FIFA Men's World Cup
World Cup Daily: Argentina awaits final opponent
FIFA Men's World Cup

World Cup Daily: Argentina awaits final opponent

Updated Dec. 13, 2022 5:56 p.m. ET

Lionel Messi is headed to the second World Cup final of his illustrious career after leading Argentina to a 3-0 win over Croatia at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday. 

Argentina will play the winner of France-Morocco (2 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app) in the final Sunday; Croatia will play the loser in the third-place match Saturday.

Here's everything that happened in the World Cup on Tuesday and what to watch for Wednesday.

Argentina 3, Croatia 0


Croatia's incredible run came to an end, thanks in no small part to the contributions of the magical Messi. With a goal and an assist, Messi not only became the oldest player (35) to score at least five goals in a single World Cup, but he's also one goal or assist behind Ronaldo Nazário for the most goal contributions (goals + assists) at the tournament ever.

Julián Álvarez did his part, as did Argentina's defense by not allowing a goal, but it's clear this team will only go as far as Messi will lead them — now, all that's left for him to lead them to is a World Cup trophy.

Argentina-Croatia highlights

Behind a brilliant performance from Lionel Messi, Argentina rolled into the World Cup final.


It's hard to give to a goalkeeper that gave up a penalty — in addition to two other goals — and picked up a yellow card, but even in a loss, Dominik Livaković had more saves than the opposing keeper. 

For the tournament, Livaković saved 27 shots, which is nearly triple the amount of saves that Emiliano Martínez has (eight) going into the final. Without a doubt, Livaković will be in the conversation for the Golden Glove, which is awarded to the tournament's best keeper.


Messi doesn't do it all on his own, but, boy, does he do a lot for Argentina.


Who needs teammates when you can turn on the jets like Julián Álvarez? And who needs to shoot when you can just run it in? Why doesn't everyone just do what he did all the time?


Luka Modrić has made it clear that he has no intention of retiring from international soccer; he wants to play until he physically can't anymore. But just because Modrić doesn't have any immediate plans to retire doesn't mean he's a write-in for the 2026 World Cup, as he'll by 40 years old when the tournament rolls around.

If this is his last World Cup, Modrić got his flowers on his way out, and deservedly so — he's a legend.


France vs. Morocco, 2 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App

With Croatia eliminated from the tournament, Morocco is the last true underdog left in Qatar. 

Becoming the first African country to advance to a World Cup semifinal was a tremendous achievement; becoming the first African nation to advance to the World Cup final by beating the reigning champions would be statue-worthy stuff, trophy or not. 

We'll see how it plays out Wednesday.

Read more from the World Cup:



Get more from FIFA Men's World Cup Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more