Officials for Argentina vs. Croatia in semi finals of World Cup


The officials have been announced for Argentina vs. Croatia in the semi finals of the World Cup.

Argentina will have Daniele Orsato of Italy as the referee for the match with Ciro Carbone, also of Italy, as the assistant referee. According to ArbitroInteBlog, Daniele Orsato was also the referee for Argentina’s 2-0 win vs. Mexico.

Alessandro GIallatini is the second assistant, also of Italy. Mohammed and Alhammadi, of the United Arab Emirates, are the fourth and fifth officials.

For VAR, it’s Massimiliano Irrati of Italy with his assistant, also from Italy, being Paolo Valeri. Nesbitt of the United States, Soto of Venezuela, Atkin of the United States and Dankerto of Germany make up the rest of the VAR team.


  1. Argentina in semi finals:

    World Cup:

    1930 WIN vs USA
    1978 (literally the last second groups match vs Peru) WIN
    1986 WIN vs Belgium
    1990 WIN vs Italy
    2014 WIN vs Holland
    2022 ???

    Copa America (since 1975):
    1987 LOSE vs Uruguay
    1991 literally no semi final match in a 4 teams final group stage, draw vs Chile and win vs Brazil and win vs Columbia in the last match for the trophy. So:
    WIN vs Brazil and vs Columbia
    1993 WIN vs Columbia
    2004 WIN vs Columbia
    2007 WIN vs Mexico
    2015 WIN vs Paraguay
    2016 WIN vs USA
    2019 ROBBED vs Brazil
    2021 WIN vs Columbia

    Confederations Cup:

    1992 WIN vs Ivory Coast
    1995 WIN (last group match vs Nigeria to reach the final)
    2005 WIN vs Mexico

    Olympics history:

    1928 WIN vs Egypt
    1996 WIN vs Portugal
    2004 WIN vs Italy
    2008 WIN vs Brazil

    U20 World Cup history:

    1979 WIN vs Uruguay
    1983 WIN vs Poland
    1995 WIN vs Spain
    1997 WIN vs Ireland
    2001 WIN vs Paraguay
    2003 LOSE vs Columbia
    2005 WIN vs. Brazil
    2007 WIN vs Chile

    Scary. If ARG is good enough to reach a semi final then they will make the final, simple. Quarter finals and finals are the more problematic phase.

  2. That Lahoz referee dude got kicked out by FIFA. Pepe said this. “We can not allow any referee who never officiate in any Champions league games to officiate in the World Cup later stages. This Argentine referee never officiated in any CL game”

    So according to Pepe, the referee has to be referees that lead CL games right? That means should be European referees then? So dumb. Does he have brain when speaking like that?

    I propose a better one why not Argentina vs Croatia is led by someone from Uruguay?
    Or Marocco vs. Spain is led by someone from Algeria/Tunisia? how about that?

  3. Croatian starters Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Perisic, Kramaric and Lovren had participated in 2018 match too. That means they are 4 years older than 2018. 4 years in football is meaningful.

    In last match, all of our goals were mistakes. Caballero mistake. For Modric goal, we were only defending with 5 man in the box, nobody chased him. He had all the time in the world. Last goal was shambolic, we just gave up.

    I don’t think any such scenario is possible today.

    Their defence gained in quality but attack declined. Midfield remain the same but they are older. I am sure playing 240 minutes in 2 matches took a toll.

    I remember Kovacic’s comment from 2018. He said Croatia is better than Argentina. I hope that their attitude is same.

    There are people here are shivering. But Croatia will be humbled.

    • ”I wanted to get Messi’s jersey for my friend, who is a big fan of Leo, but the Argentines made such a bad impression on me that I gave up on asking Messi for his jersey.”

      I’m glad we will face Croatia again. Too bad that motherf**ker Rebic will not be present to eat his words.

  4. God willingly we will thrive to the final defeating Croatia. Croatian team is weak compared to last world cup and we are comparatively better. Even in last WC we were playing pretty well till that error happened with GK. So I believe we can overcome Croatia. Hopefully we will.

  5. Croatia midfield vs Argentina midfield stats

    118 touches for Croatia vs 80 touches for Argentina

    71 progressive passes vs 39progressive passes for Argentina

    6 chances created vs 9 chances created for Argentina

    Meanwhile their Attacking threat to watch out is the pacy Mislav Orsic as Rw and off course Perisic who will play LW.

    I hope Scaloni has done his assignment well. This match will be tougher than Netherlands game. Personally I would prefer Scaloni to play additional midfielder like Paredes or Guido Rodriguez and Lisandro Martinez as LB. Tagliafico has been disappointing.
    I hope Argentina make it to the finals.

  6. We certainly have weaknesses that our opponents can exploit. I think what the team needs is to stay calm. The team should not be afraid of being attacked by the opponent nor should it be overconfident. We can see why Paredes, Tagliafico or Pezzella can’t start.

  7. Btw, I notice that Di Maria corner is much more deadly than Messi’s. Di Maria has more curl n power in his corner and better accuracy too. Messi’s corner just normal high ball in the air. I think Di Maria should take the corners, messi FK.

    Messi has whatever Maradona has but one: corner. Maradona is one of the best if not the best corner taker of all time.

