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Watch: Messi’s Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach FIFA World Cup semis

Argentina now meet Croatia at Lusail Stadium in the FIFA World Cup semifinal on Tuesday (Image courtesy: Twitter/@FIFAWorldCup)

Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where they will meet Croatia at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday.

Emiliano Martinez came to Argentina’s rescue as his side overcame the shock of losing a two-goal lead. The goalkeeper saved from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis, leaving Lautaro Martinez to blast home Argentina’s fifth penalty and send the Albiceleste into the last four.

Argentina looked in total control after a first-half strike from Nahuel Molina and a penalty from Lionel Messi, his 10th goal at a World Cup, had given them a two-goal cushion in the second half.

But the Netherlands finally came to life with some direct substitutions from coach Louis van Gaal, who withdrew Memphis Depay and Steven Bergwijn and threw on target men Wout Weghorst and Luuk de Jong.

Weghorst made things interesting by heading home a cross from another substitute Steven Berghuis, who then had the chance to level from inside the area but fired just wide of the near post.

Argentina thought they had weathered the storm, but then conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position and Weghorst struck again to force the extra period.

Lionel Scaloni’s side showed more desire to try and snatch victory and had a flurry of late chances in extra-time, with Enzo Fernandez hitting the post.

As in the day’s earlier game between Croatia and Brazil, a penalty shootout was required and Argentina’s charismatic goalkeeper stepped into the limelight.

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