Lionel Messi inspired Argentina let slip a two-goal lead but overcame a resilient Netherlands side on penalties to clinch the semi-finals.

In a well contested first half, it took the vision of Lionel Messi to put a needle eye pass towards Molina in between the Dutch defense and set up the first goal.

A sprinting Marcos Acuña was fouled by Denzel Dumfries just inside the box. Messi will turn into the goal scorer 17 minutes before the end of the 90 as he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot.

Argentina fans were already chanting like the game was done and dusted until substitute Wout Weghorst rose highest to head Steven Berghuis cross beyond Eminialo Martinez and give the Dutch team a lifeline.

With the last attack of the game, Netherlands were presented a free kick at the edge of the box, it was surprisingly played short into Weghorst, who equalised with the final kick of the ball.

The extra-time was filled with end to end football with Di Maria trying to get the keeper off guard from a direct corner kick and Enzo Fernandes shot striking the upright with the last attack of the game.

Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis’ efforts were expertly saved by Martínez before Gonzalo Montiel, Luuk de Jong and Weghorst sent the keeper the wrong way.

Messi cooly rolled his second penalty of the game straight down the middle as Leandro Paredes, and Gonzalo Montiel both scored before Enzo Fernández fired wide.

The final spot kick went to Lauturo Martínez and the Inter forward made no mistake from the spot to send Argentina  to the semi-finals against Croatia.


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