  8. One team which i never wanted us to meet in any off the Knockout matches was Germany. 90 out off 100 they will beat us. Rest all we can somehow beat. Even Brazil. But Germany was and is our cryptonite. Messi’s cryptonite. So glad that they are out early and we dont have to face them. Shhusshh…

    Off the topic:
    As some one who dont follow club football much.Apollogies should be made for not knowing most of the Moroccan players, I know Hakimi that too only because Messi is playing at PSG.I mean how can we sleep on them. Most of their players are playing in PSG, Chelsea, Sevilla etc these are big clubs.They are the first african team to win a point in the WC at 1970 WC .They are the first african team to qualify to the second round from group stage in 1986. But since 1998 they vanished for some years. Where as Nigeria,Cameron, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Cost, etc etc rose, Imagine for 2026 WC there will be 9 African nations. Hakimi vs Mbabbe battle will determine the semis. They both play in same wings. Bono what a Goalkeeper he is. He was gud since last season where he have won awards for the Best Goalkeeper somany times. He plays with a smile on his face similar to Ronaldinho. Emiliano can may be learn something. Just dont be arrogant. Let us win first the World Cup then celeberate and display ur arrogance. Till then be calm.

    • Well we’re not scared of Germany. 2006 we outplayed them, it’s Perkeman’s fault and unfortunate keeper injury. 2010 is Maradona’s naive because of Tevez’s demand that unbalanced the team, we actually won them right before the WC. 2014 they have teams just won UCL, their best in 20 years, we had bad luck in Higuain and no Di Maria. We won them 4-2 right after the WC but it’s a friendly though.

      Sabella also won them 3-1 before the WC

      • No one should be scared of any team. Its a football match only after all. Unfortunately the win in World Cup out weighs friendly match wins. We always beat Germans in friendlies. But we mostly lose to them in World cups.. Which win matters more?

    • This is the answer you guys have been looking for. Instead of Messi or Argentina be suspended, it is the referee who will be suspended instead. Very fair. his career is ruined now. Without that referee officiating the match, we would have won in 90 minutes easily. At least:
      1. No +10 minutes addition
      2. No FK for Croatia

  9. Croatia defeated France in France.. recently..!

    That time France was going through their worst period. That period 6 games, France lost 3 and drew 2. They won just one game.

    And same France defeated Denmark (who defeated France 2 times in that period) in this World cup.

    I don’t understand why you people worry too much about this Croatia.
    Yes , I agree, Croatia is a Strong team, they have organized defense, very good midfield and a great goal keeper. But Netherlands was better than them.
    Compared to Argentina, I don’t see them any chance. I am sure, we will beat them comfortably and reach Final.

  10. Croatia won France in June in France, they had 4 shots and 3 are on target, 1 goal! While France is 17/4/0. I think they are stronger than Netherlands and England, or at least more pragmatic.
    Last WC they beat England in the semi final.
    I hope Lisandro plays instead of Tagliafico

  11. Croatia has been going about their business without much noise. They had defeated France in France in the nations league recently. Now they have defeated Brazil.Even with all this, they have been keeping a low profile while effectively going about with their matches.

    I would have preferred Argentina to go about their work in a similar fashion. But Its always the opposite with Argentina. The expectation of the people and the noise that media creates are huge.In a way the loss to SA helped us, as people wrote us off and many felt it was just matter of time before we get knocked out. This further helped us in keeping the expectation and the noise level low.

    With the victory against Dutch, things are getting back into a frenzy. Hope our guys can keep their cool, respect the opponents and not shoot their mouth out in the interviews and the matches that follow.

    Also hope we have the best version Argentina turning up for the next match.

    I have been restless since morning.Office work has gone for a toss. I know there is a sea of Razil fans, Ronaldo fans , German fans waiting for Messi and team fail.

    Hope we get through this hurdle.

  12. The Dutch is better team than Croatia

    Brazil lost to Croatia because they underestimated their Midfield .

    Brazilians were outnumbered in Midfield , Croats always had an Extra man Midfiled paqueta and Casemiro couldn’t cope

    Brazil lost cause they were too naive

    Scaoloni won’t be be naive he will pack the Midfield unlike Brazil

    We will win

    • Brazil’s PK choices were also puzzling. Why send Rodrygo and Marquinhos this early and not Neymar to take the first kick?

      We did our shootout right by sending Messi first, it really inspired everyone to hold on to their nerves in their penalty kicks, save for the unfortunate miss by Enzo (which luckily didn’t matter much).

  13. Crotia team is beatable.. If we play on our potential we will beat them… Only concern is taglafico and people coming from bench.

  14. Hi everyone, I’ve not been in this forum for a long time but I finally got my account password after years.

    Just wanted to say how much anxious I’m feeling about the next match. It feels like the longest 2 days of my life.

    Somehow I’m on a never ending binge of pre-match analysis of Croatia and all I see is them being confident of beating us. On Reddit there seems to be a big sentiment against ARG because of the antics in the Netherlands game and as a result a lot of people want us to lose because of our apparent “unsportsmanlike” celebrations against the Dutch.

    I don’t know how to calm my nerves and anxiety before this game as a great team with a dangerous midfield stands between us and a 2nd final in the last 3 World Cups. Same Croatia that dumped Brazil out and I’m tense that our team has always got nervous towards the end of their matches that sees us conceding goals needlessly, as seen against the Socceroos and the Dutch. I am glad though we had the nerves to get past a shootout and the Croats can’t really have a huge edge there.

