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FIFA World Cup 2022: Netherlands vs Argentina: Martinez heroics take Argentina in to the semifinals

A nailbiting encounter saw Argentina win over the Netherlands in the penalty shoot-out to advance to the semifinals.

It was 2-2 at the end of the extra time. Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi scored the goals for the two-time Champions while Wout Weghorst netted a brace for the Netherlands. But Emiliano Martinez was the hero for the South American nation as they continue their journey in the World Cup.

As it happened:

Argentina and Netherlands both started the match with control and poise but there weren't enough goal-mouth actions in the early exchanges. But it was Los Albicelestes who took the lead in the 35th minute. Nahuel Molina was slipped through by Lionel Messi and the right-back slotted the ball expertly past the Netherlands keeper. At the break, it was the South American nation with a narrow lead.

After the restart, Lionel Messi came close to doubling the lead but his free-kick was off target. The Dutch couldn't provide enough chances and then conceded a penalty after a foul on Marcus Acuna in the box. Lionel Messi scored from the spot to double Argentina's lead as they cemented a massive base towards the semifinal.

Wout Weghorst got the Netherlands back in the match eight minutes from time as they halved the deficit. And it was Weghorst again who scored in the 101st minute to equalize for the Oranjes to make it 2-2 and take the match to extra time.

The match went to the penalties after both teams failed to score in the additional half an hour. And Emiliano Martinez saved two penalties as Argentina won 4-3 in the penalties.

Aftermath:

Argentina will meet Croatia in the semifinal while the Netherlands are out of the tournament.

Netherlands vs Argentina Lineup:

Netherlands: Noppert; Dumfries, Timber, Van Dijk, Ake, Blind; De Roon, De Jong, Gakpo; Bergwijn, Depay

Argentina: Martinez; Romero, Otamendi, Martinez; Molina, De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister, Acuna; Alvarez, Messi

Key Stats:

  • Lionel Messi equalled Gabriel Batistuta's record for most goals in the World Cup for Argentina. They both have 10 goals now.
  • Lionel Messi (65) ranks second now in terms of players being fouled most time in the World Cup. Diego Maradona (152) has been fouled most in World Cups.
  • Lionel Messi assisted for the 5th time in the World Cup knockouts, most by any player in the world. He also took the most shots in the match with 4 shots to his name, scoring one out of them.
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Story first published: Saturday, December 10, 2022, 3:30 [IST]
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