Lionel Messi marked his 1,000th senior game with a goal to help Argentina qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup by beating Australia.

The footballing legend broke the deadlock towards the end of the first half with a soft finish after cleverly combining with former Manchester City star Nicolas Otamendi at the edge of the penalty area.

It was Messi’s 789th career goal, his 94th in 169 first-team appearances for his country during his illustrious career, and yet his first in the Round of 16 at the World Cup.

Australia threatened to hit back at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium after Craig Goodwin’s deflected shot halved the deficit, but a superb last-minute tackle from Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez deprived Aziz Behich of what would have been a equalizer in the 80th minute.

Argentina head to the last eight after recovering from a shock 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in their tournament opener to finish top of Group C.

They will face the Netherlands on Friday, after the Dutch team beat the United States 3-1 earlier.

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Argentina’s Lionel Messi battles for the ball with Australia’s Jackson Irvine (right)

The Oranje extended their unbeaten streak to 19 games after lapses in the American defense gave the Dutch a treat as Memphis Depay scored in the 10th minute and Daley Blind in first-half stoppage time.

American hope was rekindled when Christian Pulisic’s cross hit substitute Haji Wright’s trailing foot in the second half and hopped over goalkeeper Andries Noppert and into the net.

But Denzel Dumfries then scored on a volley after assisting on the first two goals.

Read more: Which team should win the World Cup?

Netherlands' Memphis Depay in action during the FIFA World Cup Round of 16
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Memphis Depay of the Netherlands in action
Netherlands' Daley Blind celebrates his team's second goal
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Daley Blind of the Netherlands celebrates his team’s second goal

Tomorrow, France will face Poland at 3 p.m., while England will face Senegal at 7 p.m.

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