Sunday, 14 April, 2024

Messi leads Argentina to the World Cup final with 3-0 win over Croatia

Argentina defeated Croatia 3-0

Croatia kicked off the semi-final looking to take the scalp of another South American giant after stunning Brazil in the last round but Argentina proved too good for them.

The Albiceleste took the lead 30 minutes in through a penalty by Lionel Messi which was the fifth goal he had scored at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Modric was caught in possession and Enzo Fernandez played a simple ball down the middle, Julian Alvarez is clean through on goal and he tried to chip Livakovic but is crudely bodychecked. Lovren clears off the line, but the referee points to the spot.

Messi stepped up and lashed the penalty into the top right corner. Livakovic went the right way, but he was never saving that.

Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez combined to break down Croatia

Less than five minutes later, Argentina doubled their lead. Messi poked the ball to Alvarez in the centre circle, Alvarez dribbled down the middle, De Paul and Molina swarmed around, confusing the defenders. Alvarez kept going, entered the box, got a slightly lucky break off Sosa, and poked it past Livakovic!

Croatia tried to be more direct in chasing the game in the second half but it proved futile as Argentina proved too strong and dominant.

As the hour mark approached, Messi dribbled down the inside-left channel, then played a one-two with Alvarez, suddenly he was one on one with Livakovic, but the Croatia keeper made a fine stop to keep his team in the game.

This was simply magnificent from Lionel Messi! He tore down the right wing, out on the touchline dragging Gvardiol with him. He drifted infield to the edge of the box and then spun Gvardiol to reach the byline, cutting back for Alvarez, who finished calmly from six yards.

Lionel Messi gave Gvardiol the run around before assisting the third goal for Argentina

With less than 10 minutes remaining, Messi juggled the ball on the edge of the Croatian box before dinking through the back line for Mac Allister, who dragged his shot wide right. It should have been 4-0 to Argentina.

The game ended 3-0 in Argentina’s favour, sending them to their second FIFA World Cup final in the last three editions as they continue to search for their first title since 1986.

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