Argentina will face off against France in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final on Sunday, December 18. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. ET at Lusail Iconic Stadium as Lionel Messi sets his sights on his first-ever World Cup title in his last run with the Argentinian team. The nation has won the title twice before, but it’s been 36 years since their last win and the entire country will be itching for another one.
It won’t be a walk in the park, though, as France will be looking to defend their 2018 title and become the first team to win back-to-back World Cups since Pele’s Brazil in 1958 and 1962.
Let’s take a look at how Argentina got to the final.
Argentina’s path to World Cup final
Argentina opened the group stage with a shock as Saudi Arabia completed one of the biggest upsets in history with a 2-1 win over Lionel Scaloni’s side. Argentina made up for the stumble in the opener, logging 2-0 wins over both Mexico and Poland to finish at the top of Group C with six points.
The round of 16 saw Argentina meet up with Australia, taking a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Messi and Julian Alvarez. Just when it looked like it was in the bag for Argentina, Australia grabbed a goal in the 77th minute and turned up the pressure, looking like they were going to potentially score an equalizer. They couldn’t find it, though, and the Argentinians finished with a 2-1 victory to move on to the quarterfinal round.
Argentina’s next opponent was the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, and they were able to get out to another 2-0 lead thanks to goals in each half from Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi. The Dutch side had other plans, and a brace from Wout Weghorst in the 83rd minute and the 11th minute of stoppage time sent the match into extra time in the dying seconds of regulation. Both teams unable to find another goal in the next 30 minutes, the match went into a penalty shootout that saw Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez make two huge saves to help lift his team to a 4-3 shootout win.
In the semifinal, it was all Argentina as they didn’t have much trouble scoring against Luka Modric and the Croatian side. A goal from Messi followed by a brace from Alvarez lifted La Seleccion to a 3-0 win, despite Croatia controlling 61% of possession and outshooting them 12-9 overall. It was Messi’s fifth goal of the tournament as he sits tied with Kylian Mbappe at the top of the Golden Boot race.