Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni is unimpressed by the quick turnaround between Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Poland and Australia in the last 16 of the World Cup.
Albiceleste won 2-0 at Stadium 974 to top Group E and secure passage to the next round, a result that looked in doubt following a defeat by Saudi Arabia on matchday one.
Lionel Messi saw a penalty saved by Wojciech Szczesny in the first half, but goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez after the break deservedly propelled Argentina into the round of 16.
Waiting for them is Australia, who beat Denmark earlier in the day to reach the knockout rounds surprisingly.
Argentina will be clear favourites, but Scaloni is annoyed by what he believes is a rapid turnaround until the match, which is scheduled for kick-off on Saturday.
“Today we are happy but not euphoric, because I think it’s crazy to be playing in just over two days,” he told reporters after the match.
“I just can’t figure it out. It’s almost one in the morning, tomorrow is Thursday. We could have had more rest.
“I want to clarify that it doesn’t seem right to have only two and a half days off after being first in the group. These conditions aren’t the best.”
However, many associated with Argentina will simply be happy to have made it to the second round after that shocking loss to Saudi Arabia.
Argentina needed to beat Poland to take matters into their own hands and Scaloni was satisfied with how his side handled the expectations.
“We are satisfied with the match we played, it wasn’t easy and neither was the context of the match,” he added.
“We had to play and win against a team that had two results in mind. I think we interpreted it correctly, the players had a great match and we’re happy.”
Likewise, most will expect Argentina to outrun the Socceroos at Ahmed bin Ali stadium, but Scaloni is keen to avoid that kind of arrogance.
“We played a good match and we have to continue. We are neither candidates nor favourites, we are always the same,” he continued.
“We are a difficult team and we will fight. It is totally wrong to think that we will win today.
“All the teams are very tough, as I’ve always said, Saudi Arabia is a great team. Football is football.
“You can play well and lose, that’s the feeling I had after Saudi Arabia. Maybe we didn’t play well but we deserved to win.
“All matches are difficult and now, if you think the match against Australia will be easy, you are wrong. They have shown that they are tough. When you play in a World Cup and represent your country, you grow.”