In a match with a crazy scenario, Argentina, which led for a long time 2-0 before being caguht up in the last minutes of the game by the Netherlands (2-2), finally validated its ticket for the semis at the end of the penalty shootout (4-3). The Albiceleste will face Croatia, winner of Brazil earlier.
Among the seven confrontations between Argentina and the Netherlands in the World Cup finals, the one played in Qatar will certainly remain the most epic. Crazy scenario, goals, intensity, fights... and in the end a victory for Argentina in the penalty shootout (2-2, 4-3 t.a.b). The Albiceleste can thank once again their "God" Messi, author of a goal and an assist. Emiliano Martinez was also decisive in this match by stopping two penalties of the Oranje.
Compared to France, England or even Portugal, Argentina is far from being the most formidable team of this World Cup 2022. The Argentines have neither the explosiveness nor the verticality of the game of the reigning world champions. Nor do they have the talent or speed of England. However, they have a genius in their ranks that makes everything easier for them.
Against the Netherlands, the genius of Lionel Messi worked his magic again to put his team on the right track. In a dull first half where both teams struggled to play, the light came (again) from him. While he was well muzzled until the half-hour mark by the Dutch midfielders, Messi finally came out of the woodwork to leave Ake on his feet after a magnificent double feint. He then found himself in front of the game and found Nahuel Molina in a forest of legs with a brilliant pass. The Argentinian right-back finished perfectly (35th) for his first goal for the national team. Argentina leads 1-0 at the break.
With their backs against the wall, the Oranje tried to revive the game in the second half. But Louis Van Gaal's men, far from their level against the United States in the round of 16 (3-1), came up against an Argentine block well in place. They came close to being punished a second time with a lovely free kick from Messi (64th). But the Albiceleste captain's well-worked shot went inches wide of Noppert's crossbar, who was happy to see the ball go wide.
Depay, Gakpo, De Jong transparent
Messi was unlucky not to be able to get on the scoresheet, but he did not miss a chance when he came face-to-face with the Dutch keeper after the lively Marcos Acuña was brought down in the box by Dumfries. He takes the foot of Noppert and makes the break for Argentina (2-0) for his fourth goal in the competition. His tenth in the World Cup.
Unlike the Argentine genius, in front, the strong men of the Netherlands such as Memphis Depay, or Cody Gakpo were, for their part, transparent. It was then Wout Weghorst, launched in the second half by Louis Van Gaal, who reduced the score for his team with a raging header (83rd). In an electric end of the game, the Oranje pushed to get back to the score.
They finally got an equalizer in the last seconds of the extra time (90+10). Wout Weghorts illustrates himself once again. Koopmeiners, who was about to take a free kick, bluffed the ball to Weghorts who was positioned next to the wall. Weghorts resisted Fernandez, pivoted and hit a left-footed shot. Martinez is beaten on his left. After having controlled the match for a long time, Argentina sinks in the last ten minutes and will have to go through extra time to hope to get its ticket to the semis.
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Despite an ultra-domination of the Albiceleste, these extra thirty minutes will not have been enough to separate the two teams. It is thus in the penalty shoot-out that the decision was made with a victory of Argentina (4-3)