FIFA World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi's Argentina on Friday edged past the Netherlands in a nail-biting and ill-tempered quarterfinal match in the penalty shootout. The La Albicelestes were tested hard by a strong Dutch lineup and were made to do the tedious task even after leading the majority part of the match. As the scores were locked on 2-2 in full time and extra time, Argentina found victory in the penalties (4-3). After the victory, Argentina's captain Lionel Messi remembered former iconic player Diego Maradona.
"Diego is watching us from the heavens. He is pushing us and I really hope this stays the same until the end of the tournament," Messi said after the match. The 35-year-old also highlighted the winning moment and the match against the Dutch. "When Lautaro scored and we qualified there was a huge joy. It was a weight off our chests. It was a very hard match. From the start it was a really tough match, we knew it would be hard. We leave that on the pitch with our people. We were really happy and we enjoyed the moment and that is what we can look at here and also in Argentina because people are really in joy, they are really excited and they are full of enthusiasm," Messi added.
Messi also stated that the Netherlands made things difficult for them as they took the match in the extra time but he is relieved that the team is in the semifinals. The match witnessed some ugly scenes too where players from both teams confronted each other at times. The match saw 17 yellow cards being given- a record for a World Cup match — two of which went to Netherlands defender Denzel Dumfries, leading to him getting sent off after the game.