History repeats itself as the Netherlands lose on penalties to Argentina for the first time in eight years, miraculously recovering from a 2-0 down in normal time.
Lionel Messi’s spiked double, a sublime pass in the first half and a penalty in the second seemed to have closed a contest in which the Dutchman failed to mount a meaningful attack in the first hour. .
However, the introduction of Wout Weghorst and Luuk de Jong as second-half substitutes changed the nature of the match as the Netherlands abandoned the toothless passing game in favor of an aerial attack.
Weghorst scored twice in a chaotic end, including a clever free-kick move to equalize in the 11th minute of stoppage time, but the penalty curse once again ended the Dutch dream.
Captains Virgil van Dijk and Steven Bergis saw Emiliano Martinez save a penalty in Argentina’s goal and Messi and Leandro Paredes made no mistakes.
The Dutch had hopes of an unlikely come-from-behind when Enzo Fernández scored the fourth penalty for Argentina, but substitute Lautaro Martinez filled in the final spot kick to send his side to the semi-finals against Croatia. sent to
Head coach Louis van Gaal made one change to the starting line-up, replacing Davey Klaasen with Steven Bergwijn and starting up front with Cody Gakpo in the holding role alongside Memphis Depay.
Argentina’s line-up mirrored a three-man Dutch central defense, which meant no place for Angel Di Maria. Former Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez has been drafted to strengthen the defensive line.
In a cage-like first half, chances were few and far between, slowing to a walking pace at times.
Goalkeeper Andries Noppelt almost got in an early stray pass from Julian Alvarez, but Messi’s first surge of runs ended with a shot from outside the area.
More than half an hour passed before Noppert made a move, easily collecting a tame shot from DePaul.
Two minutes later, Argentina took the lead. Messi fended off Nathan Ake and sprinted forward before slipping the ball past a hurried Noppert before making a perfect pass to right-back Nahuel Molina.
Van Gaal was looking for a more creative approach, so he made two changes at half-time. Teun Koopminers came on to replace Marten De Loan in central midfield and Steven Berghuis replaced Bergwijn.
Argentina got their first chance after the break when Rodrigo De Paul tried to play Messi on the right but overhit a pass and Noppelt was able to collect the ball.
Messi, who escaped a yellow card for a clear handball a few minutes later, scored a free-kick for another darts run at the edge of the area, but the ball fizzed just over the crossbar.
After failing to shoot a single shot in the first 65 minutes, Van Gaal brought in Luke de Jong and switched the formation to 4-3-3, allowing Ake and Timber to move forward on the flanks. I made it
Six minutes later, however, Marcos Acuna completely overwhelmed Denzel Dumfries on the left edge of the penalty area, winning Messi’s spot kick to Noppelt’s left to put the goalkeeper on the spot.
Needing heavy artillery to break through a solid Argentinian defense, van Gaal brought on Wout Weghorst for a weakened Memphis in the 78th minute. His bet paid off within his five minutes as Weghorst headed in his Berghuis search cross from the right.
Two minutes later, Bergis crashed with a shot from Luke de Jong’s knockdown, but the ball went past the post and into the outside of the net.
The Dutchman looked short with 10 desperate minutes of injury time before Weghorst was unnecessarily pushed to the ground by German Petzera on the edge of the area.
With seconds left on the clock, the Koopminers upset the Argentine defense and forced extra time with a pea roller pass by Weghorst coming in from close range.
Argentina had the best chance in the first period of extra time.
Substitute Lautaro Martínez could have snagged the winner as South America pressed in the last ten minutes, but his shot from close range was sent to the post by Van Dijk’s chest. was turned
Bergis and substitute Noah Lang crossed and Emiliano Martinez deftly dealt with it.
Noppelt had to run as fast as he could to defend against Lautaro Martínez’s ferocious shot, but Enzo Fernández’s shot at the last minute hit the post.
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https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2022/12/netherlands-2-2-2-3-argentina-oranje-out-despite-weghorst-double/ Netherlands 2-2 (3-4) Argentina: Oranje are eliminated despite Weghorst’s doubles