Argentina vs Croatia Highlights: Vintage Messi and Alvarez power Argentina into the final

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Lionel Messi mesmerised again as he helped Argentina storm into their sixth World Cup final by defeating Croatia 3-0 in the first semi-final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Wednesday. Messi scored a goal and produced a stunning assist, while Julian Alvarez struck two goals for the two-time champions at Lusail stadium.

Argentina did not allow the 2018 finalists Croatia any chance to make a comeback after going 2-0 up at the halftime break. Messi broke the deadlock with a goal from the spot in the 34th minute, his fifth of the tournament.

Livakovic, who had carried Croatia into the last four with saves in their penalty shootout wins against Japan and Brazil, did well to stop an Alexis Mac Allister header on the stroke of halftime that could have killed off the game after 45 minutes.

However, unlike their extra-time comeback heroics against tournament favourites Brazil, there was no way back this time for Croatia.

Argentina were in no mood to squander their two-goal advantage as they had done against the Netherlands in the last eight, and they conceded no space.

Alvarez dashed any lingering Croatia hopes in the 69th, tapping in a cutback after Messi tricked his way past defender Josko Gvardiol on the right to pick out his team mate in the box who sealed the Balkan country’s tournament exit.

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