Argentina reached the World Cup semi-finals with a narrow victory.
Argentina defeated Netherlands in a thrilling penalty shoot-out as they marched to the World Cup semi-finals. Following a 2-2 draw, Emiliano Martinez won the game for Argentina with two penalty saves.
A (failed) comeback!
Netherlands started off as the better side as they pushed for a quick breakthrough. But Argentina gradually challenged their dominance, claiming more and more possession.
Following a sensational through ball from Lionel Messi, Nahuel Molina scored the opener for Albiceleste in the 35th minute.
Netherlands were unsuccessful in their attempts to come back into the game at the beginning of the second half.
Argentina maintained their attacking rhythm, pushing to double their lead. They did so when Messi completed his brilliant performance with a penalty goal in the 73rd minute.
It seemed the goal was enough to secure Argentina’s lead. But Wout Weghorst brought Netherlands back into the game with a fantastic header in the 83rd minute.
The Oranje then doubled down on their attacks in the extra time, sending wave after wave of precise crosses into Argentina’s box.
None of those attempts were successful, but a stunning free-kick in the last minute of the game made it 2-2 for Netherlands.
Following a precise through ball, Weghorst surprised Argentina’s backline by simply running behind them and slotting the ball into the far corner.
Argentina had several chances to score the match-winner throughout the extra time. But the game was destined to be decided by the penalties.
Emiliano Martinez saved Netherlands’ first two penalties as the Albiceleste found a great start to the shoot-outs.
Enzo Fernandez missed a penalty for Argentina, but Lautaro Martinez converted the final spot-kick to send his side to the semi-finals.
Messi and co will face Croatia in a battle to reach the 2022 World Cup final on Tuesday.