Argentina’s Julian Alvarez scored twice and earned a Lionel Messi penalty as they swept Croatia 3-0 on Tuesday. world cup In the final they will face defending champions France or Morocco at the weekend.
While all eyes were on Argentina captain Lionel Messi and his bid to win a major trophy for the fifth time, it was Alvarez who stole the show, winning penalties and scoring once in each half, including in the After a fantastic 50m run.
Messi became Messi’s all-time World Cup goalscorer with 11 goals after he converted a penalty in the 34th minute after Alvarez was brought down by goalkeeper Dominic Livakovic. The Manchester City striker, 22, has made things his way. Add the second yourself after five minutes.
The pair combined perfectly in the 69th, with Alvarez scoring his second goal after Messi’s mesmerizing drive and flawless cutback ensured Argentina reached their sixth World Cup final.
Argentina, most recently a finalist in 2014, will be crowned world champions for the third time after victories in 1978 and 1986.
Winning the world title also elevated seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi to the mythical status enjoyed by the late Diego Maradona in Argentina.
On Sunday, they face defending champions France or surprise Morocco, the first Arab nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals, on Wednesday.
2018 runners-up Croatia wanted possession from the start, as they did against Brazil in the quarter-finals, and passed the ball well, but struggled to find their way into the Argentinian box.
The South Americans, who have now won every World Cup semi-final they have played in, were rallied by fans in the stands of the Lusail Stadium, far outnumbering Croatia, which was the venue for Sunday’s display.
They roared when Alvarez had the best chance in the 25th minute with a low shot that was brought down inside the box and awarded a penalty.
Messi tied Germany’s Lothar Matthaus for the joint record holder for most World Cup appearances in his 25th game after Croatia’s assistant coach Mario Mandzukic was dismissed for dissent. After being sent off, Messi beat Livakovic to give Argentina the lead.
But the best was yet to come and Alvarez, nicknamed ‘The Spider’, received a pass from Messi in his own half and sprinted 50 meters into the Croatia penalty area thanks to two lucky rallies and some sloppiness defense, before scoring the second goal.
Livakovic, who led Croatia to the last four with saves from penalties against Japan and Brazil, managed to stop Alexis McAllister’s header at half-time, which could have been Kill the game after 45 minutes.
However, unlike their heroic comeback against title favorites Brazil in extra time, Croatia had nowhere to go this time around.
Argentina are in no mood to squander their two-goal advantage as they have done against the Netherlands in the past eight games, and they haven’t conceded.
Alvarez shattered all lingering hopes for Croatia in the 69th, picking in the penalty area after Messi slid past defender Josko Gvardio on the right. teammate, who blocked the exit of the championship in the Balkan country.