WATCH: Fuming Lionel Messi slams Netherlands' Wout Weghorst after tense quarter-final clash in FIFA World Cup 2022

WATCH: Fuming Lionel Messi slams Netherlands' Wout Weghorst after tense quarter-final clash in FIFA World Cup 2022

Messi was the man of the match after setting up Nahuel Molina for the opening goal and then scoring Argentina's second from the penalty spot with just 17 minutes left to play

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, December 10, 2022, 04:31 PM IST
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Lionel Messi started the match by delivering another football masterclass.

The Argentina superstar ended it sporting a bloodied top lip, shouting abuse to opponents and even blasting the referee.

And of course there were goals, too, for one of the greats of the game whose bid to win the World Cup for the first time is still on track.

Messi is heading to the semifinals with Argentina after a chaotic penalty-shootout victory over Netherlands that had just about everything on Friday.

Argentina took a 2-0 lead, conceded an equaliser in the 11th minute of second-half stoppage time to send the match to extra time at 2-2, and then won the shootout 4-3 amid a deafening noise inside Lusail Stadium.

Messi, who scored a penalty in regulation time, converted his penalty in the shootout while goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez made two saves to help Argentina secure a semifinal match against Croatia, which beat Brazil earlier Friday.

After Lautaro Martinez scored the clinching penalty, Messi — with his arms outstretched — sprinted toward the goalkeeper, who had fallen to the ground to the side of the goal, and lay on top of him.

The tension off the field spilled over as the players clashed after leaving the field.

In one of the incidents caught on camera, Messi was seen being involved in an heated exchange with Dutch striker Wout Weghorst.

"Who are you looking at? Go ahead you stupid," Messi was heard as saying on air in Spanish.

The presenter, who was interviewing Messi, asked the the star player to calm down.

'We had to suffer'

Meanwhile, Messi admitted his side had suffered to qualify for the semifinals of the World Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout against the Netherlands.

"We are really happy, we suffered too much, but it's a quarterfinal in the World Cup, and we suffered what we had to suffer to qualify," said Messi.

Messi was the man of the match after setting up Nahuel Molina for the opening goal and then scoring Argentina's second from the penalty spot with just 17 minutes left to play

The game appeared to be over before a late Dutch fightback saw Wout Weghorst score in the 83rd and 10th minute of injury time to take it to extra time and penalties.

"We are taking it game after game with the same intensity and same desire. We want to be protagonists. We are really excited and really want to win and we need this joy for us and for everyone who supports us," he said.

The striker expressed his frustration after scoring the equaliser for the Netherlands, saying that Spanish referee, Mateu Lahoz had added on too much injury time.

"I felt really angry at the late goal. I don't want to talk about the referee, because you can get a suspension, but people saw what happened. FIFA have to look at that. They can't put in a referee who isn't up to the job at this stage," he said.

However, Messi said that he had confidence his side would qualify.

"We knew we had an advantage with Emiliano (Martinez)," he said.

He then looked ahead to the semifinal against Croatia, who also beat Brazil in a dramatic penalty shootout.

"Croatia will be really hard. They were better than Brazil at times and move the ball really well. They are working with the same coach (Zlatko Dalic) as 2018 and it will be really hard.

"I've said all World Cup, we are enjoying this, the fans, and taking it step by step.

"I am very happy," he concluded.

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who saved two penalties in the shootout, said: "I am very excited. We played for 45 million people. The people are not having a good time economically and we are giving them some joy."

"I couldn't make the saves in 90 minutes, but luckily I was able to do so in the penalties. I saved two and could have saved a third.

"We won because we have balls, passion and because we played for 45 million Argentines. We are as excited as they are," said Martinez.

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