Netherlands 2 (3)-(4) 2 Argentina: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis, fan reaction and more

Match review

A riveting, pulsating, and at times downright staggering game of football at the Lusail Stadium on Friday night ultimately culminated in Argentina putting the Netherlands to the sword courtesy of a penalty shootout.

The 2nd of the day’s two quarter-final fixtures was played to completion a short time ago.

After Croatia shocked Brazil at the Education City Stadium, fellow South America giants Argentina pitted their talents against Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands.

The game’s scoring was opened late in the first-half, when a moment of genius on the part of Lionel Messi saw the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner slip in Nahuel Molina to slot into the far corner in style:

From here, Messi then turned goalscorer, in rattling home a spot-kick a little over fifteen minutes from time.

With Argentina firmly on top, and the Netherlands looking completely bereft of ideas in the final third, the result, in turn, looked something of a formality.

This, however, was all changed upon substitute Wout Weghorst entering the fray.

As Louis van Gaal opted to switch up his strategy to a direct, long-ball game, on-loan Burnley hitman Weghorst first provided the Netherlands with a glimmer of hope courtesy of a fine glancing header with a little over five minutes remaining.

Then, incredibly, with a full ten minutes of injury time on the board, a brilliantly-worked set-piece routine saw that man Weghorst prove the hero once more, rolling home to send the action in Lusail to extra-time.

Neither outfit, though, managed to eek out an all-important winner over the half hour that followed, resulting in the lottery that is a penalty shootout.

After Emi Martinez saved not one, but both of the Netherlands’ first two spot-kicks, the stage was subsequently set for namesake Lautaro to bury Argentina’s fifth and final penalty, guiding the Albiceleste to within a solitary game of the World Cup final.

Netherlands Player Ratings

  • Andries Noppert (GK): 5.5
  • Jurriën Timber (RCB): 5
  • Virgil van Dijk (CB): 5.5
  • Nathan Aké (LCB): 6.5
  • Denzel Dumfries (RWB): 5
  • Daley Blind (LWB): 6
  • Martin de Roon (CM): 5.5
  • Frenkie de Jong (CM): 6.5
  • Memphis Depay (CAM): 5
  • Steven Bergwijn (RF): 5.5
  • Cody Gakpo (LF): 6.5
  • (Sub): Steven Berghuis - 5.5
  • (Sub): Teun Koopmeiners - 7.5
  • (Sub): Luuk De Jong - 7
  • (Sub): Wout Weghorst - 9
  • (Sub): Noa Lang - 6

Argentina Player Ratings

  • Emiliano Martínez (GK): 7.5
  • Nahuel Molina (RB): 7
  • Cristian Romero (RCB): 6.5
  • Nicolás Otamendi (CB): 6
  • Lisandro Martínez (LCB): 6
  • Marcos Acuña (LB): 7
  • Rodrigo de Paul (RCM): 6.5
  • Enzo Fernández (CM): 5.5
  • Alexis Mac Allister (LCM): 6.5
  • Julián Álvarez (RF): 5.5
  • Lionel Messi (LF): 9
  • (Sub): Nicolas Tagliafico - 5
  • (Sub): Leandro Paredes - 6
  • (Sub): Lautaro Martinez - 7
  • (Sub): Gonzalo Montiel - 6
  • (Sub): German Pezzella - 5
  • (Sub): Angel Di Maria - 6.5

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Conor Laird

Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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