Argentina in semifinals: Netherlands mocked on penalties after comeback

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A knockout quarterfinal, again decided on penalties.

Argentina vs. Croatia in the semifinals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, following the incredible Albiceleste victory in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands. Regular and extra time ended 2-2, with the Oranje salvaging two goals in the last quarter of an hour and equalizing in the 11th minute of added time. The penalties, however, rewarded Lionel Messi and his teammates: Lautaro Martinez was decisive.

The match starts immediately with very high pace, and first De Paul looks for a goal for Argentina, then Alvarez almost leads Oranje goalkeeper Noppert to the omelet. Better the Albiceleste, then, although Bergwijn tries for the Netherlands. Unlocking the score, however, is Molina in the 35th minute, thanks to a sensational assist from Messi. And the latter signed the double in the 73rd minute, converting a penalty won by Acuña on a foul by Dumfries.

It seems over, but it is not. In fact, less than twenty minutes from the 90th minute, Holland was reborn, thanks mainly to Weghorst. Sent on by Louis van Gaal in the 78th minute, it was he who signed the goal of hope with a header in the 83rd minute. Another very long recovery came and even in the 101′ Weghorst again found the incredible equalizer in a scrum, on the development of a free kick kicked by Atalanta’s Koopmeiners.

Extra time came, which did not change the result (despite a great chance for Lautaro Martinez and Enzo Fernandez’s post). In penalties, then, the Netherlands starts as badly as it could: veteran van Dijk and Berghius miss, exalting the reflexes of Emiliano Martinez. Messi, Paredes and Montiel scored instead. Impeccable Koopmeiners, Weghorst and de Jong, but it was too late: after Enzo Fernandez’s mistake, it was Lautaro Martinez who sent Argentina to the semifinals from the penalty spot.

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