Argentina survives World Cup scare as Emiliano Martinez, Lionel Messi shine; set up semi-final clash with Croatia

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Legendary Lionel Messi was the star of the second quarter-final of the Fifa World Cup as the South American giants defeated the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties to set up a semi-final clash against Croatia. This was after Croatia stunned Brazil 4-2 on penalties in the first quarter-final, knocking the former World Champions out of the World Cup.
Emiliano Martinez

In the second quarter-final, Nahuel Molina gave Argentina in the first half after he was brilliantly assisted by Lionel Messi in the 35th minute of the match. Messi doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute of the game.

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Wout Weghorst of the Netherlands reduced the gap by scoring with a stunning header in the 83rd minute of the match.

The proceedings became very ugly towards the dying moments of the match as Dutch players seated on the bench rushed to attack Argentinians. However, a swift intervention by the referee helped defuse the situation.

10 minutes were added to the match as additional time. With one minute remaining in the injury time, Argentina’s German Pezzella conceded a free kick right at 20 yards from the Argentina goal. There was absolutely no need to commit that foul.

Steven Berghuis of the Netherlands pretended to shoot but instead cheekily rolled a low pass into the mixer. Wout Weghorst made no mistake in rolling the ball into the Argentinian net. With the score level 2-2, the match went into extra time.

However, the match remained tied at 2-2 even after 120 minutes of the match. During the spot kicks, Emiliano Martinez was superb as he saved the first two strikes from the Dutch players. This made Argetinians’ task easier as they cruised home 4-3, keeping Messi’s dreams of winning a World Cup alive.