It was the second quarter-final match of the day, the real final before the final, as Argentina and the Netherlands served up a memorable FIFA World Cup encounter.
The game between Lionel Messi’s Al Albiceleste and the Oranje delivered everything you’d expect from a game of football.
It was dramatic, passionate, intense, suspense-filled and of course, there were goals, four of them, as well, with Emiliano Martinez, Messi, Wout Weghorst and Louis van Gaal as the lead actors.
The Game: A four-goal thriller
Like the first game of the quarter-final in the 2022 FIFA World Cup between Brazil and Croatia, Argentina vs Netherlands game was decided via a penalty shootout.
Argentina looked comfortable, and safe, and seemed to have sealed the deal after leading 2-0 with seven minutes left to play.
Albiceleste opened the scoring in the first half via Nahuel Molina, who latched on to a ridiculous through pass from Messi to put Argentina in front.
Messi doubled the advantage after the break from the penalty spot to put Argentina in a commanding lead heading into the game’s final moments before they were forced into extra time in dramatic fashion.
Weghorst Show keeps the Netherlands alive
With 12 minutes left to play, Louis van Gaal subbed on Burnley man, Weghorst, five minutes after Argentina had taken a 2-0 lead.
Five minutes later, the giant forward revived Oranje’s hope with an excellent header to pull a goal back.
And in added time, the Weghorst completed his mission as he finished off a clever free-kick routine to equalise and send the game to extra time.
Argentina let slip a two-goal lead and was forced into a penalty shootout to decide who goes through.
Martinez moments – The Shootout
Aston Villa goalkeeper Martinez proved once again he is a master of the dark arts from 12 yards after stealing the show in the shootout.
The dramatic goalkeeper was the hero of the day after he denied Virgil van Dijk, who was the first player to step to the spot during the shootout.
Martinez saved Holland’s second kick in the shootout, this time Ajax Amsterdam man, Steven Berghuis was the victim.
Argentina went on to win 4-3 in the shootout and then, the real war of words began between the victor and the vanquished.
The whole post-match reaction started immediately when Argentina knew they had won – see the image below.
Thereafter, Led by penalty hero, Martinez, and Messi, La Albiceleste have not stopped talking and hurling words at the Oranje players.
Martinez had things to say about the Netherlands manager, Louis van Gaal while Messi was interested in the two-goal hero, Weghorst.