Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to join Croatia in semi-finals

Home » Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to join Croatia in semi-finals
Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to join Croatia in semi-finals

The match: 2-2 (4-3 on pens)

Brazil’s surprise elimination a little earlier against Croatia (1-1, 4-2 on tab), for the first quarter-final, surely cooled the ardor of the Argentinians and the Dutch. After a lackluster first half hour and a slight Dutch domination in possession, the light came from one man: Lionel Messi. The Argentine captain first signed the first strike of the match after easily getting rid of Marten De Roon (22nd).

Above all, he delivered an exceptional pass to his right side Nahuel Molina, author of his first goal in selection, for the opener of the Albiceleste (35th). After a free kick passed just above the bar of Noppert (63rd), the Parisian was finally rewarded for his technical accuracy by converting a penalty obtained by Marcos Acuna after a foul by Denzel Dumfries just at the entrance to the surface (72nd).

For their part, the Netherlands waited for the 78th minute and the entry into play of Wout Weghorst to be truly dangerous. The Besiktas striker first perfectly headed a cross from the right of Steven Berghuis, which came into play at the break, for the reduction of the score (83rd). Two minutes later, the Dutch decisive passer saw his left-footed volley end up in the side netting of Emiliano Martinez.

While Argentina thought they had done the hardest by maintaining their advantage, Weghorst took advantage of a last free kick near the box after additional time (90 + 11), played short by Teun Koopmeiners, to deceive the Argentine goalkeeper with a cross shot from the left foot, sending the two teams into extra time.

If the first minutes were quite closed, Argentina took advantage of the entry into play of Angel Di Maria (112th) to start again. After several attempts saved by the Dutch defense, including a returning corner from the Juventus player released by Noppert (120th), Enzo Fernandez found the post with a left-footed shot entering additional time in the second half (120th). +1).

Everything was therefore decided on penalties, and in this little game, it was Emiliano Martinez who proved to be the strongest. The Albiceleste keeper produced two great saves to stop attempts from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis, allowing Lautaro Martinez to give his country victory after a failure from Enzo Fernandez. Argentina will therefore be present for the semi-finals and will challenge Croatia on Tuesday (8 p.m.) for a place in the final.

The player: Weghorst could have changed everything

Beyond his double, allowing the Netherlands to believe until the end in a total reversal of the situation, Wout Weghorst was the symbol of a tactical change operated by Louis van Gaal. Before his entry (78th minute), the Dutch had only shot once on goal, a harmless strike from Steven Bergwijn (24th). Associated with Luuk de Jong until the end of the game, he used his large size to challenge the Argentine defense until the end of extra time.

101

By equalizing in the 101st minute (90 + 11th), Wout Weghorst was the author of the latest goal in the second half of a knockout match in the World Cup (Opta). In vain.

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