Qatar World Cup 2022: Argentina vs Croatia - everything you need to know
All the information you need on Argentina and Croatia’s World Cup 2022 semi-final, which takes place at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday.
Argentina vs Croatia: when and where?
Argentina and Croatia’s World Cup 2022 semi-final will kick off at 10pm local time on Tuesday 13 December 2022; in the United States, that’s 2pm ET/1pm CT/11am PT. The match will be played at the 89,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, which will also be the venue for this weekend’s final.
How can I watch the game on TV/online in the US?
TV viewers in the US will be able to tune in to Argentina vs Croatia on FOX Network and Telemundo. If you’re looking to watch the game online in the States, you can do so on Foxsports.com and the FOX App, while the streaming services fuboTV and Peacock are also options.
How did Argentina and Croatia get to the semi-finals?
Despite a shock opening-game defeat to Saudi Arabia, Argentina topped Group C, before edging past Australia in the last 16. That set up a quarter-final with the Netherlands that has since been dubbed the ‘Battle of Lusail’. In all, 14 players were booked and one was sent off - Dutch full-back Denzel Dumfries - in a dramatic, ill-tempered match that went the distance.
Goals by Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi seemed to have won it for Argentina in normal time, but substitute Wout Weghorst hit a late double - his second goal arriving in the 11th minute of stoppage time - to force extra time. The tie was finally settled from the spot, Lautaro Martínez netting Argentina’s winning penalty after Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis had both missed for the Netherlands.
As for Croatia, who have the chance to reach a second straight World Cup final, Qatar 2022 has cemented their status as extra-time experts. Only one of their last nine major-tournament knockout ties has been settled inside 90 minutes.
After qualifying from Group F behind surprise package Morocco, Zlatko Dalic’s men squeezed past Japan on penalties in the last 16, before needing extra time and spot-kicks once more when they faced favourites Brazil in the quarter-finals. In the second half of the additional period, the Vatreni appeared to be sunk when Neymar scored a fabulous solo goal for the Brazilians - but, as people used to say about Germany, you can never write off the Croats.
Bruno Petkovic levelled three minutes from time, and having already kept out three spot-kicks against the Japanese, goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved from Rodrygo Goes to help Croatia to another shootout win. Four of the country’s last six World Cup knockout matches have gone to penalties, and they’ve been victorious on all four occasions.
Who are the favourites?
The bookmakers favour Argentina to reach the sixth World Cup final in their history. Per Oddschecker, US betting houses are pricing a win in 90 minutes for Lionel Scaloni’s men at between -128 and -114. The odds offered on a Croatia victory in normal time are around +340 to +390.
For betting purposes, a knockout tie tends to count as a draw if it is settled in extra time or on penalties. The odds on Argentina vs Croatia being level after normal time range from +220 to +245.
Have Argentina and Croatia met before at a World Cup?
They have indeed, on two occasions. At France 1998, Croatia’s first World Cup, Argentina were 1-0 winners in the group stage, thanks to Mauricio Pineda’s first-half goal in Bordeaux. At Russia 2018 two decades later, the teams faced off again in the first round - and this time it wasn’t quite such a close affair. Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic were all on target for the Croats as Argentina were thumped 3-0. That was the sides’ most recent meeting in all competitions.
What’s the team news?
After both receiving their second yellow card of the tournament in the win over the Netherlands, Marcos Acuña and Gonzalo Montiel are suspended for Argentina. Croatia have every player available.
Are any Golden Boot contenders involved?
Oh yes. Lionel Messi has four goals so far in Qatar, one fewer than the current leading marksman, France’s Kylian Mbappé. Messi - who, you might have heard, is only a World Cup short of completing his trophy collection - is also out to become Argentina’s highest all-time scorer at the tournament. The 35-year-old heads into Tuesday’s semi-final level with Gabriel Batistuta, after plundering his 10th career World Cup goal against the Netherlands.
What the coaches said:
Lionel Scaloni, Argentina:
“The previous game was played the way we had to play - for both teams. The Netherlands and Argentina. That’s football. In some games things can happen like this. There can be arguments, but that’s all. That’s why there’s a referee. We need to put an end to this idea of thinking Argentina behave like this.”
Zlatko Dalic, Croatia:
“We’re among the best teams in the world - that’s an extraordinary success for Croatia. It is a great thing to be among the four best teams at two World Cups in a row. But we want more. We’re playing a terrific Argentina team led by Lionel Messi. They’re highly motivated, and they’re under greater pressure than Croatia. I’m an optimist by nature - I trust my players. They’ve shown a high level of quality and strength of character. They would not have made it to the semi-finals without that.”
Who’s the referee?
Italy’s Daniele Orsato will take charge of the clash at Lusail Stadium. The 47-year-old’s assistant referees will be his compatriots Ciro Carbone and Alessandro Giallatini, and the fourth official will be the UAE’s Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed.
The video assistant referee (VAR) will be Italian Massimiliano Irrati, while the assistant VAR will be Paolo Valeri, also from Italy. The offside VAR will be Kathryn Nesbitt of the US, and the support VAR will be Venezuela’s Juan Soto.
Who will the winners face in the final?
Morocco or defending champions France await in the World Cup final, which is to be played on Sunday 18 December. The Atlas Lions meet Les Bleus at Al Bayt Stadium in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
Anything else to know?
We have a new match ball! Adidas on Sunday unveiled the gold and maroon ‘Al Hilm’, which will be used in the semi-finals and final in Qatar. The ball’s name translates as ‘the dream’.
Video: Messi or Modric magic?
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