Argentina and Netherlands stars were involved in a mass brawl after the South American team had secured their place in the World Cup semi-finals on Friday night. Argentina won the match after a penalty shoot-out to set-up a semi-final showdown with Croatia.
Argentina dominated the early stages of the match at the Lusail Stadium and went ahead after 35 minutes as Nahuel Molina finished well after being teed-up by Lionel Messi. Messi then doubled his country’s advantage with 17 minutes remaining as he struck from the penalty spot.
But the Netherlands had no intention of going down without a fight and pulled a goal back courtesy of a strike from former Burnley striker Wout Weghorst seven minutes from the end. And Weghorst sensationally forced the tie into extra time after scoring in the 11th minute of stoppage time following a clever free-kick.
The sides went toe-to-toe during the extra 30 minutes and neither were able to find the killer blow as the match was settled by a shoot-out. And Argentina came out on top after Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis missed for the European side.
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“What an incredible game, bearing in mind it took 33 minutes to have our first effort on target. It went absolutely crazy,” ex-England striker Alan Shearer told the BBC after the match.
And former Argentina star Pablo Zabaleta added: “Argentina were the better team. The last 10 minutes, we needed to play better, we gave free-kicks away that gave Netherlands a chance. It’s always good to see a South American team in the semi-final. The fans have been amazing tonight, right behind the team. All Argentina games, three quarters of the stadiums have been Argentinian fans. It makes me really proud. Qatar is far from Argentina – it is not easy to get here.”