Argentina are through to the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup following a massive 3-0 victory over last edition finalists Croatia at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in the first semi-final fixture on Tuesday, in a night that was a historic one for Lionel Messi.
Messi becomes the player with the most appearances at the FIFA World Cup competition, recording his 25th cap for Argentina in the win. He also became Argentina’s highest goal scorer in the final of the World Cup.
Croatia looked like the better side in the opening 30 minutes of the encounter but Messi put Argentina upfront in the 34th minute from a spotkick following a foul by goalkeeper Dominik Livaković on Julian Alvarez.
With the goal, Messi became the South America nation’s top-scorer in the finals of the FIFA World Cup with 11 goals, bettering the record of Gabriel Batistuta, who had 10 goals.
Barely five minutes later, Alvarez doubled the lead for Argentina from a beautiful play from the centre of the pitch, as they went into halftime with a 2-nil advantage
The Manchester City forward got his brace of the night in the 69th minute after an assist from Messi, who was unable to be stopped by Croatian several defenders, to seal the victory for Argentina and send La Albiceleste into the final for the second time in eight years.
Argentina will face the winner of tomorrow’s semi-final game between France and Morocco for a place in the final of the World Cup on Sunday, in a tournament that has thus far been eventful.