Messi and Julián Álvarez put Argentina in the final
La Albiceleste beat a poor Croatia thanks to the goals from the City striker and the ’10’
MADRID, Dec. 13 (.) –
Argentina achieved the first ticket to the grand final of Qatar 2022 after beating Croatia with solvency (3-0) on Tuesday at the Lusail Stadium, thanks to Leo Messi and Julián Álvarez, author of a double, after a match that Lionel Scaloni dominated from start to finish against a rival who saw their options reduced to a minimum.
La Albiceleste took advantage of two errors by the Croatian team from set pieces to seal the clash before the break. Julián Álvarez became the man of the match, after forcing the penalty of the first goal and scoring two goals, with the permission of a Leo Messi, who once again gave a master class leading his team’s game and guiding his team to the which will be his sixth World Cup final.
It was not the match that was expected, due to the merit of the South American champion, who left no room for doubt in this case and who took complete revenge for the heavy defeat against the Croatians four years ago. The current runner-up in the world did not find a way to do damage and this time Livakovic could not be decisive.
Thus, the team led by Lionel Scaloni complied and will be next Sunday in the final in Doha, which will be played on the same stage, to try to win what would be their third World Cup title, after those achieved in 1978 and 1986. Waiting Knowing a rival between France and Morocco, the Argentines, with this win, presented their candidacy for the title.
Without the initial score typical of a match of this magnitude, both teams took to the field wanting to demonstrate from the first minute. Thus, although the duo formed by Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic threatened to take over the clash, it was the Albiceleste that struck first. Livakovic brought down Julián Álvarez in the area and Daniele Orsato without hesitation pointed out the eleven meters. Messi did not fail and after a masterful execution, he scored his eleventh goal in the World Cups, thus beating Gabriel Batistuta.
However, Argentino was not satisfied with the income obtained and returned to the charge, looking for the seams of a Croatian defense that seemed to be leaking. Thus, Julián Álvarez took advantage of a poorly taken corner kick by Zlatko Dalic’s men to mount the counterattack and, after going around the entire field, beat Livakovic after also taking advantage of a certain weakness of the Balkan defense. Horrible minutes from the current world runner-up that the two-time world champion knew how to take advantage of to open a gap on the scoreboard.
Argentina were able to extend their advantage before going to the changing rooms, but a great intervention by the Croatian goalkeeper prevented Mac Allister’s header from slipping between the three posts. With the feeling of playing against a team that was emotionally knocked out, the Albiceleste turned their game into their rival field, but Croatia managed to arrive ‘alive’ at half-time.
But after passing through the changing rooms, the same script continued, with a very vertical Argentine team that, although more withdrawn back, also scored the first chance of the second half. Enzo Fernández and Messi teamed up inside the area, but the ’10’ ended up crashing his left foot into the hands of the Croatian goalkeeper. Good minutes from Scaloni’s men who, despite the lead on the scoreboard, did not give up the ball and kept trying to extend their income.
As a result of his insistence, the Copa América champion once again found the goal prize, thus ending the clash with 20 minutes to go. Julián Álvarez saw the door again after some genius from Messi who, after getting away from his defender on the baseline, put a ball on a tray so that the ‘Spider’ only had to push it.
From there, the party in the Lusail stands seemed to move onto the pitch, where the Argentines, with their place in the final already secured, dominated the last moments of the match at will. With hardly any opposition from the Croatian team, Dalic’s men put an end to their more than meritorious World Cup adventure.
–RESULT: ARGENTINA, 3 – CROATIA, 0 (2-0, at halftime).
ARGENTINA: ‘Dibu’ Martinez; Molina (Foyth, min.86), Cuti, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Enzo, Paredes (Martínez, min.62), Mac Allister (Correa, min.86), De Paul (Palacios, min.74); Messi and Julián Álvarez (Dybala, min.74).
CROATIA: Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa (Orsic, min.46); Brozovic (Petkovic, min.50), Kovacic, Modric (Majer, min.81), Perisic, Pasalic (Vlasic, min.46); Kramaric (Livaja, min.72).
1-0 min. 34: Messi, penalty.
2-0 min. 39: Julian Alvarez.
3-0 min. 69: Julian Alvarez.
–REFEREE: Daniele Orsato (ITA). He admonished Romero (min.68) and Otamendi (min.71), for Argentina, and Livakovic (min.32) and Kovacic (min.32), for Croatia.