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Argentina easily won against Croatia on Tuesday in the semi-finals of the Football World Cup (3-0). Lionel Messi’s band will challenge the winner of France – Morocco on Sunday.
Four records, one goal, one assist, Croatia and a place in the final in the pocket. Lionel Messi did not lose his evening on Tuesday December 13 at Lusail. As usual, he played a key role in Argentina’s 3-0 victory over the Croats.
In the setting of the Lusail Stadium where the winner will return on Sunday for the grand final, we thought the confrontation between Croatia and Argentina launched at top speed when the Albiceleste accelerated from the start. Livakovic sees a center-shooter pass over his cage (3e) then is vigilant on a long ball from Tagliafico (4e).
But, after this double offensive, nothing. Argentina relinquish control of the ball to Croatia. The Croats gain ground with reinforcements of short passes and with a Luka Modric particularly in legs. However, the “Vatreni” stumbled on the last line and the game got bogged down.
Argentinian counter assassin
It takes a long shot from Enzo Martinez where Livakov proves decisive to wake up the spectators (25e). Then, on a counter flash, Croatia is pierced in the axis by Alvarez who presents himself alone against the Croatian goalkeeper. The latter hits the Argentinian head-on without touching the ball. The penalty is the logical sanction. Lionel Messi pulls hard and converts (34e1-0).
Querido Leo, ¡felicidades! 👏
Tave el record dure 20 años y lo disfruté. Ahora is a great honor to place there compartirlo contigo, ¡esperando de todo corazón que puedas superarlo ya en el próximo partido! 💙🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/gnCvdMuCqi
—Gabriel Batistuta (@GBatistutaOK) December 10, 2022
The beginning of the evening of records for Messi, since he becomes with this penalty the only top scorer in the history of Argentina in the World Cup in front of Batistuta who had 10. He also equals Matthaüs at the top of the players at most large number of appearances in the competition (25). If he joins Kylian Mbappé at the top of the scoring charts, he also becomes the only man to have scored 5 goals over the age of 35 at a World Cup.
Alvarez stuns Croatia after a monumental full-axis counterattack. The Mancunian benefits from three favorable counterattacks before concluding with the right foot (39e, 2-0). The Vatreni could even have returned to the locker room with an extra goal in the bag at half-time if Livakovic had not released a save he has the secret of on a header from Mac Allister following a corner from Messi (43e).
Back from the locker room, Croatia are powerless offensively. Dalic’s players still combine well around the Argentine area but fail to create danger on Martinez’s goal. It is even the reverse that occurs. Gvardiol and Livakovic save theirs by intervening respectively against Alvarez (56e) and Messi (56e).
And inevitably, Argentina ends up passing a third goal. On the right wing, Messi makes Gvardiol dance the tango, enters the box, clears the Croatian defender again and crosses back for Alvarez. The latter only has to push his captain’s offering into the net (69e3-0).
With this assist, Lionel Messi breaks another record. He is now the only player in history to have scored a goal and delivered an assist in four different World Cup matches.
But Lionel Messi doesn’t care about records. He has only one goal: to lift the Jules Rimet trophy on Sunday 18 December. And woe to him who stands in his way.
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