Mateu Lahoz admonishes Messi during the Argentina-Netherlands match. Ricardo Mazalan (AP)
The Argentine night began with an explosion underground.
Croatia had drawn against Brazil and the Doha metro, packed with white and blue fans, exploded.
And it ended four hours later with another cry, this one muffled, of liberation.
With Dibu Martínez, who had stopped two penalties, collapsed in a corner, with open arms, alone, victorious and at the same time devoured by anguish.
Everyone went to hug Lautaro Martínez, the author of the fifth launch, except Messi, who looked for the goal.
As in his harangue prior to the 2021 Copa América final, the one they beat Brazil.
"There is no doubt, we have an advantage with him," thanked La Pulga, who charged with enormous hardness against the referee, the Spanish Mateu Lahoz, after a harsh outcome, with reckoning with the past.
Messi asks Modric for an hour
“[When] the tie came, I felt a lot of anger, it wasn't for it to end like this.
I don't want to talk about the referee, because they immediately punish you, but I think people saw what it was.
FIFA has to review that, they cannot have a referee like that for a match of this importance, which is not up to the task.
We suffer too unfairly.
We deserved to go.
Maybe we didn't have a great game, then the referee sent it to extra time.
He always played against us.
In the last play [the tie] it was not a foul”, the 10 released as soon as the game finished, raw as rarely against the judge.
"It hurt us," he expanded an hour later in the press room.
A censorship to which the final hero from Albiceleste, Dibu Martínez, joined.
“The referee has extended 10 minutes, he wanted us to tie.
It is the worst by far”, added the goal.
Scaloni, meanwhile, came out like lightning towards the Spanish referee as soon as he whistled the end of the 90 minutes to demand an explanation, although in the press room he avoided going into the subject.
"Luckily, it ended well and we left it there," he settled.
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@fifaworldcup_es) December 9, 2022
There were several brawls between the players in the outcome and the tension triggered the speech.
There was for everyone.
Also for Louis Van Gaal.
"He sells that he plays football well and they hit us with balls," denounced Messi, who was also seen confronting the Dutch coach after scoring a penalty in the 0-2 draw.
On the way to his field, he stood before the Oranje bench and put his hands to his ears looking at Van Gaal, in a very unusual defiant gesture that imitated the way of celebrating the goals of another illustrious Argentine and former Barcelona player, Juan Román Riquelme, with whom the Dutch coach did not have a good relationship in his time on the culé bench.
Later, he had to mediate even the former Dutch player Edgar Davids to make peace.
In the previous one,
the European coach had said that in the 2014 semifinals (Argentina also won on penalties), Messi had not touched a ball.
A case that adds to that of Di María with Van Gaal, since El Fideo assured at the time that the coach had been the worst of his career.
Messi fought here for him, for Di María, for Riquelme and for all of Argentina.
This alien deserves it.
How nice would be an Argentina Portugal in the end.
— Joaquín Saavedra (@joacosaavedraq) December 9, 2022
The coach, who did not refer to these episodes in front of the journalists, left Lusail with a unique personal statistic: he has never lost in the 12 games he has coached in a World Cup (eight wins and four draws), but he has never lifted the trophy.
He hasn't even reached the final.
His only two losses were on penalties and against Argentina.
In 2014 and this Friday.
“The coach [in reference to him] had learned from the past and asked the players to practice penalties.
We believed that we could win if we got this lucky.
I have no reproach for them, ”said Van Gaal, who is saying goodbye to a position that he has held in three different periods of his career.
“I have been in 20 games and I have not lost any.
I have enjoyed this time a lot, ”he congratulated himself.
The night, which began in peace and with long stretches of silence in the stadium, ended with fights and a continuous ouch after Wout Werghorst, in the 101st minute (Mateu Lahoz had extended 10), repeated the billiards goal that was He pointed two years ago with Wolfsburg against Bielefeld.
A goal that stunned Argentina and that, as Van Gaal admitted, they had rehearsed.
Weghourst 2 years ago 🤝Weghourst now pic.twitter.com/uXHOdYyaKF
— Stuart Reid (@From_The_Wing) December 9, 2022
"When you're going to kick [the penalties], that's a matchbox," Scaloni admitted in the preview.
And he didn't get burned this time.
At times, it was feared that it was Messi's last World Cup day.
Until a runaway extra time, Argentina stuck to their usual plan: 10 players to keep things from happening for as long as possible and one (Messi) to do it all in attack.
Of the nine goals he has scored in the tournament, six have been produced by his star: four goals (Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Australia and the Netherlands; the first and last from a penalty) and two assists (Mexico and the Netherlands).
The one this Friday elevated him to the top scorer (10) in the World Cups with his team, along with Gabriel Batistuta.
This yes, the exjugador of the Fiorentina needed 12 parties, whereas the one of the PSG required 24.
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