The most clinical of crushes and snatches saved Lionel Messi on target for his date with fate.
With a 3-0 victory at the Lusail Stadium, Argentina advanced to Sunday’s World Cup final and broke Croatian hearts with the most clinical of smash-and-grabs. Lionel Messi remained on course for his meeting with fate. On Tuesday, Argentina, who were energized and orchestrated by a majestic Messi, will face either Morocco or France.
“What we have encountered throughout the World Cup has been inconceivable. “We are going to play the final. Which is what we wanted,” declared Messi, who had previously been named the best player in the world a record seven times. “I couldn’t say if it was my best World Cup because it has been a long time since I’ve been feeling motivated. This group has no brains. We will participate in everything and play another last.
Croatia made a small contribution, but it was only a brief cameo. It turned out that their biggest victory had come against Brazil. In the quarterfinals when they won on penalties and defeated the favorites going into the tournament. They never prevailed against Argentina with the similar technique they utilized to befuddle the Brazilians. Croatia’s tightly controlled possession play was a little looser and raggeder on Tuesday night. That will happen when your legs are tired.
Therefore, despite Croatia’s earlier dominance and greater possession, the South American team fell behind 2-0 at halftime thanks to two classic sucker punches. Argentina was prepared to leap at the perplexing play and tight triangles Croatia was attempting. All that was required of them was a slight sway. It was a cruel irony that Croatia’s inspirational playmaker Luka Modric lost possession and let Argentina in after the team had appeared to be the stronger team for the majority of the game’s first half.
Julian Alvarez was unobstructed on the final crossing of route one. As he sprinted toward the goal with his ears cocked, almost as quickly as the spider camera that was following his run from the stadium’s roof, he chipped Dominik Livakovic before being flattened by the goalkeeper. Daniele Orsato, the referee, booked Mateo Kovacic and Livakovic for complaining before Messi stepped to the spot kick. It appeared that Livakovic could not have prevented the striker from clattering.
The net grew larger as Argentina’s players surrounded their captain, and the raucous Lusail stadium grew to capacity. When Messi Argentina scored a goal, surpassing Gabriel Batistuta’s previous World Cup record of 10, another record was set. Alvarez broke free once more five minutes later, continuing a pattern of losing possession that Croatia had already been rocked by.
After two unsuccessful attempts at handling the ball, Alvarez continued his run before slapping the ball past Livakovic to double Argentina’s lead. Argentina increased their lead and appeared to be faster and hungrier after another breakaway by Messi in the 70th minute. Before passing the ball back to Alvarez from the byline, he careered down the right side.
Twisted defender Josko Gvardiol to the left and right, and then screeched to a halt. For the third goal, Alvarez calmly lobbed the ball in from close range, igniting celebration in the blue-and-white section of the stadium. Even after the final horn blew, this elation persisted. “On the field, we are not lost; we know what to do at all times.” We were not desperate because we had to run from one side to the other during this match.