The Argentine night began with an explosion underground. Croatia had drawn against Brazil and the Doha metro, packed with white and blue fans, exploded. Four hours later, it ended with another scream, this one strangled, of release and rage. With Dibu Martínez, who had stopped two penalties, collapsed in a corner, with open arms, alone, victorious and at the same time devoured by anguish. Everyone went to hug Lautaro Martínez, the author of the fifth launch, except Messi, who looked for the goal. As in his harangue prior to the 2021 Copa América final, which closed 28 years without titles.
“There is no doubt, we have an advantage with him”, thanked La Pulga, who, having congratulated, started a charge against everything and everyone: Mateu Lahoz, Louis Van Gaal and a member of the Dutch dressing room. In addition to being dramatic due to the way in which extra time was reached and the trembling of penalties, it was a very intemperate outcome with several reckonings with the past.
“[Cuando llegó] I felt a lot of anger about the tie, it wasn’t meant to end like this. I don’t want to talk about the referee, because they sanction you right away, but I think people saw what it was, ”La Pulga started. “FIFA has to review that, they cannot put a referee like that for a match of this importance, who is not up to the task. We suffer too much, unfairly. We deserved to go. Maybe we didn’t have a great game, then the referee sent it to extra time. He always played against us. in the last action [la del empate] It was not a mistake”, developed the 10 as soon as the clash finished, raw as rarely against the judge. “It hurt us,” she expanded an hour later in the press room.
A censorship to which the final hero from Albiceleste, Dibu Martínez, joined. “The referee has extended 10 minutes, it is the worst by far. Since Spain was left out, he wanted us to be left out as well”, added the goalkeeper. Scaloni, meanwhile, who had gone out like lightning towards Mateu Lahoz as soon as he whistled the end of 90 minutes to demand explanations, let the matter run in the press room to avoid further trouble. “Luckily, it ended well and we left it there,” he settled.
In the outcome, there were several brawls between the two teams and the tension triggered the speech. There was for everyone. Also for Louis Van Gaal. “He sells that he plays football well and they hit us with balls,” denounced Messi, who was also seen confronting the Dutch coach after scoring a penalty in the 0-2 draw. On the way to his field, he stood before the Oranje bench and put his hands to his ears looking at Van Gaal, in a very unusual defiant gesture that imitated the way of celebrating the goals of another illustrious Argentine and former Barcelona player, Juan Román Riquelme, with whom the Dutch coach did not have a good relationship in his time on the Barça bench. Later, he had to mediate even the former Dutch player Edgar Davids to make peace. And already in the corridors and in the middle of an interview, Messi called a member of the Dutch locker room “silly” several times who, according to the Argentine press, was the footballer Wout Werghorst.
An overly hectic finale that was preceded by a previous one in which darts also flew. The European coach had said that in the 2014 semifinals (Argentina also won on penalties), Messi “had not touched a ball.” A case that added to Di María’s old controversy with Van Gaal, of whom El Fideo assured at the time that he had been the worst coach of his career.
Messi fought here for him, for Di María, for Riquelme and for all of Argentina. This alien deserves it. How nice would be an Argentina Portugal in the end. pic.twitter.com/6EHkJiVSH4
— Joaquin Saavedra (@joacosaavedraq) December 9, 2022
Van Gaal, who did not refer to these episodes in front of the journalists, left Lusail mulling over a fatal statistic for his interests: he has never lost in the 12 games he has led in a World Cup (eight wins and four draws), but he has never raised the trophy He hasn’t even reached the final. His only two losses were on penalties and against Argentina. In 2014 and this Friday. “The selector [en referencia a él mismo] he had learned from the past and asked the players to practice penalties. We believed that we could win if we got this lucky. I have no reproach for them, ”valued the coach, who is saying goodbye to a position that he has held in three different periods of his career. “Now I have played 20 games and I have not lost any. I have enjoyed this time a lot, ”he consoled himself.
The night, which began in peace and with long stretches of silence in the stadium, ended with fights and a continuous ouch after Wout Werghorst, in the 101st minute (Mateu Lahoz had extended 10), repeated the billiards goal that was He pointed two years ago with Wolfsburg against Bielefeld. A goal that stunned Argentina and that, as Van Gaal admitted, they had rehearsed.
“When are you going to kick [los penaltis], that is a matchbox ”, acknowledged Scaloni in the previous one. This time, he did not burn despite the fact that at times it was feared that it was Messi’s last World Cup day. Not yet. Until a runaway extra time, Argentina stuck to their usual plan: 10 players to keep things from happening for as long as possible and one (Messi) to do it all in attack. Of the nine goals he has scored in the tournament, six have been produced by his star: four goals (Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Australia and the Netherlands; the first and last from a penalty) and two assists (Mexico and the Netherlands). The one this Friday elevated him to the top scorer (10) in the World Cups with his team, along with Gabriel Batistuta. This yes, the exjugador of the Fiorentina needed 12 parties, whereas the one of the PSG required 24.
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Messi: “Mateu Lahoz sent us to extra time”