Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates with Emiliano Martinez of Argentina after the penalty shootout during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter final match between Netherlands and Argentina at Lusail Stadium on December 09, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.Image credit: Getty Images

Argentina beat Netherlands 4-3 on penalties in the quarter-finals of the World Cup at the Lusail Stadium. The match went to penalties after the Netherlands fought back from two goals down to level at 2-2 in the last minute of normal time. However, Emi Martinez saved two penalties as Argentina won the shootout 4-3 to set up a semi-final showdown against Croatia who beat Brazil – also on penalties.

Argentina’s dream of clinching a first World Cup since 1986 remains alive after Lionel Scaloni’s side overcame the Netherlands in a penalty shoot-out to seal their place in the semi-finals on a dramatic night at the Lusail Stadium, Qatar.

Lautaro Martinez stepped up to score the decisive penalty after Emiliano Martinez saved spot-kicks from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis. The two sides could not be separated after extra time at 2-2.
Argentina’s reward is a place in the last-four with Croatia, who earlier stunned Brazil.
Dancing Martinez called 'a bit crazy' after saving Argentina in penalty shoot-outDancing Martinez called 'a bit crazy' after saving Argentina in penalty shoot-out
Goals in either half from Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi had looked like safely securing the Albicelestes’s place in the last-four.
But the Netherlands fought back in extraordinary fashion, Burnley flop Wout Weghorst coming off the bench to score twice – the equaliser coming deep into stoppage-time – and send the game into extra-time.
It had initially been a cagey affair – with the Netherlands dominating possession but offering little in attack – until 10 minutes before half-time a moment of magic from Messi unlocked the Dutch defence. Picking the ball up from deep, he released Molina with an eye-of-the-needle pass and the 24-year-old poked it home.
Messi went agonisingly close to doubling Argentina’s lead after the restart, his terrific free-kick effort rippling the top of the net, but he finally grabbed the goal his performance warranted from the spot after Marcos Acuna was fouled by Denzil Dumfries in the box.
That had looked set to be that – but Weghorst had other ideas. After being introduced with just 12 minutes of normal time to play, he glanced a header into the far corner to halve the deficit and give the Dutch faint hope.
The indication of 10 additional minutes increased morale further, and they left their equaliser until 11 minutes had passed, with Weghorst slotting home from Teun Koopmeiners’ ingenious free-kick delivery.
Argentina were, understandably, shell-shocked, but they finally sprung back into life in the second period of extra-time, with Martinez’s goalbound shot blocked by Van Dijk’s chest before Enzo Fernandez rifled a shot against the post.
Scaloni’s side had been the better side throughout and, in the end, they ultimately got over the line by virtue of a penalty shoot-out, with Fernandez the only taker to miss from five spot-kicks, as Dutch manager Louis van Gaal’s international career ended in heartbreaking defeat.


It’s the World Cup that keeps on delivering on the pitch. After the drama and excitement of Croatia eliminating Brazil on penalties earlier in the day, the Netherlands almost produced what would, in the circumstances, have been another shock. Trailing 2-0, they were heading out without a shout. But Weghorst, the man who scored just twice for Burnley in a short and unsuccessful spell, turned the game around with a brace on the biggest stage. It proved, however, to be all in vain as Argentina stumbled over the line, spelling the end of Van Gaal’s international career.
During an eventful tournament for the competition’s oldest manager, the 71-year-old has had to defend his team’s style of play and performances. He may well have more questions to answer for his conservative approach tonight, with the Netherlands only registering two shots on target, albeit they scored with both. But he will bow out with his head held high knowing that his side were agonisingly close to reaching the last four.


When they look back at the 2022 Qatar World Cup in years to come, they will show Messi’s unbelievable assist for the opener. It’ll go down in history, such was its brilliance. Of course, he would also put the ball in the net twice himself later in the match.
The 35-year-old has now scored four and assisted two of Argentina’s nine goals at the World Cup. Some would argue he is almost single-handedly dragging his nation to success, just like the great Diego Maradona did in 1986.


