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LIVE BLOG: Fifa World Cup, Day 14 – Messi-inspired Argentina through to quarters

LIVE BLOG: Fifa World Cup, Day 14 - Messi-inspired Argentina through to quarters

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Welcome to day 14 of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. IOL Sport will bring you all the live updates on match days from the biggest sports event on the planet!

CHECK OUT THE FREE IOL SPORT WORLD CUP DIGIMAG HERE!

FULL TIME: Argentina 2, Australia 1

Lionel Messi once again inspired Argentina as they beat a brave Australia outfit in the Round of 16 to set up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash against the Netherlands.

Messi's #FIFAWorldCup dream doesn't stop here 🇦🇷💭

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 3, 2022

Remember this?

HALF TIME: Argentina 1, Australia 0

Argentina go into half time of their World Cup last 16 game against Australia in front thanks to a 35th minute Lionel Messi goal.

Argentina are ahead at the break 👊#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 3, 2022

NEXT UP: Argentina v Australia

Lionel Messi and Argentina will be confident of beating Australia in their Last 16 clash on Saturday evening.

Messi will again captain an Argentina team which sees veteran attacking midfielder Alejandro Gomez come in for fellow 34-year-old Di Maria. Winger Di Maria had been an injury doubt.

Australia coach Graham Arnold also made one change from the side that beat Denmark 1-0 to secure their place in the knockout rounds for only the second time in their history.

Durban-born Keanu Baccus, the 24-year-old midfielder who plays in Scotland, replaces winger Craig Goodwin.

Not long until today's second Round of 16 match! ⏳#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 3, 2022

FULL TIME: Netherlands 3, United States 1

Two goals in the first, and one in the second half were enough for the Netherlands as they beat the United States to advance to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

The Netherlands progress to the Quarter-finals! 🇳🇱@adidasfootball | #FIFAWorldCup

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 3, 2022

HALF TIME: Netherlands 2, United States 0

The Netherlands take a 2-0 lead into half time of their game against the United after goals from Memphis Depay and Daley Blind.

⏸ The Netherlands are ahead at the break!#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 3, 2022

Round of 16

5pm: Netherlands (winners Group A) vs USA (runners-up Group B)

The Chelsea midfielder Christian Pulisic has been the stand-out performer for the Stars and Stripes. He injured himself in the process of scoring the match-winner in the final group phase match against Iran. There is a concern that Pulisic may not be fully fit.

This outcome allowed the USA to leapfrog Iran into second place and seal a last-16 round spot, although it came at a price. Two first-choices Josh Sargent and Weston McKennie were forced off against Iran with injuries and both are doubtful starters.

The Netherlands are tipped to win although the defensive records suggest the outcome will be close. The Netherlands were undefeated in the group phase and that form should stand them in good stead in this last-16 round clash. Cody Gakpo, PSV Eindhoven striker will be the target of special attention from the USA since he is among the top scorers at the tournament so far with three goals.

Key Players:

Netherlands: Virgil van Dijk (centre-back), Denzel Dumfries (right-wingback), Cody Gakpo (striker)

USA: Christian Pulisic (midfielder), Sergino Dest (right-back), Weston McKennie (midfielder)

Head To Head:

The two sides have met five times before in international friendlies. The Netherlands have dominated winning 2-0 in 1998, 2-0 in 2002, 1-0 in 2004, and 2-1 in 2010. The USA's only victory came in 2015 when they secured a 4-3 win.

The path to glory at #Qatar2022 is set 🏆
🧐 Discover the road to the #FIFAWorldCup Final! pic.twitter.com/4kxbiMww1H

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 3, 2022

9pm: Argentina (winners Group C) vs Australia (runners-up Group D)

Argentina are in pursuit of a third World Cup title and they look set to defeat Australia in this last-16 encounter. They had a hiccup in their opening game against Saudi Arabia but then finished strongly with back-to-back wins.

The spirited Australian team overcame a talented Denmark team a few days ago but this time Messi and company will not allow them to dictate the match. The well-travelled Mathew Leckie has been the star for the Socceroos so far, and he can expect to be a closely marked man.

The Netherlands maintained their superb record of qualifying for the knockout stage of the competition every time they took part. The USA are in the round of 16 for the third time in a row. Both teams failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Key Players:

Argentina: Lionel Messi (forward), Emiliano Martinez (goalkeeper), Cristian Romero (defender)

Australia: Martin Boyle (forward), Ajdin Hrustic (attacking midfielder), Mathew Leckie (winger)

Head To Head:

Argentina have faced Australia seven times in history and won on five occasions, losing just once – a 4-1 defeat in their first-ever meeting back in 1988 at the Bicentennial Gold Cup.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe grabbed plenty of the headlines as their countries sailed through the group stage of the Fifa World Cup, but many others have also risen to the occasion in Qatar.

IOL Sport

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