Argentina advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals by defeating the Netherlands on penalties in an incredibly thrilling match.
Late in the second half of normal time, Argentina had a 2-0 lead, but Wout Weghorst scored twice, including a free kick in the 100th minute, to force extra time.
The South Americans avoided suffering a second shock of the day after Brazil was eliminated from the World Cup by Croatia earlier in the day on penalties with Neymar failing to even attempt a shot.
In the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals, the South American powerhouse defeated the Netherlands.
When Croatia defeated top-ranked and tournament favorite Brazil earlier in the day, Argentina, ranked third, was determined to win and avoid becoming the second upset of the day.
Messi is unmatched in terms of accolades. The 35-year-old is among the best players to ever play the sport. His impressive soccer resume is still lacking one thing, though: a World Cup victory.
Because of Lionel Messi, of course, Argentina scored first. In the 35th minute, Messi somehow passed the ball to Nahuel Molina while evading three Dutch defenders.
With his right foot, Molina propelled the ball past Andries Noppert of the Netherlands, a 6-foot-8 giant. It was Molina’s first-ever goal on the world stage.
Messi then lined up to take a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, which established his presence. Messi reduced the deficit for Argentina to 2-0 with a quick strike low and to the right that caught the goalkeeper off guard.
It was a rough, physical match. Antonio Mateu, the referee, flagged 48 fouls and issued 17 yellow cards.
Shortly after Argentina’s Leandro Paredes fouled a Dutch player and then kicked the ball into the Netherlands bench, tensions erupted.
Field invasion by substitutes involved a lot of shoving and pushing. After receiving a yellow card, the game continued.
The game would go to a penalty shootout, where Argentinian goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez wowed, stopping the first two Dutch attempts while Argentina scored on its first three attempts to win 2-2. (4-3).