    • I don’t see anything wrong with our celebration. Netherlands started first, we only responded with minimal verbal, it’s too light. Don’t worry about Reddit, a lot of teens are there

      • Thank you. I hope Leo’s magic continues as despite the Australian and Dutch coaches saying they had a plan for Messi, he found a way past their plans. With the knowledge Messi has on Croatia(he knows its the same coach that beat him comprehensively last World Cup), and how they neutralized him last time, I hope he can come up with something special again. Something is really different with this Messi compared to his previous selves in how he’s stepping up in the knockout games of the WC- in both a footballing and leadership perspective.

        I’m still worried about our defense than attack at this point, especially with Acuna suspended and Tagliafico almost always being a bad luck charm in terms of us conceding goals whenever he is substituted/starting in this tournament so far.

  15. Emiliano Martinez complete PK statistics (including PK shootouts)
    15 penalty saved
    27 penalty non saved
    Rating: 36%

    Dominik Livakovic complete PK statistics
    (including PK shootouts)
    19 penalty saved
    43 penalty non saved
    Rating: 31%

    Used to be the second best:
    13 penalty saved
    25 penalty non saved
    Rating 35%

    Agustin Rossi of Boca has even better record but he is not in the World Cup.

  16. So it. seems like from the latest report all 10 positions are safe but one. Emi; Molina; Cuti, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Enzo, MacAllister, De Paul, Messi, Alvarez are safe.

    The last one is
    Di Maria 4-3-3
    Licha 3-5-2
    Paredes 4-4-2

    The first 2 have more chances to start. Note for this game. Tagliafico and MacAllister are defensive combinations on the left. The absence of Acuna is bad as Acuna-MacAllister combine better than Tagli-MacAllister. I watched the Netherlands match, a couple of times MacAllister combines with Tagli, it ended up both making 2-3 back passes and stopped attacking from the left when they both almost entered the box and restarted the attack from somewhere else.

    Tagli needs to redeem himself here. All the 5 goals Argentina conceded (7 goals total in the last 16) were with Tagli on the pitch, never with Acuna. And a lot of dangers came from his side too:
    1. Berghuis hitting the side netting in the dying minutes, Berghuis was Tagli man.
    2. Australia almost equalized in the 97th minute when Tagli missed his tackle.
    3. Where was he when Berghuis sent the cross that resulted in Weghorst goal? The cross came from his side?

    Tagli defensive awareness has been poor. But Tagli performed good before the WC, including in finallissima he was lively.

    One thing I know for sure, Argentina is at least 3 times stronger than the 2018 they beat, but Croatia is exactly the same. Not stronger, not weaker.

    When meeting Brazil in Copa 2021 final, I thought the same. Brazil is the same as 2019 copa winning team, not stronger. But Argentina 2 times stronger than the 2019 team that Brazil bear with the introduction or Emi and Cuti.

    I say Croatia would be exhausted and would eventually lose the game. Livakovic is good but he will not have MOM performances 3 times in a row. Goyco also won MOM 2 times in a row like him against Yugoslavia and Italy and won 2 PK shootout too just like Liva, but he stopped being MOM against Germany in the final.

    Btw, Emi Martinez has been chosen as the best goalie on the second round and QF and make the FIFA team of the second round and QF, not Livakovic.

    • Great points

      Parades was at fault for almost everything against Holland

      First one he didn’t see a danger when the cross came in

      Unnecessarily kicking the ball to Dutch bench that lead to 10 minutes stoppage time

      Him and Pazela panicked and gave away that Free kick

      Love parades but defensively he’s weak he doesn’t see the danger

      • Agree.
        Please no more Paredes. He is a decent player, but his temper causes problems. He almost always plays on the edge of a red card.

        Licha is the defensive option, ADM the creative solution which we need.
        Hope to see Dybala on the pitch at some point. He can provide creativity from the left side. Belgium was close to scoring against Croatia several times. Scaloni and his team of analysts can learn a lot from that match (and they will :-))

  17. Our main concern is defence. Our MF and FW are playing at top level. But we conceded so many goal. Mainly last goal vs Netherlands. If you watch it properly It’s because of Enzo’s mistake. Enzo is not a proper CDM. He could not clear the ball due to less physicality. We need a proper physical CDM. May be Parades. Otherwise with this defence we may concede similar goal again.

      • I am pretty sure Mascherano will block that free kick. I am only worried about our left back, Tagliafico is too weak, I don’t trust him at all. He’s also prone to yellows too

    • Nice joke, Enzo is a beast, take him out of that position and team wont click. Unless you started watching him yesterday, you should know that he is versatile, good defensively and highly technical.

    • Enzo has been a revelation for us. He can defend, pass, cross, and score. He was just unlucky to miss what could have been our winning PK goal. He almost had an assist against Netherlands (Lautaro shot hit Van Dijk) and almost scored 2 goals (1 deflected, second hitting the post). He is the man. He replaced De Paul at least as amazing as the prime De Paul himself.

      Scaloni should see this. Enzo is too good to be just a 5. He is much more than DM. I already say it he can end up to be someone like Bruno Fernandes or De Bruyne in his career.

