NEWS Lionel Messi’s last dance dream lives on as Argentina beat Croatia to reach World Cup final

Lionel Messi's last dance dream lives on as Argentina beat Croatia to reach World Cup final


Lionel Messi’s lifelong dream of leading Argentina to World Cup glory will live on until the final day of the 2022 Qatar Olympics as pull Pewter Beat a tired Croatia 3-0 in Tuesday’s semi-final.

Two first-half goals, the first from Messi’s penalty and the second from Julian Alvarez’s solo strike, saw Argentina dominate at half-time, while Croatia It seems like there is never any way to recover from it.

Following Messi’s superb assist, Alvarez sealed the victory with Argentina’s third goal of the second half, giving the South American side and their 35-year-old captain a chance to exorcise the demons of their 2014 final defeat, while also Ensured the victory of the Argentine team. First World Cup title since 1986.

Messi had been feeling his left hamstring for part of the game, though you wouldn’t guess he was bewildered by one of the tournament’s best defenders, Josko Guevah, with his labyrinthine, twisting runs. There was any discomfort in the way Dior created Argentina’s third goal.

As Messi enters the twilight of his career, his almost superhuman strength is undoubtedly waning, but the little magician is still capable of providing moments of genius when his country needs him most.

His goal against Mexico in the group stage, his assist against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals and his overall performance in Tuesday’s semi-final provided more memorable moments for a nation of 45 million people, who Think he is not far from God.

According to the Argentine embassy in Qatar, an estimated 40,000 Argentine fans traveled to Qatar for the World Cup, and it sounds like they were all in the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday night.

As the clock ticked into stoppage time and victory was sealed, Argentina’s bench and coaching staff began to join in the rhythmic chants and chants blaring from the stands.

After the final whistle, Argentina’s players stood in front of a giant wall of blue and white jerseys and received praise from their adoring fans.

It’s almost impossible to believe this is the same team that lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in their group opening game three weeks ago – a performance so flat and uninspired that it left some wondering if Argentina would make it out. Group.

Now, whether against France or Morocco, Messi will have one last chance to lift the trophy he most craves.

Lionel Messi and Croatia’s Luka Modric, both captains who led their national teams to defeat in the World Cup final, will be their last chances for football’s most coveted award.

Neither side is a title favorite ahead of the 2022 Qatar Olympics, but Croatia stunned the world four years ago by reaching the final and did so again in Qatar’s last round, knocking out the pre-tournament champions on penalties. Big favourites, Brazil, showed sheer grit and determination.

Modric is Croatia’s star player and a legend in the small Balkan nation, battle-hardened in the biggest competitions and, alongside Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic, arguably Qatar’s best player. One of the good midfielders.

Luka Modric failed to lead Croatia to its second consecutive World Cup final.

Likewise, Argentina improved as the game went on – though hardly worse after the loss to Saudi Arabia.

The team now appears to believe the script was written for Messi’s final dance that ended in glory on Sunday, barely recognizable from the team that played that day.

Despite Croatia’s slightly better start to both teams, the players played as much time as they could against Qatar, scoring in the penalty shoot-out after two exhausting extra-times. Victory over Japan and Brazil.

Their tired legs seemed to show early on at the Lusail Stadium, and even a mistake at this level could prove costly.

That proved to be the case for Croatia, where, surprisingly, Modric conceded the ball in midfield and Gvardio failed to track down Alvarez, leaving Dominic Livakovic – Croatia in the Qatar’s two penalty shootouts – a one-on-one exposure against the Manchester City striker. .

Alvarez passed the ball to Livakovic, who was brought down by Livakovic’s outstretched leg, and Messi made no mistake to convert the resulting penalty, scoring the ball high and wide. Goal top corner.

It was Messi’s 11th World Cup goal, making him surpass Gabriel Batistuta as Argentina’s all-time top scorer in a World Cup final.

The game soon looked as if it was moving away from Croatia, with Alvarez making it 2-0 after just five minutes.

Argentine players celebrated with the fans throughout.

A poor cross from Bornasousa in the box sparked the Argentinian counter-attack, with Alvarez running three-quarters of the pitch and burying the ball in Liva after two unexpected jumps inside the box. Covic’s side.

Only a stunning reflex save from Livakovic prevented Croatia from deteriorating further before half-time, but even for a side accustomed to footballing miracles, it took something special to get away from this one. To win a round in the game.

The Croatians made little progress in the second half, however, with a combination of tired attacking and tenacious Argentine defense not stopping the execution until the 70th minute.

Messi flicked the ball deep to leave Gwadio ragged before finding Alvarez inside the box to the delight of the Argentinian fans inside the Lusail Stadium.

Argentina, considered by many to be inferior to other World Cup contenders, should not have reached the final in Qatar, but a determined and single-minded Messi helped secure it.

Related posts

NEWS 49ers’ emergency quarterback, not QB, may be forced to play in NFC Championship game vs. Eagles


NEWS 2022 bowl game schedule, college football scores, live updates today: BYU vs. SMU in New Mexico bowl game


NEWS Tafur: In a year where Derek Carr finally proves it, Raiders QB falls short in Mark Davis’ eyes