Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 extra-time draw on a dramatic World Cup night. Emiliano Martinez was the hero in the shootout after Argentina blew a two-goal lead in the last minutes of average time after Lionel Messi put them in the previous four. Wout Weghorst scored two late goals, one a brilliant free kick in stoppage time, as the Netherlands forced extra time with seven minutes left.
Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties
Argentine appeared ready to advance after Messi’s assist for Nahuel Molina and penalty goal. Hours after Brazil and Neymar were eliminated on penalties by Croatia, Argentina kept South American interest in the event. At least three-quarters of the 88,235 crowd supported Argentina, while only a scattering wore orange. All watched a spectacular late-night drama that ended shortly before 1 a.m.
After a slow start, Messi scored Barcelona’s first goal 10 minutes before halftime. Offering no signs of his plan, he broke up the Dutch defense with a sublime reverse pass between Daley Blind and Virgil van Dijk to Nahuel Molina, who timed his run perfectly and slotted home with the outside of his foot. At halftime, Luis van Gaal replaced Bergwijn and Marten De Roon with Teun Koopmeiners and Steven Berghuis.
Despite having lots of possession, the Dutch were too predictable and guileless. Momentum was with the Argentines, so it was no surprise they expanded their lead in the 73rd minute after Denzel Dumfries fouled Marcos Acuna in the box. Messi made no mistake from the spot and buried the ball in the corner. Weghorst scored seven minutes from the end with a looping header off a Berghuis pass from deep.
Ten minutes of added time increased Dutch hopes, and they put Van Dijk up front and hammered balls in the area. Deep into extra time, a high ball led to a free kick outside the area. Koopmeiners faked a shot before throwing a short pass to Weghorst, who twisted past Enzo Fernandez and scored the equalizer.
Wild celebrations are done; the game moved into overtime and became becalmed until reviving late in the second session. Van Dijk deflected Lautaro Martinez’s attempt, and Fernandez’s was just beyond the bar.