Fifa World Cup: Argentina to face Croatia in semi-final match

They beat Netherlands in penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw



Argentina's forward Lionel Messi celebrates after qualifying to the next round after defeating the Netherlands in the penalty shoot-out of the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-final football. — AFP
Argentina's forward Lionel Messi celebrates after qualifying to the next round after defeating the Netherlands in the penalty shoot-out of the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-final football. — AFP

By Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha

Published: Sat 10 Dec 2022, 1:56 AM

Last updated: Sat 10 Dec 2022, 2:43 AM

Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties 4-3 on Friday to reach the World Cup semifinals after an engrossing and ill-tempered quarterfinal battle ended in a 2-2 draw at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.

The two-time world champions will face Croatia in the semifinals.

In a scrappy game, Lionel Messi scored a 73rd minute goal from the penalty spot and set up Nahuel Molina's first half goal as Argentina were just minutes away from winning the match in regulation time.

But the Netherlands hit back in the 83rd minute when Wout Weghorst scored with a crisp header from a cross.

Weghorst then scored his second goal of the night in the 10th minute of injury time from a free kick to take the game to the extra time.

In the nerve-racking final minutes of the match, tackles kept flying from both sides, even leading to ugly altercations between players.

But it was the South Americans that showed the desire to find the winning goal in extra-time, especially in the second half, creating some great scoring opportunities.

Lautaro Martinez, who scored the match-winning penalty in the shootout, came closest to finding the match-winner in the dying minutes of the contest, but his shot hit the goalpost.

Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved the first two shots in the shootout from the Dutch as Argentina went on to clinch the nail-biting encounter when Inter Milan striker Martinez scored from the decisive penalty kick.

It was Argentina’s second straight penalty shootout win over the Netherlands in a World Cup game, following their victory over the Europeans in the semifinal of the 2014 World Cup.

Earlier, Croatia stunned Brazil on penalties to reach the semifinals after their quarterfinal ended in a 1-1 draw.

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