Argentina easily beats Croatia to enter the Qatar 2022 final

The Argentine football team reaches the World Cup final after beating Croatia 3-0 with a goal and two assists from Lionel Messi for a brace from Julián Álvarez, the two great figures of a team that will return to fight for the title after eight years.

Argentina, world champions in 1978 and 1986, will define the title on Sunday with the winner of the semi-final which France and Morocco will play on Wednesday.

Messi opened the scoring after 34 minutes from a penalty and then set up Álvarez for a brace after 39 and 69 minutes respectively.

“I hear many things, it’s very exciting to see all this, the people, the families, during the World Cup, it was something incredible. We will play the last match, which is what we wanted,” Messi said, as reported Reuters.

“We will play another final now to enjoy all of this,” he added.

With his fifth goal in Qatar, the “Pulce” overtook Gabriel Batistuta as the “Albiceleste” top scorer at the World Cup with 11 goals.

Victory against the former runners-up will put the Argentine side in the title race after eight years, when they lost to Germany in Brazil in 2014.

In a match played at the Lusail stadium in front of 88,000 fans, Argentina and Croatia shared control of the ball in midfield from the start, without despairing for the first goal, in line with the style displayed throughout the tournament.

The first approach to goal was made by the Argentina national team in the 24th minute with a long-range shot by Enzo Fernández which required goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

After that attempt, Fernández opened up the Croatian defense with a deep pass which resulted in a Livakovic infringement on Álvarez and a penalty sanctioned by Italian referee Daniele Orsato.

Messi took responsibility against the hero goalkeeper on penalties in previous rounds against Japan and Croatia, and got the better of him with a high, hard, corner shot.

Argentina took advantage of their rival’s confusion to score Álvarez’s second goal on the counterattack, following a pass from Messi and a run from behind the midfield line.

“I started there, when I grabbed it I saw that several teammates were crossing but (the ball) stung me a lot (…) luckily it stayed with me and the goal came which gave us peace of mind” Alvarez said.

Croatia tried to react in the second phase, taking more risks to seek the discount, but left space on the pitch for the attacks of the Argentine national team.

Fernández had a good chance in the 55th minute but wasted it. Two minutes later, Livakovic blocks a shot from Messi.

The third goal that defined the semi-final came in the 69th minute from Álvarez, after a brilliant play from Messi in the right sector.

With the 3-0 lead, Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni completed the five changes so that his replacement players add minutes before the final, while Zlatko Dalic replaced the veteran Luka Modric in the 81st minute, which was widely applauded by the fans Argentinians.

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