|Argentina Survive Late Drama To Beat Netherlands On Penalties, Book Semi-final Date With Croatia|
Argentina will face Croatia within the World Cup semi-finals after beating the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties following an exciting 2-2 extra-time draw on an evening of excessive World Cup drama. Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was the hero within the shootout after the South Americans let a two-goal lead slip within the closing minutes of regular time after Lionel Messi had put them on the point of the final 4. Wout Weghorst scored two dramatic late objectives, the second from a remarkably creative free-kick within the eleventh minute of stoppage time, because the Netherlands fought again with seven minutes of regular time remaining to drive extra-time.
Argentine had seemed effectively set to succeed in the final 4 after Messi conjured up a superb help for Nahuel Molina and a medical aim from the penalty spot.
Just hours after Brazil and Neymar crashed out of the match on penalties to the Croats, Argentina survived to maintain South American curiosity within the competitors.
The Lusail Stadium felt like residence for Argentina with at the very least three quarters of the 88,235 crowd backing the South American group and solely a smattering of orange shirts within the crowd.
But all have been handled to an exciting late evening drama that lastly reached its conclusion simply earlier than 1 a.m. native time.
After a cagey begin, Messi produced a second of inspiration, ten minutes earlier than the interval, to create the opener for his group.
Offering no clues of his intent, he break up open the Dutch defence with a chic reverse cross between Daley Blind and Virgil van Dijk into the trail of Nahuel Molina who timed his run completely and slotted residence with the skin of his foot.
Dutch coach Luis van Gaal responded on the break by making a double change, bringing Teun Koopmeiners and Steven Berghuis on into midfield instead of Bergwijn and Marten De Roon.
But whereas the Dutch noticed loads of the ball their play remained too predictable and guileless.
– Free-kick genius –
The momentum was with the Argentines and it was no shock after they prolonged their lead within the 73rd minute after Denzel Dumphries tripped Marcos Acuna within the field and Messi made no mistake from the spot, burying the ball within the nook.
The Dutch, although, weren’t about to exit with a whimper — pulling a aim again, seven minutes from the top, with an angled glancing header from Weghorst from a Berghuis cross from deep.
Ten minutes of added time raised Dutch hopes and – tempers with a few mass confontations – and they moved Van Dijk up entrance and pumped balls int the field.
Deep into added time, a kind of excessive balls, led to a free-kick simply outdoors the world.
Koopmeiners feigned an anticipated shot earlier than as an alternative, to everybody’s shock, taking part in a brief cross into Weghorst, who twisted previous Enzo Fernandez and poked residence the equaliser.
The wild celebrations over, the sport went into extra-time and curiously turned becalmed, solely sparking again into life late within the second interval.
Lautaro Martinez noticed a robust goalbound shot deflected off Van Djik after which one other deflected effort, from Fernandez, flew simply over the bar.
Lautaro then compelled a diving save out of Noppert and Messi screwed a shot huge and solely the publish saved out a long-range drive from Fernandez.
After all that, it was penalties.
Van Dijk was up first and Martinez dived to his proper to avoid wasting. Messi adopted and made no mistake earlier than Martinez saved once more from Berghuis.
This time there was no method again for the Dutch as, even regardless of a miss from Fernandez, Argentina held on to win the shoot-out and head into the semi-finals.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)
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