebrating on the streets of Melbourne in the early hours of Thursday morning will surely match – even surpass – those in Sydney, Adelaide and beyond.