Live end 13 Dec 2022

Argentina v Croatia semifinal Live Updates

Argentina thrash Croatia 3-0 to march into the final

18: 05 , Dec 13

Argentina’s tryst with destiny up against the grit of Croatia

From the day the fixture of the Qatar World Cup was announced, football fans across the world had singled out the date, “13 December, 2022”.

The reason behind that was quite simple. If everything went accordingly, this was the date when the two Latin American giants of football, Brazil and Argentina, would clash for a blockbuster semifinal of the FIFA World Cup.

Lionel Messi’s Argentina held up their end of the bargain, overcoming every challenge to make it to the final four.

But at the other end, Brazil slipped up. Neymar’s Brazil’s journey in Qatar ended in tears of heartbreak at the quarter-finals.

The team that shattered millions of Brazilian hearts and took Brazil’s place in the semifinal showdown against Argentina are Luka Modric’s indomitable Croatia.

Now, at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar, Croatia will attempt to become a party pooper once more, knock out Argentina and play their second World Cup final in a row with hopes of going one step further than the previous one.

On the other hand, a battle-hardened Argentina under the leadership of Messi will give their all to conquer the Croats and go one step closer to ending their 36-year-long wait at the World Cup.

18: 14 , Dec 13


Argentina: Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Nahuel Molina, Nicolas Tagliafico, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi (c)

Croatia: Dominik Livakovic, Borna Sosa, Ivan Perisic, Dejan Lovren, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Luka Modric (c), Marcelo Brozovic, Mario Pasalic, Josko Gvardiol and Josip Juranovic

18: 18 , Dec 13

The battle of the LM10s

This is will be a battle of two LM10- Lionel Messi and Luka Modric.

The two former Ballon D’Or winners have not won the grandest prize of all in football, the FIFA World Cup. And after today, one of them would be almost certain to end their illustrious careers without lifting the coveted trophy.

18: 19 , Dec 13
18: 21 , Dec 13

Argentina Croatia fans are ready for the rumble in Lusail 

Argentina fans at Souq Waqif in Doha, Qatar ahead of the semifinal match against Croatia
18: 21 , Dec 13
18: 24 , Dec 13

A look at Argentina and Croatia's last line of defence

18: 28 , Dec 13

Argentina coach Scaloni believes he knows how to solve the Croatia puzzle

This picture shows the Argentine locker room ahead of the semi-final match of FIFA World Cup 2022 between Argentina and Croatia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar on 13 December, 2022
18: 30 , Dec 13

Croatia claimed they won't man-mark Messi

Argentina's Lionel Messi during the warm up before the semi-final match against Croatia
18: 32 , Dec 13

Argentina's road to semifinal

Group stage

Argentina v Saudi Arabia: 1-2

Argentina v Mexico: 2-0

Argentina v Poland: 2-0

Round of 16

Argentina v Australia: 2-1


Argentina v Netherlands: 1-1 (4-3 on penalties)

18: 35 , Dec 13

Croatia's road to semifinal

Group stage

Croatia v Morocco: 0-0

Croatia v Canada: 4-1

Croatia v Belgium: 0-0

Round of 16

Croatia v Japan: 1-1 (3-1 on penalties)


Croatia v Brazil: 1-1 (4-2 on penalties)

18: 48 , Dec 13

The Albiceleste prepare for Croatia showdown

Argentina's Angel Di Maria, Lisandro Martinez and Juan Foyth during the warm up before the semi-final match against Croatia
Argentina's Lionel Messi during the warm up before the semi-final match against Croatia
18: 49 , Dec 13

The Checkered ones ready to take on Argentina

Croatia players during the warm up before the semi-final match against Argentina
Croatia's Luka Modric during the warm up before the semi-final match against Argentina
18: 50 , Dec 13

Just 10 minutes to go now...

18: 51 , Dec 13

Head-to-head record in World Cup

26 Jun 1998         Argentina v Croatia      1-0

21 Jun 2018         Argentina v Croatia      0-3

19: 00 , Dec 13

1'- The match Kicks off

19: 04 , Dec 13

4'- Argentina make two runs at Croatia box in the first four minutes. No shots attempted yet

19: 10 , Dec 13

10'- Cautious start from both teams. No shots on goal yet

19: 13 , Dec 13

14'- Messi appeals for a free-kick at the edge of the Croatia box. Referee not interested

19: 16 , Dec 13


Croatia get the first corner of the match. But Lovren's header goes wide.

19: 21 , Dec 13
Argentina's Lionel Messi and Leandro Paredes remonstrate with referee Daniele Orsato
19: 24 , Dec 13

23'- Some signs of life in the game

Argentina made an inquisitive run in the Croat box. But Croatia stopped the attack and started a counter-attack of them through Kovacic. But Argentina reclaim possession of the ball to start a counter of their own. Messi got the ball inside the box courtesy of a rare mispass from Croatia, but no danger for Croatia.

19: 25 , Dec 13

25'- Argentina's first shot on goal

Enzo Fernandes took the first shot on target for Argentina halfway into the first half, but Croatia keeper Livakovic was up to the task.

19: 28 , Dec 13

27'- FREE-KICK for Croatia

Croatia get a free-kick 20 yard from the Argentina box. Modric stands over the ball, but his shot was disappointing. Argentina start a counter, but can't get a shot away.

19: 31 , Dec 13

31'- Croatia's first shot on goal

Perisic tried to flick the ball over the keeper, but goes over the bar.

