Argentina vs Croatia – Two “David and Goliath” tales will be featured in the 2022 World Cup semifinal matches. As the first African team to go to the knockout stages, Morocco has achieved a fantastic run that has already immortalized them. Croatia also overcame all odds to upset Brazil, the tournament favorite. The 2022 World Cup has undoubtedly been an exciting ride, and I have no doubt that it will remain so right up until the very end. Buckle up, everyone; each round of the tournament only raises the stakes, and if the other rounds served as a benchmark, the semi-finals’ intensity will certainly stir up something fierce.
With only one shot on goal compared to Brazil’s eleven, Croatia managed to defeat the tournament’s heavyweights. Argentina is in the opposite corner, having defeated the tough Netherlands team in penalties despite blowing a 2-0 lead in the final minute of play. The soccer gods, who have had a ball with upsets this year, don’t give a damn if Argentina was favored to be here or Croatia wasn’t.
Argentina has a 50% chance of winning at this point, and there is a 28% chance of a draw that goes into extra time, which Argentina will want to avoid because Croatia appears to have some magic from 12 yards out. Argentina would undoubtedly want to finish the game in regular time, but eight of Croatia’s last nine knockout games have required extra time, so it may be more difficult than anticipated, even with the attacking wizardry of Lionel Messi and company.
Because of their solid defense and powerful goalkeeper, Dominik Livakovi, things might look good for Croatia if they decide to batten down the hatches and eventually force penalties. Livakovi is the third goalkeeper in World Cup history to stop four penalties in shootouts. Emiliano Martnez, the goalie for Argentina, is undoubtedly no slouch, having stopped two penalty kicks in the most recent game against the Netherlands. In the event of a shootout, Croatia’s PK wizardry might not be sufficient.
Every time La Albiceleste has played in the semifinals, they have advanced to the final, but only a fool would underrate Croatia. Despite their strong defense, Croatia is not a team that goes gently into the night, and with center midfielder Luka Modri, they might have a chance to shut down Argentina’s number 10 — emphasis on “might.”
Croatia would have to defeat the second of two South American titans to advance to the next round, becoming the first side since 2014 Germany to accomplish it. Personally, I don’t think that will happen. Croatia may no longer be able to perform miracles, and Argentina has already completed its spectacular upset of Saudi Arabia. The Argentinians are not taking anything for granted despite the upset they pulled off and the close game they played against the Netherlands. Additionally, Messi is currently in his villain arc; I don’t mean that in a bad sense. His focus and drive won’t waver as he takes his final shot at the trophy that he has spent his entire career trying to win for his nation. There is no need to clarify because we have all seen what that man is capable of.
I predict that the Argentina fans will have to endure a closer-than-comfortable game, one that may even go into overtime, but they will prevail in the end with a 2-1 result.