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FIFA World Cup 2022: Argentina Beats Croatia 3-0 To Reach The Finals

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FIFA World Cup 2022: Argentina Beats Croatia 3-0 To Reach The Finals

(CTN NEWS) – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Argentina defeated Croatia 3-0 in the first FIFA World Cup semi-final on Tuesday to advance to Sunday’s Finals against either France or Morocco.

Thanks to two goals from daring striker Julian Alvarez and a Lionel Messi penalty.

The two-time world champions, who had the support of the vast majority of spectators at the Lusail Stadium, put on their best performance of the competition to guarantee.

They would face the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal match between the defending champions France and Morocco in Sunday’s final.

FIFA World Cup 2022: Argentina Beats Croatia 3-0 To Reach The Finals

Messi, 35, has hinted this World Cup will be his last [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Messi, 35, who lost to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, is eager to cap off an exceptional career by helping Argentina win its third World Cup, joining titles in 1978 and 1986.

Additionally, he ensured the victory by superbly setting up the third goal after setting his team on the path to victory with a perfectly executed first-half penalty.

Croatia, who finished second in Russia four years ago, paid the price for some very bad defense by exiting the tournament in the semifinals for the second time after losing to France in their inaugural match in 1998.

Enzo Fernandez’s low pot attempt from beyond the box in the 25th minute was the game’s first indication of life, but Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic did well to reach over and block it.

FIFA World Cup 2022: Argentina Beats Croatia 3-0 To Reach The Finals

Croatia fans watched on with dismay as Argentina’s attacking brilliance dismantled their side during Tuesday’s match [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

It was a close match until Fernandez lofted a straightforward ball over the top, which the Croatian defense couldn’t handle.

Alvarez pounced on it and knocked the ball past the charging Livakovic, who then collided with the striker, and Italian referee Daniele Orsato pointed to the spot.

As Messi looked up at Argentina’s scarf-waving supporters after the game, he said, “a lot is going through my head – it’s very emotional.”

“It was amazing to see the fans – the ‘family’ – throughout the tournament.” “We’re in the final, which is what we wanted.”

FIFA World Cup 2022: Argentina Beats Croatia 3-0 To Reach The Finals

Argentina fans celebrate their side’s victory [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

THE MOMENT OF HEAT

The Argentine’s brilliantly placed shot went high into the net to give his team the lead in the 34th minute, despite Livakovic’s accurate prediction that Messi would move to his left.

With his fifth goal of the competition, Messi is now tied for the lead with Kylian Mbappe of France in scoring.

He surpassed Gabriel Batistuta to become Argentina’s all-time leading scorer in the World Cup with his 11th career goal, which came in a record-equaling 25th FIFA World Cup appearance.

Five minutes later, Argentina extended their advantage when Alvarez scooped up the ball within his half and started a lengthy dribble goalward following a break from a corner.

Alvarez overcame feeble challenges from Josip Juranovic and Borna Sosa as the Croatian defense retreated, slipped the ball past Livakovic, and enraged the boisterous Argentine audience.

Then, Alexis Mac Allister came dangerously near with an angled header from a corner, forcing Livakovic to make a fantastic save to prevent a third.

Before the interval, Croatia’s only attempt at retaliation was a low cross-shot by Juranovic, to which Emiliano Martinez responded skillfully.

FIFA World Cup 2022: Argentina Beats Croatia 3-0 To Reach The Finals

Argentina players celebrate with Argentina’s Lionel Messi, left, who scored his side’s first goal with a penalty shot during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Argentina and Croatia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

In response, Zlatko Dalic of Croatia made two substitutions: Nikola Vlasic and Mislav Orsic came on at halftime, while Bruno Petkovic was added five minutes later.

Although they were good plays, Argentina still appeared to be the more threatening team when Messi forced a save at the near post following a quick interchange with Fernandez.

However, Messi left his best for last, harassing 20-year-old defender Josko Gvardial down the right before leaving him behind and passing the ball back to Alvarez, who calmly buried the goal.

Lionel Scaloni was in tears after the match and said, “he was honored to train and see him play. He inspires his teammates, fans, and the world every time he plays.”

While Argentina and Messi were peaking just in time for the most important game of their lives, Croatia was already over.

FIFA World Cup 2022 | Argentina vs. Croatia 3-0 | Match Highlights

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