Messi and Alvarez score, with his first goal in a knockout match of the World Cup on the day of his 1,000th match as a professional, but then the Albiceleste falls asleep and risks a sensational comeback. Bad Lautaro
Under the banner of Leo Messi and Julian Alvarez, Argentina has won the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Prediction respected and Australia eliminated, even if the Albiceleste after 75′ in which they had commanded, conceded zero and scored two goals, collected the 1-2 and suffered until Marciniak’s triple whistle. However, the final with his head underwater does not cancel the great evening of Pulce who, in match number 1,000 as a professional, scored his first goal in a knockout match at the World Cup. It was number 789 of an incredible career that is still far from the end, to the delight of football lovers. Leo will challenge the Netherlands on Friday in a quarter that promises sparks.
Australia had started the match with a very compact 4-4-2: it was impossible for the Albiceleste, lined up with the usual 4-3-3, to find space between the lines. For this Messi, at the center of the trident, was often forced to retreat in search of playable balls. Arnold’s men thought only of defending themselves and, up until the magic of the 7-time Ballon d’Or, they did it excellently also because Scaloni lacked the creativity of the injured Di Maria and Fideo’s substitute, Papu Gomez, it shone neither to the left nor to the right. The South Americans’ dribble was slowed down by the lack of space because the yellows didn’t mention pressing in the opponent’s half and holed up so as not to give depth to Julian Alvarez, still preferred to Lautaro. In the first half hour the two goalkeepers were spectators and there were no shots on target: anomalous for Argentina who had had marked possession of the ball and had always tried to keep the ball low to embarrass the opposing centre-backs. physically fit, but not fast. He put things in order at the first real conclusion, the winning one by Messi, after a verticalization by Mac Allister and a support by Otamendi, in assist man version. For the PSG star ninth goal in a final phase of the World Cup: Maradona and -1 behind the Argentine record man Batistuta. With the score unblocked, Albiceleste was able to check with more serenity and Australia did everything… not to disturb them by returning to the locker room without ever having shot towards Emiliano Martinez’s goal. She went under when he thought he’d figured out how to avoid the perfect storm and struggled to recover.
Although he was ahead and apparently in control, five minutes into the second half Scaloni switched to a 3-5-2 with Lisandro Martinez replacing Papu Gomez. A better way to defend themselves, even if the “kangaroos” never raised their center of gravity and indeed gave Julian Alvarez a double: on an attempt to build from below, goalkeeper Ryan tried to dribble past De Paul, but he didn’t noticed the arrival of the City bomber who stole the ball and deposited it on the net. Arnold introduced Hrustic and Goodwin for Baccus and McGree, but the substitutions, at 2-0 for the Albiceleste, seemed late because Messi and his teammates were now in total control. La Pulce came close to scoring a memorable goal with an all-court serpentine, but Alvarez also came close to making it 3-0. At that point the meeting seemed already over. Tagliafico and Lautaro made Acuna and Alvarez catch their breath, while Arnold ran out of substitutions by throwing Kuol, Karacic and Maclaren into the fray at the same time to go all out with the 4-2-4. Australia got back in the running with an oversized shot by Goodwin which the deflection by Fernandez completely changed trajectory: Emiliano Martinez beat and 2-1. The final became more contested and Scaloni, who was thinking of making Dybala’s debut at the World Championship, changed his mind by putting Montiel for Molina and Palacios for Mac Allister. Argentina had to suffer because Behich was denied the goal to tell his nephews by a decisive intervention by substitute Lisandro Martinez and because Lautaro, following an assist from Messi, wasted the ball twice to make it 3-1. Mistakes that Toro would have paid dearly if Emiliano Martinez hadn’t performed a miracle, in the 7th minute of added time, on Kuol. The Inter striker’s World Cup remains bewitched, but Pulce’s Argentina still manages to move forward for the moment.
December 3, 2022 (change December 3, 2022 | 22:39)
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