Argentina sets up Epic Battle with Croatia

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Argentina came out of a self-dug hole to to eventually pick a FIFA World Cup semi-final ticket after seeing off Netherlands 4-3 on penalties.

This was after the Oranjé fought back from 2-0 down to for extra time and then penalties.

Lionel Messi was yet again in spectacular former picking up the assist for Nahuel Monila’s goal to break the deadlock, before stepping up to colly dispatch a penalty and Argentina’s lead; both goals came in the second half.

The Netherlands were down,.but not out as Louis van Gaal conjured up all his tricks and changed the team’s approach.

He went from 3-5-2 to a 4-2-4 formation and threw two center forwards Luuk de Jong and Wout Weghorst in, and it was the latter that came up with the answer sending an unstoppable header past Emiliano Martinez to halve the deficit.

He then bagged the equaliser with the last kick of the game after a well worked training ground free-kick routine to send the game into extra time.

After a further 30 minutes of football yielded no goals the game went into penalties.

Martinez was the hero of the shoot out encounter, he was able to save Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis’ spot kicks to send Argentina into the semis, Enzo Fernandez missed his spot kick.

The result means Argentina will now fave Croatia who knocked out Brazil, also on penalties, after the sides played out 1-1 after 120minutes.

This fixture sees the sides renew their rivalry from 2028 when they met in the group stage of the World Cup in Russia.

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