Argentina and Holland impose a ‘fiery battle’

Doha (AFP)

Argentina overcame Australia 2-1 and Holland faced the United States 3-1 in the final price of the 2022 Qatar Football World Cup and imposed a fiery confrontation in the quarter-finals.
The star, Lionel Messi, seven times the best player in the world, led Argentina to victory by scoring the first goal in his 1,000th game, “789 goals”, which is his first in the knockout stages of the World Cup, the only one absent from his lavish hoard of medals and titles.
The two sides meet next Friday at Lusail Stadium, after their previous ties saw strong clashes, most notably the 1978 final, which hosts Argentina won 3-1 after extra time, while the Netherlands won 4- 0 in 1974, 2-1 in 1998 and a goalless draw in 2006.
At Al Rayyan’s Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Messi took his World Cup tally to nine goals with clever shooting (35), before the 1978 and 1986 champion doubled those numbers courtesy of youngster Julian Alvares (57).
Despite having reduced the gap with Enso Fernandez (77) by mistake, “la pulce” and his companions were satisfied with this narrow result to sail to the quarterfinals, after wasting many chances at the end of the game.
Argentina’s path stabilized after a shock start against Saudi Arabia “1-2”, when they lost to an Asian team for the first time in the final, and a streak of 36 games froze without losing, so Messi tightened his seat belts and guided “Albiceleste” to two overall victories over Mexico and Poland 2-0, then knocked out Australia, looking to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.
Messi, who is playing in the last World Cup, probably aged 35, said: “We suffered until the last second, but the most important thing is that we passed. It was a difficult match, and we didn’t have the right time to recover.
The match took place less than three days after Argentina faced Poland and in the midst of a European season having moved the World Cup to the brink of winter.
Messi, the French star of Paris Saint-Germain, commented on the atmosphere of the fans who supported his team in the stands: This is a party when you see all this crowd, when we say that we don’t play alone, but together with all this madness next to us the atmosphere is great and we have to stick together we will have a tough match.
And at the Khalifa Stadium, the United States failed to disturb the peace of Holland, who always dreamed of winning, having failed three times in the final match.
He was led by right wing, Denzel Damfries, playing two assists for Memphis Depay (10) and Daley Blind (45+1), before himself signing the third with a volley (81), after narrowing the difference with Haji Wright five minutes earlier.
With a 3-5-2 plan, the Netherlands were criticized after a lackluster first round, despite Orange scoring seven points. Coach Louis van Gaal’s men responded to the criticism, especially Dumfries.
Inter said: “Our way of playing on the flanks has been criticised. Daly (blind, left-back) has been criticised. In the Netherlands we always focus on the empty half of the cup, but we both played a great game and scored a goal Our answer came from the pitch.
Despite the hat-trick, veteran coach Louis van Gaal wasn’t satisfied: we didn’t work well on ball possession, especially in the first half, but we scored two beautiful, more powerful goals, but we need to have more.
The strong personality is back after leading Bassa to bronze in 2014, in his last attempt to decipher the bad luck that accompanied him three times in the final in 1974 with his legend Johan Cruyff, 1978 and 2010 when he lost with a fatal goal to Andres Iniesta.
And while Dumfries, Depay and Blind all shone, debutant Cody Khakpo did his first time short of scoring.
There is no doubt that Holland’s exclusion from the nomination basket is the result of their fluctuating participation in major tournaments, sometimes reaching the final in 2010 and finishing third in 2014, and sometimes failing even to qualify for the finals, as in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
On the other hand, the United States, where soccer is a secondary sport after basketball, American football and baseball, performed well forcing England to a goalless draw, after they were on course to beat the Wales in the first round before the 1-1 draw, then beat England, Iran 1-0.
He repeated the exit from the final price, as in the last two participations in 2010 and 2014, unable to follow the example of the 2002 version when they reached the quarterfinals, despite the participation and recovery of their star, Christian Pulisic.

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