FIFA World Cup 2022

AL DAYEN: Julian Alvarez’s brace and Lionel Messi’s goal help Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 here at Lusail Stadium to enter the final of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Midfielder Leandro Paredes and defender Nicolas Tagliafico were brought into Argentina’s starting line-up.
Croatia started off aggressively getting a corner in the 16th minute where Dejan Lovren’s header from a difficult angle on the left was too high with the help of Josip Juranovic’s cross.

Lionel Scaloni’s men made their first aggressive move in the 25th minute when Enzo Fernandez’s right footed shot from outside the box was saved in the bottom right corner coming from the assist of Alexis Mac Allister.

Six minutes later Croatia’s Ivan Perisic’s right-footed shot from the left side of the box went high as Mateo Kovacic’s assist went in vain. In the 32nd minute, Dominik Livakovic of Croatia conceded a penalty corner. Livakovic and Kovacic both got yellow cards and in the 34th minute Messi converted it to give Argentina a 1-0 lead

This appearance was Lionel Messi’s 25th equalling Lothar Matthaus’ record in FIFA World Cup. In the 39th minute, the Argentines doubled their lead as Julian Alvarez scored a goal to give his side a 2-0 lead. Argentine scored almost for the third time when Messi’s cross helped Alexis Mac Allister take a header from the left side of the six-yard box to save in the centre of the goal.

Argentina went into half-time with a 2-0 lead. In the second half too Lionel Messi-led side’s domination continued as in the 49th minute Rodrigo De Paul’s assist helped Leandro Paredes’ right-footed shot from outside the box was saved in the centre of the goal.

In the 69th minute, Messi’s brilliant assist helped Alvarez score his second goal of the match and give the two-time champions a commanding 3-0 lead.

Argentina went into full-time with a 3-0 lead and hence entered the final of FIFA World Cup 2022. With this win, the two-time champions will be facing either France or Morocco who will clash in the second semi-final while the loss for Croatia have ended their campaign and they will now be facing the loser of the second semi-final in the third-place match.

Argentina had only 39 per cent of possession while 2018 champions Croatia had 61 per cent. But the two-time champions had seven shots on target in comparison to Croatia who had only 2.(ANI)