FULL-TIME, Argentina 3-0 Croatia: A magical night for the Albiceleste who were better in every department for the entire 90 minutes and scored three excellent goals to cruise to the Final. But the story is Lionel Messi, who scored for the third knockout game running and thoroughly dominated a hopeless Croatian defense who stood no chance against the GOAT. Argentina now await the winner of France vs Morocco in the Final, and Messi is only one game away from football immortality.
GOAL!!! Argentina 3-0 Croatia (Álvarez 69’): IT’S THREE FOR ARGENTINA!!! They can smell the final now as Messi takes on Josko Gvardiol, toys with the defender inside the box and sets up Julian Álvarez for his second of the night!
SECOND HALF KICKOFF! Argentina 2-0 Croatia: Back underway at the Lusail! Can Argentina finish the job or will Croatia pull off the biggest of miracles?
HALFTIME, Argentina 2-0 Croatia: A dream half for Messi and his men as Argentina were in total control throughout the half, scored two good goals and go into the break just 45 minutes away from the title match. But Croatia are comeback artists, and this one’s not over yet.
GOAL!!! Argentina 2-0 Croatia (Álvarez 39’): ARGENTINA DOUBLE THE LEAD!!! The Albiceleste go on a monster counter-attack off a Croatia set piece and Julian Álvarez carries the ball over 50 yards, beats Livakovic this time and makes it two!
GOAL!!! Argentina 1-0 Croatia (Messi pen 34’): ARGENTINA TAKE THE LEAD! Lionel Messi steps up to the spot, fires a rocket into the top corner and puts his team in front!
32’ PENALTY TO ARGENTINA! A golden chance for the Albiceleste! Julian Álvarez is played through with a ball over the top and is taken out by Livakovic as he tries to score! It’s a yellow card for the keeper, and a huge chance for Argentina.
KICKOFF! Argentina 0-0 Croatia: And we’re underway at the Lusail Stadium!
And then there were four. After three weeks and 60 matches filled with incredible action and historic upsets, the 2022 World Cup reaches its last week as the semifinals take place over the next couple of days to decide which two nations will fight for the biggest trophy in sports on Sunday.
The first semi doesn’t feature a current Barcelona player, but ask any Barça fan and they’ll tell you that this is the one game they really care about: Lionel Messi and Argentina look to reach the Final for the second time in the last three World Cups when they meet 2018 finalists Croatia in Al Daayen.
The GOAT has been the Albiceleste’s best player and was decisive in the thrilling quartefinal win against the Netherlands, and this really feels like Messi’s tournament as we reach its pinnacle. Argentina are the favorites, but Luka Modric and Croatia just knocked out Brazil after coming from behind and winning on penalties and are ready to pull off another upset as they look for a second straight trip to the title match.
This promises to be an incredibly tense semifinal with everything on the line for the GOAT and his troops, and you’re welcome to join us to follow and comment all the action. Vamos!
(Note: the comments will be open only when the team news come out, because our commenter people love commenting and sometimes there are too many comments in the comments section)
Starting XI: E. Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Fernández, Paredes, Mac Allister; Messi, Álvarez (4-4-2)
Substitutes: Armani (GK), Rulli (GK), Pezzella, L. Martínez, Foyth, G. Rodríguez, Palacios, Almada, Dybala, Di María, Á. Correa, Lautaro
Starting XI: Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Brozovic; Pasalic, Modric, Kovacic, Perisic; Kramaric (4-1-4-1)
Substitutes: Grbic (GK), Ivusic (GK), Stanisic, Barisic, Erlic, Vida, Sutalo, Majer, Sucic, Jakic, Vlasic, Livaja, Petkovic, Budimir, Orsic
Competition/Round: 2022 FIFA World Cup, Semifinals, Match 1
Date/Time: Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 10pm local time, 2pm ET, 11am PT (USA), 8pm WAT (Nigeria), 12.30am IST (India, Wednesday)
Venue: Lusail Stadium, Al Daayen
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
HOW TO WATCH
On TV: FOX (USA), NTA Sports 24 (Nigeria), Sports18 (India), others
Online: FOX Sports App, Sling TV (USA), others
Matchday Thread Rules
We don’t have a lot of rules here, but there are a few things to keep in mind when joining our matchday threads:
Even if the referee sucks or we lose the game, watch the swearing. It’s just unnecessary. Also, don’t discuss illegal streaming links. Those who do it will be warned, and those who post links will be instantly banned. Finally, be nice to each other. This is a Barcelona community and we don’t need to offend one another.
Have fun with the game! Forever and ever, no matter the competition, VISCA EL BARÇA!