When Marquinhos’ final penalty against Croatia hit the post, millions of hearts across the globe skipped a beat. After all, Argentina’s potential route to the final of the FIFA World Cup no longer included the Selecao as an obstacle. Yet, they first had to get past The Netherlands in the late-night quarterfinal kickoff in what would prove to be a gritty fight.
Cometh the occasion, cometh Lionel Messi once again. The former Barcelona captain has enjoyed a phenomenal start to his World Cup campaign and added another sumptuous assist to that list in the first half against the Dutch.
Messi received the ball in the middle of the field in a position that seemed to have no real passing options.
Taking a few nonchalant touches to keep possession, he dropped a shoulder and guided the ball through the Dutch defence directly to the feet of Nahuel Molina in front of the goal. The magical moment was nothing short of a skilled tailor threading a needle with his eyes closed.
Needless to say, the Atletico Madrid man made no mistake in slotting the ball past Andries Noppert to give Argentina the lead. As it stands, the Albiceleste lead by a goal at half-time and have one foot into the semifinal.