Football NewsArgentina Defeated the Netherlands on Penalties in a World Cup Thriller
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Argentina defeated the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals thanks to another magical performance from Lionel Messi.

Prior to the game, the Paris Saint-Germain star had already scored three goals. But he turned provider at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, slipping in Nahuel Molina to fire home with a wonderful pass 10 minutes before halftime.

Messi would go on to score a penalty in the second half before the Netherlands staged an incredible comeback, with Wout Weghorst scoring two late goals to force extra time. Argentina would go on to win a penalty shootout to advance to the final four, with Emiliano Martinez delivering a stunning goalkeeping performance to save two spot-kicks.

The World Cup is one of the few trophies Lionel Messi has failed to win during his glittering career. But, having inspired his team throughout this year’s tournament, he did everything he could to end that barren run.

And he delivered more magic as he attempted to help Lionel Scaloni’s men reach the final four. With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Messi picked up the ball in midfield and played a sublime pass through to Nahuel Molina, who scored.

As he spotted Molina running through the Netherlands defense, he made a pass that few other players would have been able to make. After the break, the superstar stepped up to emphatically smash home a penalty after Marcos Acuna was tripped.

Prior to this match, much had been made of Louis van Gaal’s options in attacking positions. The Dutch manager could use Cody Gakpo, Memphis Depay, and Steven Bergwijn, with Denzel Dumfries also impressing from right wing-back.

However, it was a player who many thought was a flop in the Premier League who turned the game on its head. Louis van Gaal brought on Burnley striker Wout Weghorst with 12 minutes remaining and he delivered a stunning performance from the bench.

With seven minutes remaining, he headed in from Steven Berghuis to put pressure on Argentina. At the death, Teun Koopmeiners slipped him in from a free kick, and he fired past Emiliano Martinez.

But keep Messi in mind, as this is likely to be one of his final chances to win the World Cup.

After Messi’s second-half penalty put them two goals up, it appeared that they would cruise to the semi-finals. However, the Netherlands fought back, and Argentina collapsed completely.

That will be a major concern for Argentina as the semi-finals approach, with their opponents undoubtedly emboldened. That means Messi may go his entire career without winning the world’s biggest tournament.

This tournament has been the final hurrah for Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal after more than 30 years in charge. Following his country’s humiliating exit from Euro 2020, the Dutchman returned for his third stint in charge.

Van Gaal had been heavily chastised for his team’s style of play throughout the tournament. However, it had proven effective in the group stage as well as in their Last 16 victory over the United States.

They finally ran out of steam at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, though Van Gaal orchestrated a late comeback from his team. He chose to go back to basics late in the game, which proved to be a masterstroke as the Netherlands equalized before loosing on penalties