Lionel Messi and Argentina are heading to the World Cup final after defeating Croatia 3-0 in a dominant performance. The South American powerhouse will now play in their sixth World Cup final, with their last victory coming in 1986.
Messi and Argentina defeats Croatia 3-0 to reach 2022 World Cup final
The match started cautiously as both teams played conservatively, looking to avoid making any early mistakes. However, Argentina took control after half an hour and never looked back. In the 32nd minute, Julián Álvarez went one-on-one with Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livaković, who brought Álvarez down and won a penalty kick for Argentina. Messi then stepped up and calmly scored the penalty, giving his team a 1-0 lead.
Álvarez wasn’t finished yet, however. In the 39th minute, he led a counterattack and dribbled through three Croatian defenders before lofting the ball past Livaković to give Argentina a 2-0 lead at halftime. Croatia struggled to create chances throughout the match, with only two of their twelve shots on target.
In the second half, Messi and Álvarez combined again to score Argentina’s third goal. In the 69th minute, Messi displayed some incredible ball-handling against Croatian defender Joško Gvardiol on the right side of the goal. He then found Álvarez, who powered the ball into the net for the 3-0 lead.
This win means Argentina has lost only one of their last 41 international games, with 28 wins and 12 draws. Meanwhile, Croatia, who were runners-up in the 2018 tournament, had lost just one of their last 12 World Cup matches.
The victory was also a personal triumph for Messi, who scored his fifth goal of the tournament and assisted on another. This puts him ahead of France’s Kylian Mbappé in the Golden Boot competition and on track to break more records in the final. This was also Messi’s 25th World Cup match, tying him with Lothar Matthäus for the most all-time FIFA appearances.
When is the World Cup final?
The World Cup 2022 final is set to take place on December 18. Argentina has advanced to the final after a thrilling win against Croatia in the semifinals. They will now face the winner of the semifinal match between France and Morocco, which will be played on Sunday.
The Argentine team has been in top form throughout the tournament, thanks in large part to the outstanding performance of their star player, Lionel Messi. Messi has scored a staggering five goals in the World Cup so far, leading his team to victory in several difficult matches.