      • Enzo’s mistake – you’ve gotta be joking right? he has done much more good for us in this tournament and that more than redeems himself for it. and it was not his mistake – we can all see he was stretching against weghorst who is a very tall player btw. and his good work thus far also redeems his penalty shootout miss in my opinion but maybe that’s just me being biased. Ha.

        but agree with you he’s not a proper CDM. and I’m guessing you were expecting a Mascherano typei which case we lose the passing and control and break lines ability that we also need. so i guess it’s a balance and trade off. unless we have a good player that has both. interesting what el_principe said… a KDB or BF kind of player. that would be nice for us!

        looking at CRO vs the “small counterattacking team”, they’ll look to pass and control the midfield. so perhpas better for us to go by the wings instead and so ADM is crucial. and if things are still in a stalemate, it will pump the long balls in with Modric in the centre circle (just like what AUS and HOL did) since CRO had tall and big sized subs. Sigh.. in which case, Guido instead of Pezzella please.

    • The problem is not with defense. The problem is with attitude. Argentina is not a minnow, but they keep playing like one whenever they have a lead at the end of match. They sub out all their attacking otions, and just stop playing, and let the opposition have complete control of the game. They should instead play like they did in La Finalissima – always stay on the front foot, “defend” in the middle and in the opposition half.

  18. There is no doubt about the team’s ability. We will know how to preserve the score even better. Perhaps the era of referees drawing yellow cards like diarrhea is over. I dreamed that midfielders and defenders would score goals too and it happened. That shows the diversity in attack of a champion. Of the four semi-finalists, Argentina is the most feared. I keep dreaming that Di Maria will be 100% fit for the remaining two matches.

  19. Found this game vs Croatia during Martino’s area, we won 2-1, dominated the whole game but conceded first. Messi and Alsandi scored

    WC’98 win vs Croatia 1-0 was still one of my favorite game. Great Ortega assist, great Pineda finish, we controlled the match. This is a true golden Croatia generation

  20. I liked leo paredes as player but never liked his personality I’m glad enzo Fernandez coming to scenes now so we won’t need him that much but still his penalty was good I have to give him credit for that .

  21. Espn pundits is joke , they praising England play better than France yet is England who went home plus they keep talking sh…t against Argentina the team reach 6 semi finals hopefully 6 finals on Tuesday and win it next Sunday God willing, funny Argentina have better record in world cups than any other country except Brazil, Germany and Italy

  22. I can’t say how many times I have played the 2014 WC in my mind, the big moments, beating all European countries Swiss, Belgium and the Dutch when they said ARGENTINA wasn’t good enough to beat them, especially the up and coming Belgium with their future super stars and all the shit their coach was saying at the time. The Dutch were still a power house and that PK shoot out and just like Debu did, Romero did before him. Brazil getting humiliated right before the whole world to see on their home soil and how sweet that was and now we find the team in very similar circumstances.

    Its been almost 3 weeks since the WC started and they came a long way, Messi stepped up, scored out of the group stage and Fought fire with more fire and now the whole team is battle-hardened with one target at hand, beat Croatia

  23. Midfield control is very important, we can’t afford to loose midfield control. Croatia’s midfield is strong. Modrid is very intelligent and physically strong. Messi may need to drop deep to have this control. I think we also need Di Maria, without him Messi won’t be that much danger.

  24. Quarterfinal kits:

    Argentina: Adidas
    Croatia: Nike
    France: Nike
    Morocco: PUMA

    I assume Argentina is the home team in SF? So we will wear blue white home kit?

  25. It doesnt matter who’s the ref , if Scaloni once again invited opponents to attack us after we’re only 1 or 2 goals up, then we’d be screwed! We need to put the game to bed by keep scoring while we can. We should only stop when players has running out of gas . You dont save energy at KO stage ! Against Netherlands we’re attacking relentlessly at extra time, so its obviously Scaloni trying to conserves energy at 2-0, not because we’re tired. Also, replacing Acuna and RDP was a very bad move cause those two are our best runners! Acuna will miss semi regardless so why took him out?

    Argentina team has never been made for defending! (1990 side was exception due to injury of key players including Diego who played with 1 good ankle)

    • Fully Agreed at 1990 with those injuries happening i think even before the actual tournament, though this i may remember wrong, but anyhow the 1990 team were more than hard hit with injuries and the depth from bench back then was obviously had to be used more or less on the pitch as some who may had been amongst the starters were injured etc…Ok, again one could argue now that Yes we lost GLC, but so has allmost every other Arg NT in the past either due to injury as GLC or they were ignored by coaches etc…as all i can remember that team never stopped playing, but missing CANI at final was a huge blow also that blody penalty crap was another killer against Arg by our fear FiFA ! So please don’t stop running until there is no more gas left in the tank and fill that empty tank with a player who will run even more or if anyone injured place them with the right players to finish off the job properly as Croatia is more dangerous than LVG’s Netherlands !

  26. Man, the game is after tomorrow and I still feel like I need another 5 days to contemplate that we are in the semifinals. I am so proud of our team

    • Do you think that they will trouble us with direct play and long balls? And do you think Scaloni is prepared? Also do you think we will be in trouble cuz Croate players are tall?

