Posted: Friday, December 9, 2022. 4:22 pm CST.
Photo Credit: FIFA
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Lautaro Martínez converted the final penalty kick of ten to give Argentina a 4-3 penalty kicks win over the Netherlands after a 2-2 regulation time draw at the Lusail Stadium in Al Daayen.
Argentina and the Netherlands put on a brilliant show that culminated with Martínez’s goal causing wild celebrations by Argentine followers in the Lusail Stadium and worldwide.
Argentina gained their ticket to the Semifinals and will now face Croatia on Tuesday December 13.
Goalkeeper Emiliano ‘Dibu’ Martinez stopped the first two shots going first to his right and then to his left. Argentina then scored four of five from FIFA Player of the Match Lionel Messi, Leandro Paredes, Gonzalo Montiel, and Martínez. The fourth taker Enzo Fernández missed.
After misses by Virgil Van Dijk and Steven Berghuis, the next three kickers, namely Teun Koopmeiners, Wout Weghorst, and Luuk de Jong, all make good their target for the Netherlands, but Martínez’s goal thwarted their efforts.
Argentina had taken the lead in the 35th minute on a goal by Nahuel Molina off an assist by Messi. The Argentine captain, who has s superb game, made a brilliant play cutting through the middle making the perfect pass to Nahuel Molina who had time to change the ball from one foot to the other before smashing it into the net beyond the grasp of goalkeeper Andries Noppert.
Messi then converted a penalty kick in the 73rd minute with his left foot going to the right side of the goal defended by goalkeeper Andries Noppert.
The goal is Messi’s 95th in 170 international games for Argentina, hisn tenth in the World Cup. He now has the same number of goals as Gabriel Batistuta, as all-time goalscorers in the World Cup.
The match was very tight with both sides being rather even until the Argentina goals. However, the Netherlands never gave up and got a brace from Wout Weghorst that sent the match into extra time. Weghorst first made his presence felt on a header goal in the 83rd minute. Then, when time was dying out, Weghorst converted after a free kick in the 90’+11’ to force extra time.
The extra time was anti-climactic with both teams seeming to tire somewhat forcing the penalty kicks drama that ended in Messi’s Argentina going through to the Semifinals.
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