Leandro Paredes kicked the ball at the Netherlands basement during a thrilling World Cup quarterfinal on Friday night, and Virgil van Dijk took issue with it.
After goals from Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi, who once again outdid himself on the biggest stage, Argentina was up 2-0 and appeared to be in control inside the Lusail Stadium.
However, in a dramatic turn of events that encapsulates this World Cup’s dramatic moments, a late brace from super-sub Wout Weghorst forced extra time.
A major brawl broke out ten minutes before Teun Koopmeiners and the company’s brilliant free-kick move as the Netherlands team was desperately searching for an equalizer.
How did that go? As Paredes, who never backs down from a challenge, collided with the Manchester City defender, Nathan Ake was able to advance the ball into the Argentina half a fair distance.
Before Teun Koopmeiners and company came up with that brilliant free-kick move, a huge brawl broke out as the Netherlands team was desperately trying to equalize.
A number of the Netherlands players didn’t appreciate Paredes’ decision to smash the ball at the dugout after a strong challenge.
They stormed the field just a few moments later, and Virgil van Dijk sprinted right into Argentinean Paredes while approaching him. Below is a video of that incident.
The Dutchman received a booking as a result of his behavior, but Paredes had the last laugh when Van Dijk missed a penalty kick in the exciting penalty shootout.
Argentina advanced to the World Cup semifinal after successful 12-yard attempts from Messi, Paredes, Montiel, and Lautaro Martnez, who has struggled at times this winter.
Meanwhile, Emiliano Martnez, the hero of the moment, denied Van Dijk and Steven Berghuis.
Tuesday’s World Cup semifinal match will now pit Lionel Scaloni’s team against Croatia.
Louis van Gaal, the manager of the Netherlands, claimed to have found a weakness in Lionel Messi’s defense before the match on Friday night.
In an interview with NOS, Van Gaal claimed that Messi is the most dangerous creative player because of his prodigious ability to both create and score goals.
However, when they lose the ball and the opposition has possession, the opponent doesn’t play as much, which gives us opportunities to exploit.
Despite his observation, Messi’s brilliance proved difficult for the Netherlands to handle.