Lionel Messi showed a world-class performance on Tuesday evening as he scored and assisted in Argentina’s 3-0 victory over Croatia.
Argentina and Croatia were meeting for the second time in two editions of the FIFA World Cup after both sides met in the last edition, with Croatia winning by three goals to nil in their opening group stage match in Russia.
Only a few players from the Argentine team 4 years ago were on the team on Tuesday, and it was a much different display from the Copa America champions, who went into an early lead from the penalty spot after Croatian goalkeeper Livakovic impeded Julian Alvarez.
Lionel Messi stepped up and put the ball into the back of the net in the 35th minute, and four minutes later, Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez scored his first of the night when he had an excellent individual run down into the box before scoring.
His second goal came late into the second half when Lionel Messi took a run on the right-hand flank before beating his defender and then laying the ball down to the striker to poke home.
The result means that Argentina is going to their 6th World Cup final and the first since missing out on the trophy in 2014 when they lost 1-0 to Germany in Brazil.
However, Argentina has only won two previous FIFA World Cups, but the last time they did was in 1986. Also, Lionel Messi has now become Argentina’s highest goal scorer at the World Cup with 11 goals.
Argentina will now face the winner of the Morocco v France semifinal on Wednesday.
France will stand the chance of making the second FIFA World Cup final and also becoming the first country to defend their world cup title in over 60 years if they overcome Morocco, who are the first African team to make it to the semifinal of the World Cup.