Argentina’s quarterfinal matchup with the Netherlands was a perfect example of how chaotic, competitive, and unpredictable the 2022 World Cup will be.
Through Nahuel Molina and the cool penalty of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, a Lionel Messi-inspired Albiceleste appeared to be headed for the semi-finals. However, a late brace from Wout Weghorst, including an equaliser in the 100th minute, caused the most unlikely of extra times.
The outcome of the match would be decided by yet another penalty shootout, and despite numerous fights, roughhousing, and an astounding 17 yellow cards, Argentina maintained composure to win and move on to the semifinals.
Argentina has never lost in the World Cup’s last four and has advanced to the championship game each time they have reached this stage.
The valiant goal scorers for Scaloni have scored in all 14 of their most recent matches, including twice in each of their previous four games across all competitions.
But facing Croatia is a challenge that Messi and co must prepare for with due diligence.
Dominik Livakovic of Croatia will undoubtedly be questioned about the placement of his statue upon his return to his native country because he stopped Brazil before the Checkered Ones’ fondness for penalties became apparent.
Neymar scored a beautiful goal to give Brazil the lead in the 106th minute while Croatia’s defence was famously tough to penetrate. However, Bruno Petkovic’s effort in the 117th minute found its way into the corner via a deflection to force a 12-yard battle of nerves.
The Selecao dream was crushed when Marquinhos’s shot crashed against the post, allowing delirium to take over for those in red and white as they celebrated a second consecutive World Cup semi-final. Livakovic kept Brazil out 11 times before also saving from Rodrygo in the shootout.
The Checkered Ones, who are now unbeaten in 11 games heading into their encounter against Argentina, are on the verge of repeating history after Dalic’s team miraculously advanced to the 2018 World Cup final without winning any of their knockout games in regular time.
Croatia defeated Argentina 3-0 in Russia four years ago, and several members of that squad are still present to try to make lightning strike again in Lusail!
1×2 Betting Odds
Dalic’s defenders have given their all so far in Qatar, while Argentina did not do a particularly good job of dismantling the Dutch before Messi’s exceptional brilliance emerged.
Scaloni should use his amazing array of attacking options to try to end the game in regular time given how dangerous the Croatians are from 12 yards. It would that be the case, though!
The betting market certainly thinks so, as they have Argentina marked as the favourites with odds @ 1.84.
Croatia work better when they are the underdogs, and in this semi-final contest, they are certainly the underdogs with long odds @ 5.4.
The odds of a stalemate being played out after the 90 mins are over, stands @ 3.45.
Total goals over/under
The odds that the total number of goals score will be over 2.5, stands @ 2.5.
While the odds that the total number of goals will be under 2.5, stands @ 1.64.