Argentina beat the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in penalty shootouts and were seen mocking their rivals in celebration.
Lautaro Martinez scored the decisive kick to send La Albiceleste into the last four and some of their players appeared to ridicule a dejected Netherlands side.
As Martinez slotted home the winner, Nicolas Otamendi cupped his ears, while Leandro Paredes raised a fist and Gonzalo Montiel pumped his hands.
Angel Di Maria, German Pezzella, and Alexis Mac Allister were also seen screaming at the Dutch players, some of whom went down in disappointment.
Given the ill-tempered nature of the clash, it wasn’t surprising to see the winning side brush it in their rivals’ faces, but such behavior from the said Argentinian players were unnecessary to say the least.
As for Lionel Messi, he ran straight to Emiliano Martinez, who laid down on his face crying, although the 35-year-old later clashed with Dutch manager Louis van Gaal and his staff.
The match was riddled with animosity, with sparks flying even before kick-off as Van Gaal took a swipe at Messi by playing down his threat and boldly claiming that Argentina are afraid of them.
During the encounter, The Netherlands and Argentina players clashed on numerous occasions, especially after a cynical foul by Paredes on Nathan Ake before he smashed the ball into their dugout.
Overall, the match witnessed a total of 48 fouls, with Spanish referee Matheu Lahoz brandishing a yellow card a total of 15 times, including a second booking for Denzel Dumfries after the shootout.
Netherlands vs. Argentina saw 16 yellow cards—equalling a World Cup record
Hostilities aside, the game lived up to its billing, with The Netherlands fighting back from two goals down to push Argentina into extra time.
Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi had the Copa America champions 2-0 up until the final 10 minutes of the game before substitute Wout Weghorst scored a brace for Oranje, including an equalizer in the 11th minute of added time.
With no goals in extra time, a penalty shootout beckoned, and Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis both missed their attempts. Lautaro Martinez eventually sealed the tie with the decisive kick.
Argentina face Croatia in the 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finals
Argentina and Croatia will lock horns at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday for a place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.
It will be another tense and engaging clash between two talented teams, one led by an amazing attack and another running a stoic defense.
Interestingly, the sides also met in the group stages of Russia 2018, where the Vatreni secured a stunning 3-0 win. Can they repeat that or will Lionel Messi and co. have their revenge?
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