Messi’s Score Sets Tone for Argentina in World Cup Win

For all of his accomplishments, and there are many, there was one thing Lionel Messi had never done at the World Cup: score a goal in an elimination game.

Now that he has done so — his first-half shot helped carry Argentina to a 2-1 victory over Australia on Saturday night

he still has a chance at another first: Messi has never lifted the World Cup trophy.

A championship, is still a ways away. But squint your eyes as Messi darted through the Australian defense at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Saturday night and it still seems possible.

For 90 minutes, Messi, 35, looked like the Messi who made his World Cup debut at 18 and has torn through club opponents across Europe for decades.

With the win, Argentina advanced to the quarterfinals, where it will face the Netherlands on Friday. 

A potential matchup with Brazil looms after that, and maybe one with France or Spain or England if Argentina  can reach the final.

Messi hopes his last act on the World Cup stage comes after he clears several more immediate hurdles.

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