Messi And Alvarez Fires Argentina To The 2022 World Cup Final.

Argentina cruise to the 2022 FIFA World Cup final following a 3-0 victory over  Croatia on Tuesday night.

The 2018 World Cup finalist Croatia made a confident start in the opening half-hour of the game, but paid the price for some untypically poor defending, which led to Lionel Messi scoring the opening goal of the game from the spot when Dominik Livakovic brought down Julian Alvarez in the penalty box, as he tries to lift the ball over him.

Livakovic was his country's hero in the shootout wins over Japan and Brazil but he was left with no chance as Messi thumped his penalty into the top right corner in the 34th minute to join his PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe at the top of the Golden Boot race with five goals so far.

It was also Messi's 11th World Cup goal of his career as he surpass the legendary Gabriel Batistuta to become Argentina's leading goal scorer at the tournament. 

The historic goal also came on the day that Messi tied German legend, Lothar Matthäus, for the most appearances by a male footballer at the World Cup. Both players have appeared in 25 games. 

Alvarez then scored the second himself, taking advantage of some farcical defending to beat Livakovic with a smart finish in the 37th minute. And the Man City's striker went on to score a second after the half-time break (69 minute), courtesy of a sensational assist from Messi to give Albiceleste the victory.

Messi tormenting Josko Gvardiol with a mesmerising dribble before teeing up Alvarez for his fourth of the tournament.

The victory for Argentina means this would be the sixth time that the South American team would be playing in the World Cup final (1930, 1978, 1986, 1990,  2014, and 2022).

They have only managed to emerge winner twice in 1978, and 1986 respectively.

France and Morocco play in the second semi-final encounter on Wednesday night.

Unfortunately, Croatia, aiming to reach back-to-back finals after their 2018 heroics, are out in the last four for the second time after their 1998 loss to France in their maiden tournament.

They will play the loser of France vs Morocco in a third-place play-off game at the Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday, December 17.

While the final is set to be played at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday, December 18 at 4pm (NGA).

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