Croatia’s dream of reaching their second World Cup final in a row has been ended by Argentina.
Two goals in a five minute spell in the first half and another after the break has helped Argentina to a 3-0 win in the semi-final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday night at Lusail Stadium.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić kept faith in the same XI which started against Brazil in the quarterfinal and for 15 minutes his side looked composed as they controlled the pace of the game through possession.
In the 34th minute the game would turn as Julian Alvarez would get in behind Dejan Lovren and he would lob the ball over Dominik Livaković and go down only for referee Daniele Orsato to point to the spot.
Leo Messi would give Livaković no chance, drilling it into the top left-hand corner to make it 1-0.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 13, 2022
Five minutes later and Messi and Alvarez combine again with the Alvarez driving through the middle of the Croatian defence and after a couple of lucky pushes he would flick it past Livaković to make it 2-0.
Needing goals, Dalić brought on Mislav Oršić, Nikola Vlašić and Bruno Petković after the break.
The game started to open up a lot more as Croatia looked to attack and in the 62nd minute Lovren had a chance from a free-kick but he could not make good enough contact with his head and Vlašić could not hit the rebound first time.
Argentina put the game out of Croatia’s reach in the 70th minute when Messi found himself on the right and after working his way around Joško Gvardiol into the box, he would square it back for Alvarez who would slide it into the back of the net for his second of the the game to make it 3-0.
Croatia tried to muster up something in the final ten minutes and had a great chance to snatch one back but it was not to be their day as the ball escaped Lovren with the goal begging when Perišić flicked on a corner.
Croatia will now play the loser of the France and Morocco semi-final for 3rd place on Saturday, whilst Argentina will play in their sixth final.