Messi sets record as Argentina enters World Cup final in Qatar

Messi sets record as Argentina enters World Cup final in Qatar

Lionel Messi set a record to inspire Argentina into the final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar on Wednesday (December 14).

In the first semi-final, Argentina cruised to a 3-0 victory over the last edition’s runner-up Croatia at the Lusail Stadium in Al Daayen.

Also read: Full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2022

Argentina maintained its record of never losing a World Cup semi-final and booked a spot in the final for the sixth time in football’s premier tournament.

Messi scored from the penalty spot in the 34th minute to put Argentina ahead. With this goal, he became Argentina’s leading World Cup goalscorer, surpassing Gabriel Batistuta.

The Argentine captain has now scored 11 World Cup goals in 25 matches.

In the current tournament, Messi is the joint leader with France’s Kylian Mbappe in the Golden Boot standings with five goals.

Also read: Lionel Messi claims another World Cup record

Five minutes after Messi’s goal, Julian Alvarez made it 2-0 with a brilliant solo effort. Argentina held a two-goal advantage at half-time.

Alvarez again found the back of the net, thanks to an assist from Messi in the second half to firmly put Argentina in the driver’s seat. Croatia could not recover from this three-goal deficit and the two-time world champion Argentina marched into the final.

Also read: Lionel Messi’s World Cup records

It has been a brilliant comeback from Argentina after being shocked 2-1 in the tournament opener by Saudi Arabia.

This will be Messi’s second World Cup final and Argentina’s first since 2014 when he and his team lost to Germany 1-0 in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

Argentina will meet either defending champion France or Morocco in the final on Sunday (December 18, 8:30 PM IST) at the same venue – Lusail Stadium.

Argentina’s record in 5 World Cup finals (Won 2, Lost 3)

  • 1930: Lost to Uruguay 4-2
  • 1978: Beat the Netherlands 3-1 after extra time
  • 1986: Beat West Germany 3-2
  • 1990: Lost to West Germany 1-0
  • 2014: Lost to Germany 1-0 after extra time

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