      • We will be alright. Croats r tall but not as tall as luk de jong and that guy weghorst. Weghorst is 6 foot 7 inches tall plus he is good in the air too tough to defend plus Romero was substituted pezella should have marked him bt he was awful

    • Yes, Olive happy to hear that as i’m more than happy of seeing Arg once again in Semi with WC’s history ! Only problem for me is my son, who will most propably die emotionally as completly broken as alkready again Netherlands as losting that 2 goal lead was so hard for him as i never seen him cry so much in his life as he could not even stop after the PK)s and i can’t stop him watching either as no matter how i will talk about 1982 or 1990 2014 or any previous WC which i seen that Arg did not won even they were so close or it does not help either to talk him about 2002 either, so i’m obviously as old enough even alkways carrying those memories inside me whether they are good as 1978 and 1986 1993 or 2021 or whether they are bad as 1982 1990 2014 and every single WC even the blody disaster at 2002, well nothing will save me from his sadness if Arg are ment loose and this gives me obviously extra pressure too as i’m trying to TaKe it more lightly, but i just can’t as every time Arg is playing somehow i turn on the very same mood as since 1978 til now, though obviously i can handle the losses with myself, but with my son i’m in deep trouble ! OMG ! Please DIEGO and all those greats from who ever pkayed for Arg Nt in the past who are not with us anymore and have passed away, please help Arg to win over Croatia so at least i have until sunday to try prepare my son mentally strong as now i’m running out of time !

    • Oh there is no doubt that Croatia will use long balls and high press whenever they get the opportunity to counter attack !! The way we panicked in three matches when the opposition pressed us, putting pressure on our defense looks like a far better formula than parking the bus against us!! Also they have tall and faster players capable of playing long balls into the box!!

    • Dutch was given countless freekicks in final 10 minutes. For most of the 80 minutes of normal time, they rarely trouble us. We simply let them attack us for no reason. After 2-0 up, we only had 2 players upfront which was silly.

      As long we could stay focus and patient, we’d beat Croatia. I predict it would be similar to the game against Mexico, Poland and Australia. We will eventually score late in first half or in middle of second half .

  27. Sampaoli Teams against Croatia in 2018

    —— Meza – Kun – Messi
    — Acuna – Mache – Enzo – Salvio
    Tagliafico – Otamendi – Mercado
    ———– Caballero

    Available and much better option –

    ——- Di Maria – Kun – Messi
    —– Lo Celso – Mache – Banega
    Acuna/Tag – Rojo – Otamendi – Mercado
    ————— Armani

    • Sampaoli was experimenting his crazy formations in the world cup, just like he is playing without a proper striker and Lamela as a forward for Sevilla in the last few matches. Also against France , when we were leading 2-1 instead sitting back and defending he instructed the team to presses even harder , resulting in Tagliafico being out of position and Pavard’s goal!
      We could have easily beaten Croatia with that second formation and our path to the final would have been the easiest!!

    • Even though with Sampa we did create many chances untill willy mistake. I don’t think modric will get that much space as he got last time when he scored great goal. I just worry about their midfield also our tactics,their forward is okay not great. Hopefully Scaloni doesn’t allow their midfield to dictate the game. That means Enzo,MacAllister,De Paul has to work overtime. Also we better finsih our chances.

    • No. 5-3-2 is too defensive. We never play well in that formation. I prefer 4-4-2 formation as control of the midfield is needed. They have better quality in midfield in modric Kovacic and brozovic so we need numbers in midfield. If dimaria not fit to start thn i would start guido

      • Plus pointsm We are stronger than 2018 and we have the spirit and the winning mentality and we more united than ever. Stadium will he full of argentine supporters just like playing in home.I am sure Scolani will not under estimate this croatia team, But we will win insha Allah. Hope Scolani have learned a lesson from the last match and he will not bring silly substitues this time. Still this croatia is very strong but, average age is higher than that of Argentina. Iam very confident this arg team has enough depth and talent to defeat any team.

      • If my memory serves me right, we started with 442 and switched to 433 and then 532 against Mexico in second half.
        442 for some reason didn’t work for us. So it’s either going to be 352 , or 433 with di maria
        There is a possibility of 3412 with Di maria but I haven’t seen any website where Scaloni tested the formation.

  28. Exactly but it has to do with Nico not playing in this tournament. He is another underated workhorse.

    Few things changed for this tournament: ( why we are conceding)
    1) Nico’s injury
    2) Lautaro used to workhorse may he has some injury as well.

    In Copa, whenever we defended with 9 that is all midfielders and defenders used to zone mark. Most importantly, they never gave ball away to the oponent and attacked so even when we were leading by thin margin, there was no chance for opposition to come back. Prime example is second half against Mexico where we just took the ball away from Mexicans.
    Surprisingly, we were doing the exact opposite against Australia and Netherlands.

    My best guess is to conserve energy but if not, then we have to go back to that model.

    • Agreed, part of the idea during Copa was to go defensive during parts and in a tough game (Brazil) defend a lot but this is way more defensive and shaky than that was. We score a goal and then we invite a ton of pressure. Not sure if we can afford to depend on a Dibu save or last ditch Lisandro tackle or Otamendi heading everything away forever, the Dutch already gave us a bit of a wake up call.

      • We’re only more defensive against Brazil in final which is understandable but against Ecuador we scored 3 and could have been more . Against Colombia we almost scored few more goals at the end, but we hit the post, had a shot cleared at goalline etc.

        In this tournament, we’re just going through the motion after 2-0 up, like we just let opponents to do what they want.

  29. I think they will start with a 5-3-2 again which can be viewed as a 3-5-2 also. I think they will try to get one early against Croatia and have the same game plan. The difference I think will be the substitutions. I think you will get Rodriguez, DiMaria, Paredes/Palacios. What I am trying to say is he will introduce ballhandlers in the midfield and jam up the midfield. Keep in mind, Cuti came out when the fireworks started. On a separate note is it me or does Lautaro look like he is much heavier and not running anywhere near as much?

