Sydney Opera House lit up in green and gold ahead of Australia's clash with Argentina

Graham Arnold's team face South American giants in World Cup 2022 last 16 match on Saturday

The Sydney Opera House is lit up in green and gold ahead of Australia's World Cup match against Argentina. EPA
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Australia defied all expectations by getting out of 2022 World Cup Group D which included defending champions France, Denmark and Tunisia.

Now they have reached the last 16 stage of the tournament in Qatar, the pressure will be well and truly on the Socceroos as they prepare to take on one of the tournament favourites Argentina on Saturday.

Australia coach Graham Arnold said he expects his players to raise their game once more against the star-studded Argentines.

"When I think back to my playing career it is one of the highlights of my life, being able to play against Argentina," Arnold said on the eve of Saturday's last-16 match at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

"I just think that Argentina bring the best out of Australia. Our performances every time against Argentina have been very strong and very good.

"Playing against that type of talent, and that name I think resonates right across the world - It's a football nation and it is inspiring to play against them."

Arnold said the Socceroos, who were crushed 4-1 in their opening game against France before winning their next two against Tunisia and Denmark, needed a 120-minute performance.

"We have to make sure our brains are switched on. When you relax, that's when they hit you," he said.

Anticipation is high in Australia for the contest. The famous Sydney Opera House was lit up in the green and gold colours of Australia ahead of the match. And if the Aussies manage to pull off an upset like Saudi Arabia did against the Argentines at the start of the tournament, the celebrations will continue for a long time.

Updated: December 03, 2022, 11:06 AM