Messi leads the defeat of Croatia as Argentina reach the World Cup final

Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 to reach the World Cup Final as Lionel Messi worked his magic to keep one win away from the title he coveted most.

The world (except France or Morocco) wants Messi to win the World Cup.

Complete rematch

Messi scored the first goal from a penalty kick, then Julian Alvarez scored a great goal and then Messi stunned us all to set up Alvarez to seal his brace and qualify for Argentina in the final.

Croatia already had better chances before Argentina took a half-time lead and the South American champions have not looked back as they have now reached two World Cups in their last three finals.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

France or Morocco will play in the final on Sunday while Croatia will play the loser from the other semi-final in the match for third place on Saturday.

Messi and Alvarez the perfect double act

Messi slips between the lines and Alvarez runs between them. Together, they are a deadly duo and they are tearing Croatia apart. Argentina had a perfect game plan as they sat, absorbing pressure and then when they got it back in midfield with a secondary press (led by the excellent Enzo Fernandez, Leandro Paredes and Alexis McAllister) they played straight in devastating fashion. Messi is Messi, but for a long time he hasn’t really had another player at the top who can take the pressure off him and make room for him to be the best he can be. He now has that in Alvarez as his pace and constant pressure open many opportunities for Messi. The balance of this Argentinian team is in place and could cause France’s shaky defense, and many problems, if the French team faces in the final. Whoever they face, it seems impossible to stop Messi and Alvarez like this.

The stars of the show

Lionel Messi: who else!? He had the magic whenever Argentina needed it and he felt it. The best World Cup in his esteemed career. Until now.

Julian AlvarezHe scored two goals and won the penalty kick. His late pace caused a lot of problems for Croatia. Works well with Messi.

Luke Modrickisa: What more can he do? The little genius was very silky as always, helping Croatia to dominate the game right up to the opening goal. The veteran may not play in a World Cup again but he put in another fine display, as did Mateo Kovacic who will now do everything he can to take over from Modric.

Graphic via

How to watch the Argentina-Croatia match live! Score, Updates, Stream Link, Videos

Starting: 2 p.m. ET – Tuesday, December 13th
stadiumLusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Spanish TV channels: Telemundo
Running in Spanish: peacock (all matches 64)

Amazing scenes at the final whistle as Messi and his team mates dance on the pitch together and celebrate with their fans as they jump up and down.

GOALLLL! After some pressure from Croatia, Argentina looked dangerous in the second half. Now they are 3-0. Messi wriggles past Gvardiol and forms Alvarez to finish the match. Goats do goat things.

save! What a stop Levakovic shoved McAllister’s header into the far post.

GOALLLL! Julian Alvarez with great running as he makes his way up and scores goals. 2-0.

GOALLLL! After a slow start, Argentina is taking the lead. Alvarez is shot by Levakovic, and Lionel Messi takes the penalty kick. 1-0 against Argentina.

The main events, the players have to watch closely

Everyone will obviously be watching Lionel Messi closely as his ridiculous assist against the Netherlands showed his talents in the other world. Other players stood out for the Argentine national team, especially Enzo Fernandez, Rodrigo de Paul and Alexis McAllister in midfield. At the back, the likes of Lisandro Martínez, Christian Romero and Nicolas Otamendi have had strong slams, while Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel will miss this match through suspensions.

Croatia has the talent and experience, the trio of Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic in midfield, while the young Josko Gvardiol was great in the center of defence, as well as Borna Sosa in the left-back position. The star in the penalty wins over Japan and Brazil was goalkeeper Dominik Levakovic and Croatia will need more heroics from him if they are going to beat Argentina.

Fast facts about Argentina

Current FIFA World Ranking: 3
World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
Number of World Cup participations: 17
How they qualified: Automatically qualified by CONMEBOL (2nd place)
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Key players: Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez
In the 2022 World Cup – beat the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties in the quarter-finals after a 2-2 draw

Fast facts about Croatia

Current FIFA World Ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
Number of participations in the World Cup: 6
Best World Cup finish ever – 2nd place in 2018
How they qualified: Automatically qualified by UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic
In the 2022 World Cup – beat Brazil 4-2 on penalties in the quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw

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