Netherlands: Noppert 7, Timber 6, Van Dijk 6, Ake 6, Dumfries 5, Blind 5, De Roon 4, Bergwijn 5, De Jong 8, Depay 6, Gakpo 6.. subs: Berghuis 5, L de Jong 6, Weghorst 8, Lang N/A
Argentina: E Martinez 8, Molina 7, Romero 7, Otamendi 6, L Martinez 7, Acuna 7, De Paul 7, Fernandez 7, Mac Allister 8, Messi 9*, Alvarez 6.. subs: Paredes 7, Tagliafico 6, Pezzella 6, Lautauro Martinez 7, Di Maria N/A, Montiel N/A.


35′ – GOAL! NETHERLANDS 0-1 ARGENTINA (NAHUEL MOLINA): A first international goal for Molina and what a time to get it! But this goal is all about Messi. He receives the ball up in a deep position and somehow picks out the run of Molina with an eye-of-a-needle pass. Molina makes no mistake by slotting it past Noppert.
73′ – GOAL! NETHERLANDS 0-2 ARGENTINA (LIONEL MESSI, PEN): It was never in doubt, was it?! Messi sticks his spot-kick into the right corner to all but seal Argentina’s place in the Qatar World Cup semi-final. Croatia, beware!
83′ – GOAL! NETHERLANDS 1-2 ARGENTINA (WOUT WEGHORST): Oh wow, we have a game on our hands! Weghorst, formerly of Burnley, makes a clever run to the near post and meets a cross from the right flank with his head, and the ball nestles in the corner!
90’+11 – GOAL! NETHERLANDS 2-2 ARGENTINA (WOUT WEGHORST): Weghorst is the hero as he levels the score in the ELEVENTH minute of added time! He gets a crucial touch after being played through by Koopmeiners’ ingenious free-kick. Football, eh!
SAVED! NETHERLANDS 0-0 ARGENTINA! Emi Martinez saves Van Dijk’s spot-kick! It was the perfect height for him.
SAVED! NETHERLANDS 0-1 ARGENTINA: Martinez dives to his left this time to keep out Berghuis’s effort!
GOAL! NETHERLANDS 0-2 ARGENTINA: Paredes with a great penalty!
GOAL! NETHERLANDS 1-2 ARGENTINA: No mistake from Koopmeiners.
GOAL! NETHERLANDS 1-3 ARGENTINA: Montiel, who came on as a sub in extra-time, sends Noppert the wrong way.
GOAL! NETHERLANDS 2-3 ARGENTINA: Weghorst puts the ball in the back of the net for the third time this evening to keep the Netherlands alive.
MISS! NETHERLANDS 2-3 ARGENTINA: Fernandez drags his spot-kick wide.
GOAL! NETHERLANDS 3-3 ARGENTINA: This Dutch side won’t give up! Luuk de Jong levels it up.
GOAL! NETHERLANDS 3-4 ARGENTINA: Lautaro Martinez scores to send Argentina into the semi-finals of the World Cup!
ARGENTINA ARE THROUGH! Lautaro Martinez scores his penalty to send Argentina into the semi-finals of the World Cup!


  • Argentina have won the most penalty shootouts of any side in World Cup history (5 wins from 6), while only Spain (4) have lost more penalty shootouts at the World Cup than Netherlands (1 win from 4).
  • Lionel Messi has assisted five goals in the World Cup knockout stages – since Opta have World Cup assists (from 1966), this is the most on record in the knockout rounds of the finals, surpassing Pele’s four.
  • Wout Weghorst has become the first ever substitute to score twice in a World Cup match for Netherlands. His equaliser was timed at 100:30 – the latest second half goal in a World Cup knockout stage game since Opta have exact goal times (from 1966)Source:EuroSport

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