      • I would normally agree with you but I think he is saving DiMaria for the second half. If it goes 120 he will have 50 minutes of playing time. If it doesn’t, and we win, he can unleash him in the final against France. We will need his pace and havoc against France for sure.

        • Dimaria starting means Croatia will have to be on their toes in the right flank. Their counters will be half fledged. If he is fully fit then saving him for 2nd half or extra time will be no different than saving Neymar for the last penalty kick. We have to start our best xi and get two goals before the end of second half and defend it. We already are without Acuna and if Dimaria doesn’t start then it will be very difficult to break the Croatian defense.

          • @Olive
            Even if Acuna was fit Dimaria is a must! There is no final if we fail to beat Croatia!This is the same team that nullified Brazilian attack that had Neymar, V.Junior, Richarlison and Rafinha with ease!! Angel Dimaria is easily the second best attacking player after Messi and his presense is required to free up Messi from multiple markings!! We have to play our best xi in the semis and once we win then we can think of final !!

        • 50 minutes is not a bad idea or maybe prolong it if we are leading. My only problem is we have yet not come back by going behind so I’m not sure we should start with best 11 or start Di Maria a bit later.
          There is a high chance that we may go to ET but my feeling is we will win in 90 minutes unless we have a brain fade and give the control to Croatia like our last 2 games

    • Exactly, that wasn’t a goal which could be blamed on him. Of course, easy to see replays and point out positioning et al. But then there could have been 3-4 other headers which he might have missed. Not a goal for any gk to be blamed. On the other hand, the second goal was a bit of faux pas by the entire defending unit. Such tricks should be expected. I didnt understand how did they completely blank out that possibility in their movements. Anyways, past is past. Lets look ahead and stay positive for our dear team

  30. For folks who are into analytics of chances created vs chances conceded Games won on xG at the World Cup:

    🇦🇷 Argentina: 5/5
    🇫🇷 France: 2/5
    🇭🇷 Croatia: 2/5
    🇲🇦 Morocco: 0/5

    • Another example of how good Argentina really are, underrated team, many people I asked/overheard discussions about this WC most said Brazil, Brazil, even heard an England in there, Germany but very few back Albiceleste except of course those with knowledge, this has been a strong group for a good 10 years now!

  31. This team has done really well so far in this tournament; played very calculated with available resources. Tbh, I was not that confident after the very first defeat and every game after that became KO match for us. Memory of 2002 was haunting me. Its not easy when several players were struggling for form . The way they kept them cool in all these matches is really something to be proud of.Now we are at the edge of another final (hopefully).. However, I think Paredes needs serious counselling; It is for him we had to play about 7 extra minutes and that lead to that equalizer. Also I had bit more expectation from Emi ; he seems to be better at PKs than regular time.

  32. Scaloni will most likely will go with 4 in the back as Acuna is suspended and Dimaria should be fit to start and his priority will again be not conceding an early goal which has worked fine so far! As long as we keep the possession , not making risky passes that could lead in a counter attack and keep it extremely tight in the back we will create chances like the previous matches! However, when the opposition starts to conduct a full fledged attack in the last 10-15 mins we have panicked and let them back in the game!! This can’t happen against Croatia, we can’t let the match go into extra time let alone penalties. Scaloni will have to find that middle ground where the whole squad is not sitting in the back and defending encouraging the opponent to freely attack us with all of their players or like Brazil where half of the team were in the opposition box trying to score a second. He will need to figure out a way to close out a match without having us to go through that Pandemonium. Also our hero Dibu can’t let in easy goals like last match. The first Dutch goal was a regulation save and he let the ball in and the second one, he was taken by surprise and hopefully the whole team will anticipate those kinds of sneaky tricks! If we can go past Croatia then there is no way we will let a second final in 8 years slip through our hands!!

    • Hard to keep possession against Croatia’s midfield unless we put 4 in the midfield. Maybe a 4-4-2 with Di Maria coming on later?

      Very hard to go 5-3-2 without Acuna and without a trusted backup for Molina who ran himself ragged.

      • Foyth might get to come in as a sub for Molina in the second half if we are defending a lead. He has proven himself to be a solid defender for Villarreal and can easily deal with Croatian left wingers and depending on how he performs, could also be used to shut Mbappe in the final.

        • My only concern right now is that Foyth is a complete unknown. He was injured football for almost two months and then demonstrated horrible form against UAE only to never appear again. Only Scaloni knows what form he’s in, and given he hasn’t gotten a single minute so far it doesn’t look promising. Croatia is much better than the UAE. Those great games he had against wingers in Europe were a long time ago, not last month, he probably needs to be played into form again to reach that level and it may be too late.

          • yeah, long absence + abysmal performance against UAE doesn’t instill any confidence in Foyth’s ability to do well against a very solid formidable team with great chem.

          • Foyth is better when he gets to sit back and play defense. And good in the air which we have struggled against. Still, very risky to put him in a huge match at the end when he hasn’t yet stepped on the field!

          • @Choripan and Olive
            Molina will be subbed out eventually during the match and with Montiel out , he has two options either bring in Pezzella in the RB position which will be a complete disaster because with his slow pace he won’t be able to mark the fast wingers and will have to commit foul to stop the opposition or bring in Foyth who is a proven safe defender in that position. However as you guys mentioned it all depends on how is he doing in the training sessions.

