Lionel Messi still dreams of lifting the World Cup. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner helped Argentina qualify for his 1001st official match with a tasty assist and 2 penalties against the Netherlands. The Albiceleste led 2-0 after 73 minutes and had to resort to penalties to advance to the semi-finals in Qatar. Emiliano Martinez saves 2 Batavian penalties (4-3 on penalties)! At 8:00pm on Tuesday, Argentina will face Croatia, who beat Brazil on penalties.
Punishments are not a South American curse. Unlike Brazil against Croatia, Argentina “survived” this lottery in the quarterfinals of the Qatar World Cup.
The Albiceleste won 4-3 on penalties against the Netherlands at the Lucille Stadium. He should never have made it to the semi-finals.
Argentina was leading 2-0 until the 83rd minute. She owes Emiliano Martinez a proud candle. The Aston Villa goalkeeper deflected the first 2 strikes from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis to put his team on a royal streak this session.
The issue ended only after a penalty shootout for Argentina. [Evrim Aydin – AFP]
The quality of the Argentine players is a triumph for football. They really didn’t deserve to fall against the Netherlands, who waited 2-0 to finally start playing. The romanticism that this team could exude in the past seemed far away.
Wout Weghorst scored the winner in the 111th minute to force the Netherlands into extra time. The Besiktas striker, introduced in the 78th for Memphis Depay, reduced the score with a header in the 83rd before wrong-footing Enzo Fernandez in a clever combination from Dean Koopmeiners’ free kick.
Lionel Messi was the big man in this game. He “found” a blind pass on the opener before scoring his 4th goal of the tournament, 10th in the World Cup finals and 95th in qualifying. He bore into the Dutch defensive axis and despite the return of Virgil van Dijk, Molina finished with a sharp, we don’t know what miracle. This inspiration will be one of the greatest achievements of this World Cup.
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