Argentina Ends Croatia’s Hopes of 2022 World Cup Final (3-0)

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Slobodan Kadic
Slobodan Kadic

The Croatia national team met Argentina in one of the biggest matches in Croatian football history – their second consecutive World Cup semi-final. The two teams met at Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday night. 

The last time the two teams met was four years ago. Croatia beat Argentina 3-0 in the group phase of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Croatia thus finished first in their group and Argentina in second. 

Croatia finished 2nd in their 2022 World Cup group after drawing 0-0 against Morocco in the first round, beating Canada 4-1 in the second round, and drawing 0-0 against Belgium, which was enough for the round of 16. Croatia beat Japan on penalties in their last-16 tie and knocked out favorites Brazil on penalties in the quarter-final. 

The winner tonight would play in the 2022 World Cup final on Sunday. Both teams had everything to play for – Croatia for Modrić and Argentina for Messi.

Tonight’s match was refereed by Italian Daniele Orsato. 


Argentina – Martinez – Molina – Romero – Otamendi – Tagliafico – De Paul – Fernandez – Paredes – Mac Allister – Messi – Alvarez

Croatia – Livaković – Sosa – Gvardiol – Lovren – Juranović – Brozović – Kovačić – Modrić – Perišić – Pašalić – Kramarić

Match report

Croatia had the kickoff and the first possession of the match. Croatia calmly maintained that possession in the first 10 minutes, with one ball into the box from Perisic in the 5th minute. 

Croatia played quick one-twos up the pitch, creating space around the Argentina players. Modric fouled Mac Allister in the 13th minute on an Argentina attack. 

Lovren played a long ball to Pasalic in the 14th minute, which forced Argentina’s defense to kick it out for a throw-in. A brilliant play up the right wing with Juranovic and Modric forced the ball out for Croatia’s first corner in the 16th minute. 

Croatia was winning the most balls in contest compared to Argentina by the 18th minute. 

Croatia was awarded a free kick after Kovacic was fouled in the 19th minute. 

A dangerous attack by Argentina in the 22nd minute, fortunately, went out for a Croatia goal kick. 

Another Argentina attack in the 25th minute was cleared by Sosa, and Livakovic was forced to make his first save seconds later. 

A quick Croatia counter and a stunning move by Kovacic gave Croatia a foul outside of the box in the 27th minute. 

A quick Argentina counterattack followed, which Luka headed out for an Argentina throw-in. 

A Modric nutmeg on the right wing gave Croatia another brilliant attack. Perisic shot on goal but hit just over the crossbar. 

Another Argentina counterattack resulted in a penalty. Kovacic and Livakovic were both shown yellow cards. Messi scored for 1-0 Argentina in the 34th minute. 

Croatia won another corner in the 37th minute. Luka played it short, and Brozovic’s cross was deflected off an Argentina player for another quick counter. Sosa failed to clear the ball properly in the penalty area, and Livakovic committed early. Alvarez turned it into a goal. Argentina was up 2-0 in the 39th minute. 

Argentina won a corner in the 42nd minute, which nearly went in for another goal. Livakovic punched out the ball after another close call for an Argentina throw-in. 

Croatia’s best chance at goal was in the 45th minute. Luka’s shot deflected off Argentina, and he played it to Juranovic, who sent the ball near post. 

The ref added four minutes of stoppage time. 

The first half ended 2-0 for Argentina. Croatia had 62% of possession in the first half but got caught on Argentina’s quick counterattacks, resulting in two goals. 

Dalic made two subs at halftime. Sosa was subbed off for Orsic and Pasalic for Vlasic. 

A foul on Vlasic in the 47th minute was awarded to Croatia just outside the box. Modric sent the ball in but Martinez saved it. 

Dalic subbed off Brozovic for Petkovic in the 50th minute. Croatia was getting knocked off the ball but winning it back. Croatia had a good attack in the 53rd minute, but Petkovic failed to shoot when he should. Vlasic sent the ball into the box, but it went into Argentina’s possession. 

Livakovic made an incredible save off a Messi shot in the 58th minute. 

Another free kick for Croatia was awarded on the left sideline in Argentina’s half. Argentina subbed off Paredes for Martinez. 

Another great chance for Croatia came in the next minute, forcing Martinez to make a quick save in goal. 

Alvarez fouled Modric on a Croatia counterattack. Romero received a yellow card in the 68th minute. 

Messi was at his best in the 69th minute, outdribbling Gvardiol down the right, setting it up for Alvarez in the penalty area, who scored for 3-0 Argentina. 

Kramaric was subbed off for Livaja in the 72nd minute. 

A free kick for Croatia in the 73rd minute was taken by Perisic. It wasn’t an easy save for Martinez. 

Argentina started making subs in the 74th minute. Alvarez for Dybala, and Palacios for De Paul. 

Orsic tried shooting far post in the 77th minute, but it went wide of the goal. This Croatia team just didn’t have it today. 

Luka Modric was subbed off for Lovro Majer in the 81st minute. Dalic was trying to give the bench as much playing time as possible – it was the World Cup semi-final, after all. 

Messi missed an open chance in the 83rd minute.

Another chance for Croatia in the 85th minute was played out by the Argentina defense for a Croatia corner. Perisic flicked it back to Lovren, who missed an open goal. 

Majer had a good shot on goal in the 89th minute, which deflected into the hands of Martinez. 

The ref added 5 minutes of stoppage time. Croatia was given a corner in the first minute of stoppage time, which Majer hit into the Argentina defense. 

Kovacic shot with his let foot to end the match. Argentina will be going to the 2022 World Cup final on Sunday and Croatia will play the match for 3rd place on Satuday. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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