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Lionel Messi and Argentina do what Neymar and Brazil could not at World Cup | Opinion

Messi is two wins away from the one title that has eluded him. Argentina did what Brazil could not Friday, surviving a late defensive collapse, a slew of yellow cards and penalty kicks to advance to the semifinals, writes nrarmour for usatodaysports.

Argentina defeats the Netherlands on penalties to reach semifinals and keeps Lionel Messi’s hopes of winning elusive World Cup title alive.

in the opener. And just like Brazil in the first quarterfinal, Argentina couldn’t hold the lead in the dying minutes of regulation.Wout Weghorst scored on a header in the 83rd. Then, in the 101st, the Dutch dribbled a free kick along the ground and through the wall, and Weghorst picked it up, tapping it in for the tying goal.

“It’s fantastic if you’re able to equalize if you trail by two goals,” Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said. Unlike Brazil, which was at a decided disadvantage to Croatia, emotionally and tactically, it was Argentina that had the upper hand. Noppert had not started for the Netherlands before this World Cup, making this his first penalty shootout, while Emiliano Martinez thrives on pressure situations like this.

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Lionel Messi, Argentina play on at World Cup while other favorite Brazil bows out| OpinionMessi is two wins away from the one title that has eluded him. Argentina did what Brazil could not Friday, surviving a late defensive collapse, a slew of yellow cards and penalty kicks to advance to the semifinals, writes nrarmour for usatodaysports. nrarmour usatodaysports Sure. But he was one win away in 2014. nrarmour usatodaysports Correction: the Jules Rimet Trophy is no longer in play. nrarmour usatodaysports Fans of FairPlay The referee and Argentina are on the same team. But only hero for Argentina was the reference Congratulations Hayya, hayya…

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World Cup scores, updates: Brazil vs. Croatia, Argentina vs. NetherlandsWelcome to the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup .

stunning loss to Saudi Arabia in the opener.Sign up now for daily updates sent to your inbox But much like Brazil in the first quarterfinal, Argentina couldn’t hold the lead in the dying minutes of regulation.(Spanish).December 8, 2022 at 8:20 a.

And just like Brazil in the first quarterfinal, Argentina couldn’t hold the lead in the dying minutes of regulation. Wout Weghorst scored on a header in the 83rd. Then, in the 101st, the Dutch dribbled a free kick on the ground and through the wall and Weghorst picked it up, tapping it in for the tying goal and sending the game to penalties. Then, in the 101st, the Dutch dribbled a free kick along the ground and through the wall, and Weghorst picked it up, tapping it in for the tying goal. The 35-year-old forward has been on fire in Qatar, tallying three goals in Argentina’s first four matches. "It’s fantastic if you're able to equalize if you trail by two goals," Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said. Noppert had not started for the Netherlands before this World Cup, making this his first penalty shootout, while Emiliano Martinez thrives on pressure situations like this.  Unlike Brazil, which was at a decided disadvantage to Croatia, emotionally and tactically, it was Argentina that had the upper hand. The youngest coach at the World Cup taking on the oldest.

Noppert had not started for the Netherlands before this World Cup, making this his first penalty shootout, while Emiliano Martinez thrives on pressure situations like this. Unlike Brazil, which chose to save Neymar for a decisive fifth kick that never came, Messi took Argentina’s first penalty. Cody Gakpo scored all three group play matches, putting himself in contention for the Golden Boot at 23 years old. Martinez said something he overheard van Gaal say only fueled the Argentina players more.  "I heard van Gaal saying, 'We’ve got an advantage if we go to penalties. He at least moved this time, but Noppert went the wrong way and Messi held his arms out as the ball settled into the net. If we go to penalties, we win,'" Martinez said. Netherlands play in the semifinals? One of the biggest rivalries in all of soccer could be rekindled at the World Cup stage for the first time in 32 years. "I feel he needs to keep his mouth shut. Make it and Argentina was moving on, the hopes of seeing Messi lift the Jules Rimet Trophy still alive. PT, Fox/Ch.

" Sure enough, Martinez blocked the first penalty, by Virgil van Dijk. Unlike Brazil, which chose to save Neymar for a decisive fifth kick that never came, Messi took Argentina’s first penalty. As Martinez readied himself, Messi doubled over. Argentina and Brazil have squared off in the World Cup four times with Brazil winning twice, Argentina winning once and the two sides tying once. And just like in regulation, he soft-touched it past Noppert. The Dutch goalkeeper at least moved this time, but it was the wrong way. The other favorites are beginning to fade away. As the ball settled into the net, giving Argentina an early advantage, Messi held his arms out wide. If there’s anyone able to stop Messi on one of his trademark dribbles, it is the graceful Liverpool center back who combines pace with a great reading of the game.

The Netherlands had two misses and Argentina one when Martinez stepped to the spot.  Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour. All he had to do was make the penalty, and Argentina — and Messi — would move on.  Miss it and, well, nothing in soccer is guaranteed. Even for the greatest to ever play the game.  Not winning a World Cup would not diminish what Messi has accomplished. “Now we kiss each other,” Van Gaal said, leaning toward Depay with his arms out.

The magic he's spun with his feet, the spectacular goals he's scored, the accolades he's piled up — nothing can ever take that away. People across the world will still wear his No. 10 jersey, and he would remain one of the few common grounds to be found across the globe.  But the greats who are also World Cup champions are seen in a different, brighter light. Pele. You may want to block and close the passing lines.

Maradona. The original Ronaldo. For Messi to not be part of that pantheon would feel hollow, for him and all fans of the game.  That dim prospect can be put off for another day, however, because Argentina has advanced. The other favorites are beginning to fade away. They have met in some high-profile World Cup games, none bigger than the 1978 final won by Argentina on home soil.

But Messi plays on.  Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour. .

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