• Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

Argentina defeats Croatia 3-0, punching their tickets to the World Cup final.

ByJosh Taylor

Dec 14, 2022

Croatia appeared spooked for the first time in the competition, caught off guard. They could have felt as though the entire world was working against them.
Lionel Messi kept his World Cup winning destiny on track on an exhilarating night at the glittering Lusail Stadium. He tucked in a penalty, set up another for two-goal hero Julian Alvarez, and put on a near-perfect performance to enthral the crowds and lead his side to the final, where they defeated Croatia 3-0.
It was just what the audience want. Messi highlights And he approved their request several times. None more so than the assist for the third goal. He sprinted through the right, along the touchline, slipping past Mislav Orsic and flipping him over. But Josko Gvardiol, with his spidery mask, was clinging to him as a kid would to a father, not allowing him the space to fire the pass, not giving him the time and space to work or twist past him, and drifting him away. Despite the strength of a defender 20 years his junior, Messi maintained his form. He pulled him to the box, getting closer and closer to the goalie, then halted and pivoted, escaping his grasp before he cut the ball.The latter scored from only six yards out. It was as if Messi planned to record a whole album of spectacular assists at the World Cup. It was the epitome of his relentless ambition. If fate does not come to a halt for me, I will come to a halt for it.
Messi’s first moment occurred without warning. He remained mostly silent until Dominik Livakovic pulled Julian Alvarez inside the area and the referee gave the penalty. The incident that led to the penalty occurred against the run of play, at a moment when Croatia appeared to have a better command over the flow of the game than Argentina. But then Enzo Fernandez dispossessed Luka Modric and sent a beautiful pass into the path of Alvarez, who was feathered into the ground as he attempted to round off Livakovic. It may be claimed that his chip was off before Livakovic grabbed him. Whatever, Argentina was going for a penalty, and Messi was going to take it.
Croatia typically rang in the changes in the second half and attacked with greater ferocity. A number of free kicks in the early 15 minutes of the half promised a delicious game, and Emi Martinez had to stretch to deflect a header, but their persistence quickly faded, and Argentina appeared the more likely side to extend their advantage, which they did.
As kick-off time neared, the magnificent Lusail Stadium was a riot of colours and emotions. Argentina’s blue and white stripes, with the number and name of you know who, were the most common. Messi was everywhere, as small face-shots on people’s faces, clothing, placards, hearts, and souls. The world’s eyes have gotten accustomed to concentrating on the five-foot-seven-inch physique wherever he plays, whenever he plays. No one has stopped the globe as much as Messi has in the previous two weeks, as if the tournament’s true goal was to give Messi a faultless goodbye.
Somewhere lurked the dread that his dying request would go unmet, but the sight of Messi would soothe all those anxieties, as if they were in the presence of a miracle-worker, a soul-healer who soaks all fears and instils tranquilly.
Croatia’s brilliant red and white stood out among the Argentina flags and jerseys, as if the paint had been stripped off the wall, revealing the previous colours. They made up for the lack of numbers with zeal and intensity, yet they were always drowned out by the auditory bleeding caused by Argentina fans. And how they were compensated.

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