19: 31 , Dec 13

32'- PENALTY for Argentina

Alvarez was brought down inside the box by the Croatia keeper and Argentina have been awarded a penalty

19: 33 , Dec 13

34'- Messi Scores

Messi hits the ball to the left of the keeper. Livakovic dived at the correct corner, but the ball was hit too firmly for him to keep it out. Messi scores and Argentina take a 1-0 lead.

19: 37 , Dec 13
Argentina's Lionel Messi scores their first goal from the penalty spot
19: 38 , Dec 13

39'- Alvarez scores

Croatia get a corner. Modric takes it short, but Brozovic's delivery was intercepted and Alvarez started a run at the Croatia box.

A Croatian defender retrieved the ball from Alvarez, but the ball deflected on a teammate and once again came to Alvarez, who hit the ball home to score memorable goal.

19: 43 , Dec 13

43'- Livakovic saves Croatia

Mac Allister's header from a corner was headed towards the Croatia goal, but Livakovic fisted the ball away.

19: 45 , Dec 13
19: 46 , Dec 13

45'- Four minutes added as stoppage time

19: 49 , Dec 13

Half Time: Argentina 2 - Croatia 0

After a dull start to the match, the game burst into life at the halfway stage of the first half.

Argentina made a few exciting runs at the Croatia goal before a clumsy challenge from goalkeeper Livakovic gifted Argentina a penalty. Messi, without a hitch, scored from the spot.

Croatia tried to conjure up a response, unsuccessfully, and in the process opened up an opportunity for Argentina to double their lead, which was gleefully obliged by Alvarez with an incredible, and somewhat fortuitous, goal.

As things stand, Argentina are set to become the first finalist of the Qatar World Cup.

20: 04 , Dec 13

Argentina fans rejoice in Buenos Aires

Argentina fans celebrate after Argentina's Julian Alvarez scores their second goal
20: 05 , Dec 13

46'-Second half kicks off

Two half time changes for Croatia. IN Vlasic, Orsic. OUT: Sosa, Pasalic.

20: 07 , Dec 13

47'- FREE-KICK for Croatia

Substitute Vlasic wins a free-kick for Croatia. But Emiliano Martinez comfortable grabs the ball.

20: 08 , Dec 13

49'- Parades shot goes straight to Croatia keeper Livakovic

20: 11 , Dec 13

50'- SUBSTITUTION for Croatia

IN: Petkovic. OUT: Brozovic

20: 17 , Dec 13

58'- Livakovic denies Messi

Croatia survive a close call. Messi found himself in a one-on-one scenario against Livakovic. But his left-footed strike went straight to Livakovic.

20: 21 , Dec 13
Argentina's Lionel Messi shoots at goal
20: 22 , Dec 13

62'- SUBSTITUTION for Argentina

IN- Lisandro Martinez. OUT- Parades

20: 22 , Dec 13

62'- Argentina survive close call

Lovren had two attempted headers off a Modric free-kick, but none of them could reach Emiliano Martinez.

20: 28 , Dec 13


Argentina defender Romero see a yellow card.

20: 29 , Dec 13

69'- Alvarez scores again, Messi assists

Messi wiggled past two defenders in a move of pure magic and then passed the ball to Alvarez, who scored his second goal of the match to make it 3-0 for Argentina, with a little over 21 minutes of regular time to go.

20: 34 , Dec 13
Argentina's Julian Alvarez scores their third goal
20: 35 , Dec 13
20: 37 , Dec 13
20: 47 , Dec 13

74'- SUBSTITUTIONS for Argentina

IN: Dybala, Palacios

OUT: Alvarez, Rodrigo de Paul

20: 41 , Dec 13

81'- Modric substituted

Luka Modric left the field for the final time in a FIFA World Cup match, as he was substituted with nine minutes to go in regular time Modric.

Croatia's Luka Modric walks off the pitch after being substituted
20: 42 , Dec 13

83'- Argentina nearly make it 4-0

Mac Allister's shot at goal from a free kick went wide. But Argentina don't mind, as they already have three goals in the bank.

20: 46 , Dec 13

86'-SUBSTITUTIONS for Argentina

IN- Foyth, Correa

OUT: Mac Allister, Molina

20: 50 , Dec 13

90'- Five minutes added as stoppage time

20: 55 , Dec 13

FULL TIME: Argentina 3 - Croatia 0

20: 55 , Dec 13

Argentina march into the final

Argentina eased past Croatia 3-0 in the semifinal as Messi's last dance advances to the finals of the Qatar World Cup.

Messi had a huge part to play in the win, scoring from the spot and then assisting the two goals scored by Juan Alvarez to make sure the Albecileste play in the final.

Messi is now set to play in his second World Cup final. In the 2014 World Cup final, Argentina fell short against Germany and Messi had to see the Germans celebrate with the trophy with tears welling up in his eyes.

This time, a more matured and determined Messi will be up against either the surprise of the World Cup Morocco or defending champions France in the final in Doha on 18 December.

21: 10 , Dec 13
21: 14 , Dec 13
21: 17 , Dec 13

The feeling sinks in...

Messi takes in the moment
Messy will play in his second World Cup final
'Is this a dream' Messi must be wondering
21: 22 , Dec 13

Argentina one step away from the ultimate glory

Argentina's Lionel Messi with teammates celebrate after the match as Argentina progress to the final
Messi still can't quite believe it
Argentina's Lionel Messi and coach Lionel Scaloni embrace after the match
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates with fans after the match
21: 27 , Dec 13