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Lionel Messi, Julian Alvarez break Croatia’s defense in Argentina’s 3-0 win in 2022 World Cup semifinal

Here’s the latest from Argentina vs. Croatia.

Argentina v Croatia: Semi Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Julian Alvarez celebrates scoring the third goal with Lionel Messi of Argentina during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semi final match between Argentina and Croatia at Lusail Stadium on December 13, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Argentina and Croatia will meet in the first semifinal of the 2022 World Cup Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET with a spot in the final on the line. Argentina last made a semifinal in 2014, defeating Netherlands in penalties to reach the final. Croatia last made the semifinal at the 2018 World Cup, defeating England to reach the final. Both teams are looking to get back to that pivotal final match. Lionel Messi is hoping for a storybook ending in his final World Cup, while Croatia’s “Golden Generation” tries to keep their trophy chances intact.

Here’s the latest updates from Argentina-Croatia.

Argentina vs. Croatia live updates

Full time - IT’S ALL OVER! Argentina are headed to the 2022 World Cup final! They win 3-0 over Croatia and now await the winner of France-Morocco.

85th minute - Lovren has another late chance on a corner kick but Croatia have dug themselves into too big a hole here. The fans are singing and chanting. Argentina are taking off their big guns in the final moments here. This one is basically a wrap.

80th minute - We’re entering the final 10 minutes plus some stoppage time and it doesn’t look like Argentina will give this lead up. Netherlands got two goals late to send the quarterfinal match to extra time and penalties but Croatia have significantly less firepower. This might be a bit of a slow bleed at the end but Argentina seem headed to the World Cup final.

70th minute - GOAL FOR ARGENTINA! Alvarez adds another for Argentina and this one looks like it’s a wrap.

62nd minute - Lovren nearly pulls one back for Croatia! That was the chance the European side needed but Argentina’s defense holds strong and clears the ball from the box.

58th minute - Livakovic stops Messi at point blank range but Argentina are once again doing damage on the counter attack. Croatia simply cannot get back quick enough and Argentina are getting opportunities. Croatia will continue to push forward searching for goals. The next score will likely determine whether this match is over or on.

54th minute - Messi appears to be playing through some type of leg injury, as he was working on his hamstring here in this clip. We’ll see how much Argentina press Messi here with a 2-0 lead but they’d have four days to rest ahead of the final if they secure a win so there shouldn’t be much concern regarding Messi’s status for that game.

50th minute - Croatia have already shown some signs of being under pressure here in the second half. The first free kick attempt from Modric was not up to the mark, and Croatia’s midfield plan has not worked as they had hoped. Brozovic has been taken off for the more attacking Petkovic. We’ll see if that helps Croatia push forward more.

Halftime - Argentina have successfully broken through against Croatia’s defense twice, and now it’s going to force the European side to play out of their element. That could lead to even more opportunities for Argentina on the counter attack, which they’ve already exploited in this match. Argentina lead 2-0 at halftime and have put four shots on target to Croatia’s zero. Despite not having a lot of possession, Argentina are ahead in the only stat that matters.

45th minute - Argentina smell blood in the water and are coming dangerously close to adding a third goal. Croatia’s ironclad defense has looked quite ordinary in the last 15 minutes, especially on Alvarez’s goal. Livakovic was bound to come down to Earth at some point as a goalkeeper but this has been particularly bad. We’ll see how resilient Croatia are but this is a deficit they have not overcome yet in this World Cup.

39th minute - ANOTHER GOAL FOR ARGENTINA! This time, it’s Julian Alvarez going through the entire defense and getting some good fortune on deflections to double Argentina’s advantage.

34th minute - GOAL FOR ARGENTINA! Lionel Messi makes no mistake and the South American side take a 1-0 lead in the semifinal.

32nd minute - PENALTY FOR ARGENTINA! A ball over the top finds Julian Alvarez and Croatia’s defenders are caught off guard. Livakovic steps out and crashes into Alvarez, resulting in a clear foul.

31st minute - Croatia have a great move courtesy of Modric’s pass, and eventually find Ivan Perisic on the wing. He lofts a shot from inside the box, which sails over the Argentina goal.

28th minute - Croatia don’t get anything out of a set piece but Argentina found a great break on the counter and only Luka Modric’s quick thinking on a header saved what could’ve been a potentially dangerous move. Argentina might be making Croatia question their approach a bit due to the outside speed and ability of the wingbacks to push forward quickly.

22nd minute - Messi makes a great move in the attacking third for Argentina, but his final pass finds a Croatia defender instead of his intended target. Both sides are starting to become more adventurous in this semifinal and have grown into the game. Croatia are more content to knock it around more but Argentina have started to push forward more.

14th minute - As is the case with early trends, possession is changing quite drastically after a few minutes. Croatia now hold a big edge in that regard after knocking the ball around a bit. We’ve still got zero total shots, so not a lot of action either way.

11th minute - Argentina have had more possession early in this game but neither team has put up a shot yet. It’s been a slow build in the middle of the park with some occasional moves on the flanks but nothing too threatening from either side.

3rd minute - We’ve seen the first instance of Molina creeping up the flank as a wingback and challenging Croatia’s defense. Nothing came of his cross but this will be the matchup to watch, especially since Croatia have three attackers up front for potential counters.

Pregame - According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Argentina are priced at +100 on the moneyline for regular time. This has moved significantly from the opening odds, which had the South American side at -120. Croatia are +360, down slightly from the +390 opening odds. The draw is +210 and it opened at +245. Argentina are -230 to advance and Croatia are +185. Those numbers have remained mostly in line with the opening odds.

Pregame - We’ve got the lineups for both teams and there are no real surprises on the Croatia side. Argentina will be without Marcos Acuna due to card accumulation. Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria will be available off the bench for Argentina. Leandro Paredes, the man who sparked tempers against Netherlands in the quarterfinal, will start in the midfield.