  33. what are your thoughts on this french team? i believe we can beat them if we meet them in the final. because we play high pressure i dont think they will like this and we are capable of unlocking their defence easier than England in my view.

    • We should beat croatia first and then we re gonna see what will happen in the other game.
      France is a very tough team physically with 8/11 africans so speed and strength are their forces.
      In opposite Argentina is more technical so we should focus in this advantage to make them nervous especially enzo and de paul . i found macallister more quite in the 2 last game he should try more shots and dare more with his passes. Molina should be at 200% focused as walker yesterday he just turn off mbappe thats what our right back should be inspired of.
      Their weakness is their defense if ever we face them on the final we should include surprises as dybala correia to distort their reading of the game cause their coach is an italian made mentality. If scaloni will play defensively against them we re not going to beat them if he ll think a scenario like maracana it wont work at all against french cause they re physically tough not as brazilians

      • Agreed, it’s a fine balance indeed but I wouldn’t invite too much pressure from France, personally I prefer the argentina harassing/pressing game, don’t give too much away but harass the life out of the midfield, in this style de Paul is a joy for me to watch 😁

        • yea i think we should have a war mentality and we can make them fold in my view, but must be careful of cards if we do this…need to destroy griezmann and not let him do what he wants.

  34. I know we played horribly in the last 20 minutes of regular time. But we did play very well and executed our 3-5-2 very efficiently with Acuna and Molina. Scaloni’s plan worked and he found the best starting lineup for us without ADM.

    In the last game, subs like Pezzela, Tagliafico and Paredes ruined everything. France didn’t make any substitutions in the game against England. We should also consider to delay the timing of substitutions.

  35. Great. Italy referee is a good news for us. Only Italy among European countries support Argentina. He also officiated well against Mexico. Lahoz was horrible. Var also consists of italy, uae, usa is good news.

  36. my take on our match:

    1. I do not like to bash a player but taglifico worries me a lot, he is not focused, does not pay attention to details and lacks anticipation maybe foyth should be used especially without Acuna

    2. parades and pezella too. they cause panic for the team. I am not happy with fact we subbed them in then we lost control of the game all of a sudden. hopeful maybe they should be used only at 85+ minutes.

    3. substitution should have been around 78+

    5. I love the fact that our team his finally fired up they should use that as motivation for our next match.

    Next match

    1. As usual we do not underestimate our opponent, even if it is tempting to do so. avoid it.

    2. As usual emotion do not win anything we must remain calm. I know we are fired up which is good but their is a thin line between “fired up”and “aggression.” We must be calm at all times.

    3. Croatia use long ball with tall guys especially on the flank, we must not allow them. We must not give them space there. I just do not know whether our 2 and 3 would be able to do their jobs right especially Tagliafico. They are good at counters too as said we must not give them space.

    4. we have to be able to cut off their crosses esp low crosses. in other words our players have to be super alerted – aware of their surroundings, must be focused because balls like that are “dangerous” if you are not aware of your environment. you could mistakely give space for them to shoot that was how they scored Brazil – their defense was busy trying to cover their back line without paying attention to the space they are giving to the opposing players. So 1000% alerted at all times.

    5. they can cross it up too we must prepare for headings because they are tall and good at headings.

    6. they also love shooting long range shot. I hope our players would be able to block shots and we must learn not to make mistake when clearing the ball. clear it away from dangerous position do not give any lose ball that Modric or any of them can shoot. Dibu too have to be 1million percent focused he should anticipate any ball can come at any time he should not just rely on the defenders to do the work for him. their should be a layer that can block shot when I say block I mean really block not “deflect” ball. we have to be careful.

    7. Modric and Kovasic are their two most creative players in the mid. They are strong, fast, tricky and have good passes we have to find a way to contain them.

    8. Croatia have smart and tricky players we cannot tackle causually we must always go for the ball. eyes on the ball always.

    9. Perisic is likely their fastest players, good at counter, loves shooting and good at headings.

    10. Above we must have the mentality of “war.” you know do or die. teams like croatia are stubborn. even if we might be leading we cannot let our guards down a second. you do, you die. brazil, japan started well but they let their guards down, they got punished for it. We must try to avoid that panic phase of us. in fact, they will try to do what Netherland did to us. after we scored they will try to press us a lot.

    11. For Leo there is always a plan for him that is constant. they might try to limit Leo like they did in 2018. I know they will put a lot of people on him like what they did to Neymar. I also know Leo has feud with Modric, he should not allow that to distract him.

    12. they rely on their keeper too much. he is underrated we must not take him for granted.

    13. Croatia do not care to make fouls or get dirty to stop our play. In fact I cannot count how many times Modric has pulled Leo’s shirt in a match. Kovasic does the same at times. We should have it in the back of mind that they will likely pull us just to stop our attack play, we must be able to counter this especially if the play might likely lead to a goal.

    14. As usual we must be able to convert our chances. I do not want any player making excuse of off day, injuiry…. whatever excuse i do not care. JUST SCORE.

    15. I am enjoying the fact that Leo is doing well but our players need to step up too, they cannot let Leo to always do everthing that was why Van gaal was saying without Leo we are nobody. They have to step up.

    16. We must not trust the officials of this tournment. After what happened in the quarter. final we can agree on that. We have to find our own way.

    17. finally the only choice we have right now is to keep winning. As leo said is either we win or… win. we have so much haters on us just waiting for the opportunity to laugh at us. so we have to keep winning no matter what. I just hope our team would be able to deliver.

