Lionel Messi and his teammates hung round on the sphere for 20 minutes, taking turns dancing and leaping up and down in entrance of their celebrating, scarf-waving followers. Argentina was going to savour reaching the World Cup semifinals. Messi’s quest to win soccer’s final prize remains to be alive.
Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-3 in a penalty shootout Friday, with Messi changing his try and Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez making two saves. After Lautaro Martinez scored the clinching penalty, Messi — together with his arms outstretched — sprinted to leap into the arms of his goalkeeper.
“We had to suffer,” Messi stated. “But we got through.” The match completed 2-2 and was solely taken to further time after the Netherlands equalized within the eleventh minute of second-half stoppage time with the second of substitute Wout Weghorst’s two objectives. Before that, Messi had arrange the opening objective by Nahuel Molina within the thirty fifth earlier than changing a penalty to make it 2-0.
Argentina will play Croatia within the semifinals on Tuesday after the 2018 runner-up beat Brazil earlier Friday. It is just the second time Argentina has reached the final 4 since 1990. In 2014, Messi was a part of the crew that misplaced to Germany within the remaining.
He appears within the temper to get there once more in a match that he’s turning into his personal private spotlight reel. He delivered a mesmerizing piece of talent and imaginative and prescient to arrange Molina’s objective, twisting free and bursting ahead from central midfield earlier than delivering a no-look reverse cross for the defender to poke in a end.
His penalty was his fourth objective of the match, taking him to 10 total within the World Cup — tied with Gabriel Batistuta for probably the most for Argentina. Messi now has 94 objectives in whole in his 169 worldwide video games. The sport featured 17 yellow playing cards — a document for a World Cup sport — together with one for Messi, who had blood coming from his higher lip at one stage of an additional time that was dominated by Argentina.
Enzo Fernandez hit the publish close to the top of additional time and was the one Argentina participant to fail to attain within the shootout. Martinez’s saves have been from makes an attempt by Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis, after which he pulled his shorts excessive and danced a jig. The loss ended Louis van Gaal’s third stint in control of the Netherlands and Messi shared a second with the 71-year-old coach on the finish.