FIFA Men's World Cup
Argentina vs. Croatia highlights: Messi, Argentina roll into final, 3-0
FIFA Men's World Cup

Argentina vs. Croatia highlights: Messi, Argentina roll into final, 3-0

Updated Dec. 13, 2022 5:19 p.m. ET

The 2022 FIFA World Cup entered its final four on Tuesday, as Argentina handily defeated Croatia 3-0 at Qatar's Lusail Stadium in the tournament's first semifinal match.

Argentina will now play either France or Morocco in Sunday's final (10 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app), while Croatia will play Saturday against the loser of the match between France and Morocco in the third-place game (10 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

Argentina vs. Croatia Highlights


Here are the top plays!

Argentina 3, Croatia 0

0': Two greats ready for action

Lionel Messi and Luka Modrić shook hands as they prepared to play.

15': An early Messi scare?

Messi was seen grabbing his hamstring after a run early on against Croatia. But he continued to play and seemed fine.

25': First save of the match

Enzo Fernández had a shot to the bottom right corner saved, the first by either side in the match.

34': Goal! Messi drills PK, Argentina leads 1-0

Messi capitalized after Argentina was awarded the penalty kick with a left-footed shot to the top right corner. With the goal, Messi became Argentina's all-time leading World Cup goal scorer.

Lionel Messi scores off a penalty kick for 1-0 lead

Another look at Messi's goal

39': Goal! Argentina strikes again! Leads 2-0

Julián Álvarez delivered a right-footed shot from inside the box to give Argentina a 2-0 lead.

Argentina's Julian Alvarez scores goal vs. Croatia in 39'

42': Nearly a third!

Argentina nearly had its third goal of the half when Messi's corner was headed by Alexis Mac Allister, but it was saved by Dominik Livaković.

Halftime: Argentina 2-0

46': Messi still sore

Messi appeared to be bothered by an issue from early in the first half.

58': Almost a second for Messi

Messi's point-blank shot was saved by Dominik Livaković to keep the deficit at two goals.

62': Very nearly Croatia's first

For the first time in the match, Croatia nearly knocked a shot in on Argentina, but keeper Emiliano Martínez managed to get a hand on it.

69': Goal! Messi delivers an assist on another Álvarez goal! Argentina 3-0

Álvarez scored his second goal of the match as Argentina took a 3-0 lead off Messi's fourth assist of the World Cup.

Argentina's Julian Alvarez scores goal vs. Croatia in 69'

75': Álvarez subbed out

Álvarez was replaced to a loud ovation after his two-goal performance.

81': Modrić subbed out to a loud ovation

Modrić was replaced on the field with Argentina in firm control late in the match.

Final: Argentina 3-0

Messi couldn't help but smile postgame

Argentina fans were ready for this


Setting the stage

Tuesday's match is the sixth overall meeting between Argentina and Croatia and the third World Cup meeting between these two nations, with the previous two matchups being split one apiece. The most recent World Cup match was in 2018 when Croatia earned a 3-0 win over Argentina in the Group Stage.

Overall the series between the two countries is tied at 2-1-2 entering today's match.

When looking ahead to the finals, Argentina has advanced to the final in each of the previous four times it has made a semifinal in the World Cup (1930, 1986, 1990, 2014). 

On the other side, Croatia is unbeaten in its previous 11 matches and is looking to become the fifth runner-up from the previous World Cup to reach the final at the next World Cup, joining the Netherlands in 1978, West Germany in 1986 and 1990, and Brazil in 2002.

Last World Cup meeting …

Two of the best ready to go at it

For the first time, the winners of the Golden Ball from the two previous World Cup tournaments will face off in a FIFA World Cup match.

Luka Modrić displaying some style

Almost that time

Both sides are in good spirits 

Flashback to the quarterfinals

Messi is on a mission

Messi has arrived

Back in Argentina, the game is front and center

Luka Modrić and Croatia have arrived 

The emotion of the game's most stressful situation: penalty kicks

Messi and Argentina take the field to a wild ovation

Argentina fans are bringing the energy

Messi and Modrić battle the elusive World Cup title

Almost time

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Check out the full schedule for the World Cup and how to watch each match live here.


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