HomeUKNetherlands v Argentina: World Cup 2022 quarter-final – live

Netherlands v Argentina: World Cup 2022 quarter-final – live

Key events

24 min Bergwijn shoots well wide from the edge of the area after a quick one-two-three with Depay. That was half a chance.

24 min “The Dutch kit is a little hard on the eye,” says Peadar de Burca. “It’s orange, but it’s not, you know orange. Cruyff would be Cruyff-turning in his grave.”

Pele-turning surely?

I know what you mean about the kit. For sheer brilliance, they’ll never beat 2006.

22 min Messi shoots over the bar from 25 yards.

21 min Gakpo takes a short corner and lifts a cross that is headed away at the near postl.

21 min Ake waves a pass down the inside-left channel to Depay, who wins the first corner of the game off Otamendi.

20 min I’d love to tell you this is a thriller, but I don’t want to lie to you.

19 min “Argentina play such negative soccer…” says Jeff Sachs. “Hope they lose.”

18 min The Netherlands are coming into the game, and Martinez has to charge from his line to beat Bergwijn to a through ball.

17 min “I too think this might be the Netherlands’ night,” says Marlon Cameron. “After various approaches to the game have been found wanting (e.g. too many attacking players in Euro 2008, too little actual football as opposed to, ahem, vigour in 2010) could we finally be seeing the cradle of Total Football finding the kind of unflashy but effective system that you don’t notice till it’s taken the tape?”

There will be all sorts of cognitive dissonance if the Netherlands finally win the World Cup playing with three centre-halves and no wingers.

16 min Gakpo’s deep cross is volleyed back across goal by Dumfries towards his fellow wing-back Blind. Romero eases him out of the way, a risky but ultimately fair challenge.

15 min “Every time the World Cup rolls around, I always seek out the Spanish-language channel that’s showing it,” says Michael Day. “This year, NBC’s Peacock has Spanish streaming rights and the coverage is quality. My Spanish is almost non-existent, but the enthusiasm and presentation is always a much more joyful experience. Zero chest-puffing blowhard action. Brilliant.”

I don’t suppose you can take the same approach to text commentary.

13 min De Paul is penalised for what looked a fair, if strong, challenge on Bergwijn. The referee has a word but no more.

12 min So far, on the NEDARGometer, this is more 2014 than 1998. It’s been really cagey.

11 min Messi has started brightly. He runs across the line of the penalty area and slides the ball towards the overlapping Acuna. He wallops a cross straight out of play on the far side.

9 min “The last time Messi faced VvD, he lost,” says Joe Pearson. “Not a prediction, per se, but an observation.”

Yes but the Netherlands don’t have Andy Robertson to violate him, do they.

8 min The goalkeeper Noppert plays a risky pass that only just evades the sliding Alvarez.

7 min The Argentina fans are making the usual racket, and their team have been the slightly better team so far.

5 min Messi is already finding space between the lines. He picks up a loose ball just past the centre circle, runs at the Netherlands defence and plays in the overlapping Molina. His cross is cleared to De Paul, whose long-range shot is blocked.

4 min Gakpo goes down after an off-the-ball collision with Molina. I say ‘collision’, Molina just ran into him. Both men are fine.

4 min Argentina have the extra man in midfield, with Gakpo playing pretty high up for the Netherlands – more false nine than orthodox No10.

4 min It’s just like being there!

3 min The first half-decent move of the game. Mac Allister scurries through midfield and finds the overlapping left wing-back Acuna, whose low cross is booted clear at the near post.

2 min As expected, Both teams are playing with three centre-backs.

1 min Peep peep! Memphis Depay gets the game under way, with the Netherlands kicking from left to right as we watch.

Game on. Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images

“I dunno, Rob, I’m feeling jaded and mildly depressed,” writes Neymar Charles Antaki. “I wanted free-flowing, carefree, attacking football with beautiful moves, stunning skills, and both sides reliving the football of yesteryear that probably never really was. So then Morocco, and Croatia. Wonderful, of course, in their own way; hooray for resoluteness and three cheers for Luka Modrić. But yes I’m still feeling jaded and mildly depressed. Will this one cheer me up?”

Erm, it might?

Will Lionel Messi get No2 tonight?

Here come the players. The crowd is about 95 per cent Argentinian, if that counts for owt.

Five minutes to kick off

Let’s have a reminder of the teams. This time it’s 11-a-side.

Netherlands (3-4-1-2) Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Roon, F de Jong, Blind; Gakpo; Depay, Bergwijn.
Substitutes: Pasveer, Bijlow, De Ligt, De Vrij, L de Jong, Berghuis, Lang, Klaassen, Malacia, Janssen, Weghorst, Koopmeiners, Taylor, Simons, Frimpong.

Argentina (3-5-2) E Martinez; Romero, Otamendi, Lisandro Martinez; Molina, De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister, Acuna; Messi, Alvarez.
Substitutes: Armani, Rulli, Foyth, Tagliafico, Montiel, Paredes, Pezzella, Di Maria, Palacios, Correa, Almada, Gomez, Guido, Dybala, Lautaro Martinez.

Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

“Wow, that Croatia v Brazil game…” writes Rachel Clifton. Have escaped to the pub now to watch the second QF, mostly to avoid Alexi Lalas SHOUTING. ALL. THE. TIME. Fox coverage here is so so dreadful.”

So I hear.

This will be Lionel Messi’s third World Cup quarter-final. He didn’t get off the bench in the defeat to Germany in 2006, which seems absurd with hindsight but wasn’t particularly outrageous at the time. In 2010 he was quiet as Argentina were picked off 4-0 by Germany, and in 2014 he started the move that led to Gonzalo Higuain’s early winner.

“Rob, greetings from California,” says Mary Waltz. “Since they knocked out my eagles I should be bitter but I think the Netherlands will win. The psychological pressure to win one for Messi puts too much pressure on his squad to play naturally, they always look tight.”

One last bit of pre-match reading

Match report: Croatia 1-1 Brazil (4-2 pens)

‘Beautifully pulled down by Bergkamp…’

Yes, yes, I realise I’d put 12 players in the Dutch team. To you, dear reader, and especially to Davy Klaassen, I apologise.

Remember when Lautaro Martinez was a Golden Boot contender?

“It may be because I was young at the time and now lack the joy in my heart to be open to new things,” boasts Niall Mullen, “but that 1998 quarter final remains the greatest game of Association Football I have ever seen. Somehow the game itself was bettered by the winning goal which itself was perfectly complemented by Barry Davies’ wonderful commentary.”

If tonight’s game is a stinker, you can always relive that match instead.

Fairytale No2

Fairytale No1

“This isn’t unique; Brazil never met Argentina in a semi-final,” writes Tenaiji. “Yeah, it happened twice 1974 & 1982, both in Brazil’s favour, but they were playing in a group game following the first round.”

Don’t forget the goalless kickfest in 1978 – that was probably the closest to a semi-final, as a win for either team would have left them needing one point in the last game to reach the final.

You could do a Joy of Six of Brazil v Argentina games that didn’t happen because one or the other let the side down. The ultimate, of course, is the 2014 final: Brazil v Messi in the Maracana. Strange to think they haven’t met at any stage of the World Cup since Maradona’s heist in 1990.

This is a great read

Good morning. Who better to look forward to these quarter finals, back to previous World Cup finals, talk Messi, Maradona, Mbappe, Bellingham, Kane, Neymar and more than Jorge Valdano. Here’s the interview. https://t.co/VO9nwPOdj8

— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) December 9, 2022

Team news: Argentina switch to a back three

Both teams make one change from their second-round games. Steven Bergwijn replaces Davy Klaassen in the Netherlands team, which presumably means Cody Gakpo will drop back to play as the No10.

Lisandro Martinez comes into the Argentina side in place of Papu Gomez. That should mean a switch from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2, which has jiggered my thesis on Argentina being more Dutch than the Dutch.

Netherlands (3-4-1-2) Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Roon, F de Jong, Blind; Gakpo; Depay, Bergwijn.
Substitutes: Pasveer, Bijlow, De Ligt, De Vrij, L de Jong, Berghuis, Lang, Klaassen, Malacia, Janssen, Weghorst, Koopmeiners, Taylor, Simons, Frimpong.

Argentina (3-5-2) E Martinez; Romero, Otamendi, Lisandro Martinez; Molina, De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister, Acuna; Messi, Alvarez.
Substitutes: Armani, Rulli, Foyth, Tagliafico, Montiel, Paredes, Pezzella, Di Maria, Palacios, Correa, Almada, Gomez, Guido, Dybala, Lautaro Martinez.

Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

Lisandro Martinez

BRAZIL ARE OUT OF THE WORLD CUP!

Och my days. Rodrygo and Marquinhos failed to score, and Croatia – just as in 2018 – have won back-to-back penalty competitions to reach the semi-finals.

Croatia v Brazil has gone the distance. Join Scott Murray this instant.

Argentina: the story so far

  • Saudi Arabia 1-2

  • Mexico 2-0

  • Poland 2-0

  • Australia 2-1

Netherlands: the story so far

  • Senegal 2-0

  • Ecuador 1-1

  • Qatar 2-0

  • USA 3-1

Netherlands v Argentina is a classic World Cup fixture: 1974, 1978, 1998, 2006, 2014 and now 2022. Luke McLaughlin has taken a trip down memory lane, just for you.

The winners of this game will play… actually we still don’t know, because Croatia have just equalised in the 117th minute! Join Scott Murray for the denouement.

Preamble

This World Cup ain’t big enough for both fairtytales. For reasons that would be intelligence-insulting to explain, it will be a tremendous story if either Louis van Gaal or Lionel Messi win the World Cup. But one of them has to leave the competition tonight.

Netherlands v Argentina is such a tough game to call. Both have looked good at times, particularly when scoring silky team goals against the USA and Poland respectively. But at others – especially against Ecuador and Saudi Arabia – they’ve looked a level below the big boys.

Neither team has played an elite opponent yet, so we’re still not sure how good they are, or how realistic it is to speculate that Van Gaal or Messi will win the World Cup. Over the next two hours – don’t be surprised if it’s three – we might find out.

Kick off 7pm GMT, 10pm in Qatar, 8pm in Amsterdam, 4pm in Buenos Aires



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