Xtra Time Web Desk: Lionel Messi is just one match away from attaining the coveted silverware that he has been waiting in his career. The talisman scored a penalty and had a hand in two other goals as Argentina convincingly beat Croatia 3-0 to march into the final of FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Tuesday night. Messi scored from penalty (34’) while Julian Alvarez was on target twice (39’ & 69’). The Albiceleste will now face the winner of second semi-final between France and Morocco in the final on Sunday.
Messi opened the scoring in the 34th minute as he fired into the top corner from the penalty spot. It was a debatable decision by the referee after Man City striker Alvarez collided with Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. Messi by scoring the goal surpassed Gabriel Batistuta to become Argentina’s top scorer at World Cup finals on 11 goals.
Croatia collapsed after the opener and conceded another five minutes later from an Argentina counter-attack after comical defending as Alvarez doubled their lead (39) having carried the ball from his own half.
Messi took matters into his own hands to ensure the game was out of reach, producing a moment of magic down the right to beat Josko Gvardiol before putting it on a plate for Alvarez to score Argentina’s third.