FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Argentina stun Netherland in dramatic penalty shootout win by (3-4 on pens) and set up Croatia in semi’s

Argentina defeated the Netherlands in a penalty shootout, 4-3, to advance to the World Cup final against Croatia in the last four. Argentina appeared to be on course for the semi-finals after Nahuel Molina opened the scoring with his first goal for his country, and Lionel Messi added a second from the penalty spot with less than 20 minutes remaining. Wout Weghorst, a substitute, latched on to a delicious Steven Berghuis cross to head the Netherlands back into the game, before poking home from a brilliantly worked free-kick in the 11th minute of injury time.

Argentina substitute Lautaro Martinez hit the post in the final minute of extra time, but with the score tied at 2-2, the quarter-final match went to penalties. The Dutch faced a mountain to climb after Emiliano Martinez saved the first two penalties from Virgil van Dijk and Berghuis, with Lautaro Martinez scoring the decisive spot-kick to ensure Argentina won the shootout 4-3. At halftime, the Netherlands made a double substitution, removing a distraught Bergwijn and Martin de Roon and replacing them with Teun Koopmeiners and Berghuis. The Dutch, on the other hand, were unable to raise their intensity levels, with Messi coming close from a free-kick on the edge of the area, his effort landing on the roof of the right-hand corner of the net.

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Argentina Stuns Netherlands in Penalty Shootout

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Argentina stun Netherland in dramatic penalty shootout win by (3-4 on pens) and set up Croatia in semi's-1

With less than 20 minutes remaining, Argentina appeared to have beaten their opponents after a clumsy Denzel Dumfries challenge on Marcos Acuna resulted in a penalty. Messi made no mistake from the penalty spot, sending Noppert completely the wrong way before slotting the ball into the corner. However, the Dutch were rewarded in the 83rd minute when Berghuis crossed from the right and Weghorst headed the ball past Martinez’s dive.

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Argentina in Semi’s Against Croatia

The Argentinians maintained their lead until 11 minutes into stoppage time when Koopmeiners cleverly reversed a free-kick and found Weghorst free to put the ball past Martinez and level the game. Argentina was taken aback by the sudden change in the first period of extra time, but recovered to pepper the Dutch goal with shots, with Enzo Hernandez coming closest to scoring with a rasping effort that hit the post. Argentina gained momentum heading into the shootout thanks to the late surge, and Martinez added to it by saving spot-kicks from Van Dijk and Berghuis.

Also Read: France 3-1 Poland in the last-16 clash

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Argentina stun Netherland in dramatic penalty shootout win by (3-4 on pens) and set up Croatia in semi's-2

Argentina is among the four best in the world because they show that they know how to play every game with the same desire and intensity,” says Messi. A lot of joy and happiness. We practiced on penalties all year, and then you screw it up,” Louis van Gaal says of the shootout loss. It’s a shame. As a coach, I want to have complete control over everything. That’s why I asked the players at their club to take a penalty, which they all did. You won’t be able to win if you miss two.

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Van Gaal says they play good football, but what he did was put on tall people and hit long balls,” Messi says of Dutch tactics and referee performance. I don’t want to discuss the referee because you can’t be truthful. If you talk, you are sanctioned; FIFA must consider this; they cannot put a referee like that in these situations; they cannot put a referee who isn’t qualified. I still can’t believe I saw that game. That was a ridiculous and incredible football game that encapsulated the theatre and everything that the beautiful game has to offer.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Argentina stun Netherland in dramatic penalty shootout win by (3-4 on pens) and set up Croatia in semi's-3

Also Read: Netherlands 3-1 USA in the last-16 clash

There were times when the football wasn’t great, and other times when it was phenomenal.” The energy was incredible. The atmosphere was electric even before the game began. The stadium was buzzing with electricity. The official attendance was slightly more than 88,000, but there were only 1,000 Dutch inside the stadium. It was cat and mouse before Messi’s moment of magic with his ball for Molina. After the penalty, you thought the game was over. What was I thinking? It became irritable and feisty.

Also Read: Argentina beat Poland 2-0 to set up last 16 clashes with Australia

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Argentina stun Netherland in dramatic penalty shootout win by (3-4 on pens) and set up Croatia in semi's-4

Van Dijk has put up a front with Koopmeiners and Weghorst, who scored a great header to put the Dutch back in it.” But who could have predicted what happened next? I was watching people go through mental purgatory after that unthinkable short free-kick-leveled thing. Even when Argentina was winning 2-1, people were crying. But they found energy and willpower in the shootout. There is clearly no love lost between these two parties.

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There was even a tetchiness when the referee did the coin toss to determine which side we had the shootout on.” It was insane, crazy, and fantastic. Argentina’s fans must find their voice in the semi-finals, as they were instrumental in the team’s victory.

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