The knockout stage continued at the World Cup on Saturday with Argentina beating Australia, 2-1, in the round of 16. Argentina, featuring global star Lionel Messi in what is probably his final World Cup, is among the favorites to win the tournament and managed to finish first in Group C and move on to the quarterfinals despite a shocking loss to Saudi Arabia in its first game. Australia overcame an opening loss to defending champion France to finish second in Group D and reach the knockout stage for the second time, but its tournament ends here. Continue reading for highlights from the game.
World Cup in Qatar
World champions: Argentina has won the World Cup, defeating France in penalty kicks in a thrilling final in Lusail, Qatar, for its first world championship since 1986. Argentina was led by global soccer star Lionel Messi in what is expected to be his final World Cup appearance. France was bidding to become the first repeat champion since Brazil won consecutive trophies in 1958 and 1962.
Today’s WorldView: In the minds of many critics, especially in the West, Qatar’s World Cup will always be a tournament shrouded in controversy. But Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, wants people to take another view.
Perspective: “America is not a men’s soccer laughingstock right now. It’s onto something, and it’s more attuned to what’s working for the rest of the world rather than stubbornly forcing an American sports culture — without the benefit of best-of-the-best talent — into international competition.” Read Jerry Brewer on the U.S. men’s national team’s future.