Special envoy to Lusail
Special envoy to Lusail
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After Brazil in the quarterfinals, Zlatko Dalic's "little Croatia" hoped to pay the scalp of the other South American giant.
It has not happened.
Leo Messi's Argentina got the better of Luka Modric and company (3-0) on Tuesday, in Lusail, in the first semi-final of the 2022 World Cup. Double from Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez and a penalty from Mr. Messi, also a decisive passer.
And this for the greatest pleasure of the tens of thousands of “Hinchas”, the boiling Argentinian fans massed by the thousands in this stadium where the grand final will take place on Sunday (4 p.m.).
It will be against France or Morocco (this Wednesday at 8 p.m., at the Al-Bayt stadium).
Undoubtedly blunted by the efforts made last Friday against Neymar's band (1-1 ap, 4-2 pens), the Croats did not
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After 20 minutes of general torpor, except in the stands, on fire, the two teams neutralizing each other, the Pulga woke everyone up with two strokes of the accelerator (21st, 22nd).
We had to wait a little longer to see the first strike of the match, the work of McAllister (24th).
Well captured by the revelation goalkeeper of this World Cup, Livakovic.
In the oven and at the mill, as always, like this recovery near his corner post (27th).
How not to love the Croatian leprechaun, as generous as it is brilliant?
Except that he was very alone on Tuesday evening... And it was Argentina who took the lead.
Fernandez's opening for Alvarez, cut by Livakovic, who lost to Messi from the penalty spot (1-0, 32nd).
And also against Alvarez, at the end of
a lightning transition during which the Citizen benefited from two favorable counterattacks and… from the passivity of the Croatian rearguard (2-0, 39th).
To courage, to forceps.
Like these blue-collar Argentinians.
Croatia stunned, Livakovic (43rd, 44th) running artificial respiration (2-0, MT).
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Two changes at the break for coach Dalic (Orsic and Vlasic for Sosa and Pasalic), post for post, another in the 50th, with the exit of the Brozovic sentry for Petkovic, scorer-savior against Brazil.
Not enough to destabilize these Argentinian street dogs, ready to give their life on each ball, with the genius of their number 10 to magnify everything and make Croatia tremble (57th).
This time, Livakovic closed his angle well.
He couldn't do much when the genius Messi served on a plateau Alvarez (3-0, 69th), after having possessed Gvardiol, the other Croatian revelation of the tournament.
The Argentinian goalkeeper Martinez was responsible for extinguishing the timid inclinations of the vice-world champions (62nd, 72nd, 89th).
Unlike the 8th against Australia (2-1) and the quarter, against the Netherlands (2-2 after, 4-3 after),
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Argentina and its horde of supporters will therefore return to the superb setting of Lusail on Sunday, for a display that is necessarily unprecedented at this stage of the competition.
This will be the Albiceleste's sixth appearance in the final, after the coronations of 1978 and 1986, but also the setbacks of 1930, 1990 and 2014. On this occasion, Leo Messi - 5 goals in Qatar - will break the Cup match record of the world he now shares with Lothar Matthaüs (25).
One more in the bag of the Parisian, who only dreams of one thing, however, a first world title, at 35 years old.
For Luka Modric, 37, the train has passed.
After the 2018 final, the brilliant leader of Real Madrid will try to console himself with third place on Saturday (4 p.m.) at the Khalifa International Stadium, the work of the father of the Parc des Princes, the French architect Roger Taillibert.
It will obviously be against the loser of France-Morocco.
Davor Suker and company did it in 1998.
Argentina-Croatia in pictures
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