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Home   /   Martinez saves Argentina from direct Dutch

Argentina picked themselves up after losing a two-goal lead to beat the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties.

Emiliano Martinez saved the first two penalty kicks, and another comeback was just beyond the Dutch. Lautaro Martinez scored the winning penalty to send Argentina through to the semi-finals.

Another classic played out between these two heavyweight World Cup nations. Masterful football, ingenious set piece routines, bench clearing bust-ups, all played out at a frenetic pace as the game burst into life in the latter stages of the second half.

All was pointing to a comfortable victory for Argentina with ten minutes to go until Louis Van Gaal decided to scrap total football and go direct. Luke De Jong and Wout Weghorst came on while Virgil Van Dijk was pushed forward.

Lionel Messi was ready to receive all the plaudits after a genius assist to Nahuel Molina in the first half and a converted penalty in the second.

Weghorst had other ideas. He scored a header in the 83rd minute and then equalised with one of the last kicks of normal time. Argentina expected a Steven Berghuis shot from a free kick, but instead he found Weghorst in the centre of goal who fired the game into extra time.

Argentina pushed for a goal in extra time but it was left to Martinez to save their World Cup campaign.

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May 2024