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Friday, January 27, 2023

FIFA World Cup: Alvarez Double Helps Argentina Crush Croatia 3-0

Messi scored from a penalty spot before Alvarez's magic sealed the win

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

QATAR: Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez scored for Argentina to reach the World Cup final, where they defeated Croatia 3-0 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. On Sunday, they will take on the winner of Morocco or France.

After Alvarez was awarded a controversial penalty for colliding with Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, Messi scored from the penalty spot with a shot into the top corner (34) against the flow of play.

The 35-year-old scored that goal, surpassing Gabriel Batistuta to become Argentina’s top World Cup finals goal scorer with 11 goals.

After Alvarez took the ball from his half and doubled their lead (39), Croatia collapsed and gave up another goal five minutes later from an Argentina counterattack due to comical defending.

To ensure that the game was out of reach, Messi took matters into his own hands and beat Josko Gvardiol before passing the ball to Alvarez for Argentina’s third goal.

Argentina last appeared in the World Cup final in Brazil in 2014, where Germany defeated them. Since Diego Maradona led his team to victory in Mexico in 1986, Argentina has not won the trophy.

Messi shined at the Lusail Iconic Stadium while waiting for his teammates to come to life while Croatia dominated the first half.

After the half-hour mark, Alvarez won a penalty kick, turning the game upside down. Livakovic brought Alvarez down after the Argentine pushed the ball past the goalkeeper, and Croatia was caught out at the back by a straightforward ball over the top from Argentina.

As he had done against the Netherlands earlier in the round, Messi stepped up to the spot and struck a powerful shot into the top corner to give Argentina the lead.

Alvarez broke through two challenges in the area after taking the ball from his half before putting a composed finish past Livakovic after Croatia appeared to lose their heads after looking strong in the first half.

Croatia brought in Bruno Petkovic to change the outcome, who scored an extra-time equaliser in stoppage time in Brazil’s quarterfinal penalty shootout victory last week. However, Messi had other plans.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward turned the 20-year-old inside out and cut it back to Alvarez from the byline against Gvardiol down the right flank to give himself one last chance to win the only trophy that has eluded him.

Also Read: Argentina and Netherlands in Trouble: FIFA to Inquire about Both Teams

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