This could be Messi's year to win the FIFA World Cup. Not an over statement as the Argentinians have shocked the vice Champions Croatia 3-0 in the first semi finals played on Tuesday night. Leonel Messi was practically involved in all three goals for his nation.
Croatia monopolizes the ball while Argentina is satisfied with counterattacks.
Very few opportunities are offered to the fans in this Argentina-Croatia. For the Albiceleste, the midfield trio of Enzo Fernandez-Paredes-De Paul simply concreted and prevented the Croatian ball circulation. On their part, Dalic, the Croatian coach, in addition to his trio Brozovic-Modric-Kovacic, Pašalić, placed on the right side, often returns to the axis to prevent the Argentine relays.
A penalty to settle the situation
However, a fact of play will come to unblock the game. Julian Alvarez beat an offside trap and out runs the Croatian backline to pass the keeper on a deep pass from Enzo Fernández and was then hit by Dominik Livaković, the Croatian keeper. The referee whistles a penalty. Lionel Messi converted it to give his team the lead (34th). From then on, things accelerate. On a Croatian corner, Argentina goes on the counter and doubled the score by Julian Alvarez three minutes later. The Albiceleste goes to the break with this advantage of 2 goals to 0.
6th final in history for Argentina?
After the break, Croatia makes two changes. Vlasic and Orsic enter in place of Sosa and Pašalić. Three minutes after the restart, Brozovic is injured and gives up his place to Petkovic. So the 4-3-3 turns into a 4-4-2 with Petkovic and Kramaric up front, with Orsic and Vlasic on the sides. Lionel Scaloni reacts by taking out Paredes to bring in Lisandro Martinez and switches to a five-man defense. Croatia breaks its teeth with crosses and no shot situation. Argentina, on the counter, will increase the gap. Lionel Messi beat Gvardiol on the right side with some dribbles, before serving Julian Alvares who takes the flat of the foot for the 3-0 (69th). The Argentinians have won a ticket to their 6th World Cup final. They won two (1978 and 1986). Messi and his team will know their opponent this Wednesday. France challenges Morocco at 19h GMT.
Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez strike again! 💥
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 13, 2022