24.3 C
Nigeria
Thursday, February 2, 2023

BREAKING: Lionel Messi’s Argentina reaches 2022 World Cup final after comfortable 3-0 victory over Croatia

Argentina has reached the 2022 FIFA World Cup final after their comfortable 3-0 win over 2018 runner-up Croatia in the semi-final match on Tuesday.

Argentina have now reached the World Cup final for the sixth time, doing so in two of the last three editions of the competition (also in 2014) – only Germany (8) have reached more finals in the competition than Argentina (6 – level with Italy and Brazil).

They are just the second team in World Cup history to win two different semi-finals by a 3+ goal margin (also Germany), with Argentina also winning 6-1 versus USA in 1930.

Messi was key, putting Argentina ahead from the penalty spot to become his country’s all-time leading World Cup goalscorer with 11, then playing a role in Julian Alvarez’s somewhat fortuitous second.

There was nothing lucky about Argentina’s third goal in the second half, as Messi’s brilliant solo run teed up Alvarez to put the game beyond doubt.

Join any of these WhatsApp Groups to receive Prompt Sport News Update on WhatsApp

Neither side looked willing commit many bodies forward early on, but a rare defensive lapse handed Argentina the initiative just past the half-hour mark.

Dejan Lovren played Alvarez onside before Dominik Livakovic collided with the striker to concede a penalty, which Messi slammed into the top-right corner.

It was 2-0 five minutes later following some poor Croatia defending.

Messi’s pass released Alvarez on the counter-attack, and he stabbed home from close range after running half the length of the pitch and profiting from three ricochets in the Croatia box.

Argentina sat back more after the break and Croatia struggled to find a way through, with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez largely untroubled.

Any hope of a Croatia comeback was emphatically ended 21 minutes from time

Key Opta facts

– Argentina have reached the World Cup final for a sixth time. Only Germany have reached more finals in the competition, having done so on eight occasions.
– Since the 1966 edition, only the Netherlands – one versus Argentina in 2014 – have had fewer shots on target in a World Cup semi-final than Croatia’s two in this game.
– Messi became the first Argentina player to score in five different matches in a single edition of the World Cup. He also equalled Germany great Lothar Matthaus’ record of 25 World Cup appearances.
– The Argentina skipper became the first player since the 1966 tournament to both score and assist in four separate World Cup matches – doing so versus Serbia in 2006, then against Mexico, the Netherlands and Croatia in Qatar.

What’s next?

On Sunday, Argentina will face either France or Morocco, who play at Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday. A third-place play-off will be held in four days between Croatia and the loser.

Contact us: intelregion.com@gmail.com

📡Our Social Media Channels:

TRENDING NEWS

- Advertisement -