Argentina 3-0 Croatia : Argentina cruise to finals with spectacular show

Last Updated on 14/12/2022 by

Argentina defeated Croatia 3-0 on Tuesday night to clinch a spot in the 2022 World Cup championship match.

La Albiceleste was led by Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez, who put their intrepid underdog opponents to the sword and made sure Argentina’s transition to Sunday’s matchup went without a hitch.

argentina vs croatia
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The game took off after a cagey and tense opening quarter of an hour when Argentina caught Croatia off guard on a counterattack. Alvarez received what appeared to be a skewed through ball from Enzo Fernandez over the top, but he handled it well and made a goal-scoring run. While his attempt to dink Dominik Livakovic was blocked by the goalkeeper, he had been impeded and a penalty was given. Argentina was tied when Messi stepped up and slammed the penalty kick into the top right corner of the goal to break the tie and give Argentina the lead, becoming his nation’s all-time leading scorer at World Cups in the process.

Soon after, Argentina scored again, this time taking advantage of a brief break. Alvarez’s quickness with the ball and Nahuel Molina’s run to his right forced Croatia to scramble in an attempt to contain them. The Manchester City player was under pressure from Josip Juranovic and Borna Sosa to turn over the ball, but it kept bobbling back into his path, and he was eventually able to poke the ball past Livakovic.

argentina vs croatia
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Before the first half was even over, Zlatko Dalic’s team was in danger of losing the game. Livakovic expertly tipped Nicolas Tagliafico’s header from an Alexis Mac Allister corner away as Argentina continued to attack.

Although Emiliano Martinez’s near post was almost fooled by a cross from Juranovic, the cross lacked enough speed to fool Martinez, and Argentina led by two goals at halftime.

Dalic wasted no time in starting the second half with Mislav Orsic and Nikola Vlasic, with quarterfinal hero Bruno Petkovic quickly following. Messi was able to stay upright and shoot at Livakovic’s near post following a quick exchange with Alvarez around the back of Josko Gvardiol, but the Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper was equal to his effort.

argentina vs croatia
pic @twitter

On the hour mark, Dejan Lovren mistimed his header from an in-swinging free-kick, allowing Martinez to gratefully deflect it away from the immediate danger while his defenders cleaned up the mess.

Messi once more was the star of Argentina’s third goal of the game, as he manoeuvred around Gvardiol once more before slipping the ball across for Alvarez to tap in and all but seal the victory.

The majority-Argentine crowd applauded Luka Modric’s withdrawal in the final ten minutes as their team nearly added a fourth goal when Alexis Mac Allister was almost accidentally set up by Paulo Dybala, who eventually threaded him through but missed the target with his final shot. After five minutes of stoppage time, Croatia’s hopes of reaching the final were dashed, and Argentina’s advancement to the championship match was confirmed.


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