FIFA World Cup 2022: How Lionel Messi’s Argentina reached the ultimate vs France | Soccer Information

Pre-tournament favourites Argentina stumbled on the first FIFA World Cup 2022 hurdle earlier than getting their act collectively to storm into one other ultimate, led by their inspirational skipper Lionel Messi who has moved to the highest of the match’s scoring charts. Eight years in the past, Messi dragged Argentina to the World Cup ultimate solely to lose to Germany however this time he has a supporting forged and a tactically astute coach in Lionel Scaloni who has guided them to the showpiece match in Qatar.

The next is Argentina’s path to the ultimate


Argentina got here into the match on the again of a 36-match unbeaten run and the very last thing Scaloni’s aspect anticipated was to endure what was statistically the most important shock in World Cup historical past when Saudi Arabia beat them 2-1. Messi scored a tenth minute penalty within the first half the place Argentina had three objectives disallowed for offside earlier than the Saudis struck twice within the second half to stun the South American champions.

If Argentina might take any solace from the end result, it was that once they misplaced their group opener to Cameroon in 1990 they nonetheless reached the ultimate.


With a World Cup trophy lacking in his cupboard, Messi has by no means actually been thought of as equal with Diego Maradona however in opposition to Mexico he matched the late Argentina nice’s document of 21 matches and eight objectives on the finals. With the match deadlocked at 0-0 after greater than an hour, Messi picked his second after which picked his spot, firing residence from 20 metres to beat goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa by the narrowest of margins.

Substitute Enzo Fernandez scored with one other elegant strike to seal the factors and set Argentina on their method amid an electrical environment at Lusail Stadium, the most important enviornment in Qatar.


In a match between Barcelona’s previous and current, it was the membership’s document scorer Messi who noticed his aspect triumph whereas Robert Lewandowski, Barca’s prime scorer this season, completed the sport with out a shot on objective. Messi was lucky to win a controversial penalty after a VAR verify however missed from the spot as goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny stored his cool and denied the Argentine skipper.

However, regardless of the miss, Messi was on the coronary heart of Argentina’s assaults and ran the present in his free position up entrance whereas Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez scored to make sure their aspect topped the group.


The celebrities appeared to align for Messi in a bodily last-16 conflict with Australia as he scored in his 1,000th match to maneuver previous Maradona’s World Cup tally. The objective was classic Messi, nearly as if time stood nonetheless for everybody else besides the 35-year-old, who reacted shortly to a brief layoff in little house to curve the ball residence at the same time as 4 Australia defenders tried to shut the hole.

Alvarez made it 2-0 however an personal objective from Fernandez arrange a tense end wherein Argentina clung on for victory.


4 objectives, an equaliser on the dying, brawls with crew benches emptying out, a tense penalty shootout, accusations of unsportsmanlike conduct, 16 yellow playing cards and one purple card – the Netherlands-Argentina sport had all of it. In a battle between the youngest and oldest coaches on the World Cup, Scaloni (44) got here out on prime in opposition to Louis van Gaal (71), who discarded soccer purity for pragmatism by bringing on 6-foot, 6-inch striker Wout Weghorst to torment the defence.

Messi was entrance and centre once more, discovering Nahuel Molina with a cross from an unimaginable angle to arrange the opener after which transformed a penalty, however Weghorst headed residence earlier than taking the match to further time after a intelligent free kick routine. A shell-shocked Argentina recovered from the last-gasp equaliser and within the shootout goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez made two saves earlier than Lautaro Martinez completed issues off to eradicate the Dutch in an ill-tempered sport.


A match in opposition to Croatia, a crew who had not received a knockout sport in regular time since 1998, was set to check Argentina however they handed with flying colors as Messi nearly single-handedly dispatched the 2018 runners-up. Alvarez earned the penalty that Messi transformed with aplomb and likewise scored twice, his first objective a unbelievable solo run from the midway line to beat three defenders.

However as soon as once more it was Messi operating issues, setting Alvarez by on objective with the essential contact earlier than his personal run from the midway line and dribble previous defender Josko Gvardiol arrange his younger strike companion for the simple end.

Argentina will play holders France within the ultimate on Sunday.

(with Reuters inputs)

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