Argentina beat the Netherlands in a World Cup penalty shootout courtesy to goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez’s two saves, setting up a semifinal matchup with Croatia.
After a tense quarterfinal at Lusail Stadium, Argentina defeated the Netherlands on penalties to preserve Lionel Messi’s World Cup dream.
Ten minutes before halftime, Messi assisted Nahuel Molina in scoring the game’s first goal. He then added the second goal from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute after Denzel Dumfries fouled Marcos Acuna. Messi appeared to have propelled Argentina into a matchup with Brazil’s opponents Croatia in the round of eight.
Wout Weghorst, a substitute, spearheaded a remarkable comeback by scoring twice in Louis van Gaal’s final game as the Dutch coach, the second coming after an outrageous free-kick routine 11 minutes into stoppage time.
After more than a dozen yellow cards and several flashpoints, the game went to penalties, when Emi Martinez of Aston Villa, Argentina, emerged as the game’s hero by stopping shots from Steven Berghuis and Virgil van Dijk.
Even though Argentina was under pressure after Enzo Fernandez’s missed penalty kick, Lautaro Martinez’s crucial contribution led to raucous celebrations after Messi’s conversion.