    • Yes Tagliafico has not been in best of the form but Acuna being out Tagliafico may come in but Lisandro can also play there…No Foyth for god sake.

      Agreed Pezzella also looking not so confident and his clumsy foul lead to 2nd dutch goal.

      Yes Croatia will play dirty to stop our momentum which is nothing new as we are used to face Chile Colombia Ecaudor during qualifiers so our players are up for it too.

    • Maradona 94 was different. He caught for doping. Some says maradona was framed but still it was a big thing. Maybe messi and other players could be fined heavily if fifa wants bt they will not suspend them for any match

      • Yes i know that Maradona was caught for doping but it s supposed to be nigeria game when the control was done but they ve waited untill bulgaria s game to just humiliating him behind billions eyes because of his words against them regarding 90 final and all what happened after.
        I read the article in marca, and somebody just shared it from the mirror i don t think it s a fake news
        Lio shouldn’t have talked against the fifa and not NOW in the semis Cause now he s going to put the attention and the pressure on us bad timing lio wtf
        I know that the sponsoring will not allow fifa to ban him but you never know what this committee are capable of
        Let s hope it wont punish us before and during the game .
        It s clear that if ever we reach the final against france the referee will sure be on their side as usual . france learnt a lot from 1982 semis incident and they invest on that dark side of the fifa
        Argentina as everybody of you saw it in 14 final and 90 final are blacklisted by the fifa in the finals and it s not against the french that it will stop

    • They might not ban him but red-card him like in the 2019 COPA. However FIFA and Qatar will not risk the negative publicity of not having Messi in the final of the world cup! They want Argentina-France Final and may actually favor us get past Croatia in the semis only to fcuk us over the final.

  37. I rewatched Brazil vs Croatia. When Brazil led 1-0 with just 5 minutes in the extra time to go, they did not go ultra defensive mode. They still attacked Croatia. As a result Croatia equalized through a wonderful counter attack in a 5 vs 5 situation (the other 5 Brazilian players did not even bother helping the defense).

    We have been criticizing our team to be too defensive minded in the last 2 games: Australia and Netherlands after around 75 minutes or so. Yes the result was not far from satisfying as both Australia and Netherlands still managed to score goals against our “ultra defensive” tactic.

    So how is it? Brazil too cocky and unwilling to go ultra defensive that’s why they conceded. We are too defensive minded when leading, so that led a space to the opponent to keep attacking us non stop which led them to finally score.

    The best answer is be like Argentina vs Belgium in 2014 or Argentina vs Brazil in Copa America:
    1. Argentina vs Belgium. Higuain scored very early, but Argentina never went to ultra defensive mode. What they did was putting a lot of players in midfield and put players who were deadly in counter attack. As a result Belgium had no chance whatsoever to equalize as they were afraid to be countered. Messi should have made it 2-0 too, if not Courtouis wonderful save in the last minutes.

    2. Argentina vs Brazil. I remember Scaloni kept Di Maria (the biggest threat for Brazil until 81 minutes or so although his ankle was already swollen). We did not go ultra defensive mode until the last 5 minutes or so. As a result, Brazil had no real chance to score.

    Scaloni needs to fix this. 2 times he went too cautious against Australia and Netherlands, 2 times they made us pay the price.

    • Great analysis. Scaloni made the same mistakes again and again. I think the truth is he made light of Australia and Netherlands at the end, but they’re both stronger than he thought.

      • Scaloni has made fairly reasonable decisions I think..I know it’s not ideal to lose the 2 goal lead but my feeling is sometimes you can park a bus on the track and the train will still smash through..

    • Yes Brazil lost for being too cocky …After scoring @104 mins they wanted to score more probably wanted to show off their annoying pigeon dance which they have been practicing more than penalty kicks :).

      This Brazil team was overrated … In grp stages 2-0 against Serbia, 1-0 against Swiss (deflected goal), Lost against Cameroon 0-1 and then South Korea 4-1 they managed to score 4 goals here coz stupid Koreans were attacking @10 mins for equalizer as if it was 90 mins offering Brazilians tons of space which they exploited but 2nd half when Korean settled their nerve it was different story.

      Brazil lost against Croatia due to tactical errors… 1.they allowed Modric to play his game without being pressed or fouled…Modric had ample of time n space to see left right center n pass.
      2. After scoring at extra time there was no business for 6 Brazilians players to attack when defensive structure subs were bought in. Experienced player like Casemiro was also in Croatian half chasing back when Croatia got a chance to counter them.
      3. In the shootout also Neymar being best in penalty shl have taken the first kick considering Livakovic GK was in top form … If not 1st then he shl have taken 4th penalty which was also crucial but out of all top Brazilians player Marquinhos was sent.

      This Brazil teams midfield creativity is mediocre usually performs only when they counter attack with space available otherwise they struggle against tight midfield n compact defensive unit. Thats why n how we won Copa in Brazil.

      Yes Scaloni is giving heart attacks to many Argentine fans all around @75 onwards …Against Australia it was their sheer luck deflected shot going in and against the Dutch first goal came from 6.5 feet tall striker no way Lisandro cud get that ,their 2nd goal foul was clumsy unnecessary tackle by Pezzella had that ball being cleared final whistle would have calm us all but with Argentina it is very evident No Pain No Gain. Wouldnt mind suffering for 2 more games but end result shl be Trophy in hand of Messi and company. Vamos Argentina!!!

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