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Argentina 3-0 Croatia LIVE! World Cup 2022 result, match stream, latest reaction and updates today

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/13/2022 Dan Kilpatrick,Nizaar Kinsella,Simon Collings and Matt Verri

LIVE – Updated at 22:01

Argentina vs Croatia - LIVE!

Argentina booked their place in the World Cup final with a ruthless 3-0 win over Croatia. Runners-up four years ago in Russia, Croatia have established themselves as specialists in taking knockout matches deep, eight of their last nine in major tournaments going to extra-time.

But that never looked likely after Argentina took complete control of the semi-final with a five-minute spell in the opening period. Lionel Messi lashed home a penalty for his fifth goal of the tournament, before Alvarez doubled the lead with a solo run after his captain had set him away on the counter.

There was not to be another comeback from Croatia, Argentina tightening it up after the break and a second for Alvarez, after some Messi magic, put the result beyond doubt. They will be at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday, when they will play either France or Morocco in football’s biggest match.

Argentina vs Croatia latest news

  • GOAL! Alvarez seals win after Messi magic
  • GOAL! Alvarez doubles Argentina’s lead
  • GOAL! Messi converts penalty

Argentina 3 - 0 Croatia

Destiny on Argentina’s side

22:01 , Matt Verri

As each game passes in Qatar, it is becoming impossible to shake the feeling that Argentina and Lionel Messi will finally end their long wait to win the World Cup.

After beating 3-0 Croatia they are now one more victory away from achieving that feat.

A win then would end Argentina’s 36-year wait to lift this famous trophy, while for Messi it would be the crowning moment of an already glittering playing career.

This was another statement performance from the 35-year-old, who appears to be going through the gears in Qatar as each round progresses. He finished this game with a goal and an assist - and his third man of the match award in a row.

Read Simon Collings’ full analysis here

 (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)

One to go

21:42 , Matt Verri

So Argentina are into the World Cup final.

That takes place on Sunday, when they’ll come up against either defending champions France or Morocco, who are the first African side to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.

As for Croatia, it’s the third place play-off. The most pointless game of all.

Some post-match thoughts from the main man...

21:35 , Matt Verri

He’s not slowing down!

21:23 , Matt Verri

Player ratings

21:12 , Matt Verri

Julian Alvarez - 10

Won the penalty then dribbled 40 yards before finishing for the second goal of the match. He and Messi destroyed wonderkid Gvardiol for the third. He was as much the difference maker as Messi.

Lionel Messi - 10

Scored and assisted but some of his dribbles were out of this world. He is determined to finally win the World Cup and be a protagonist in doing so.

Read our full player ratings right here!

 (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)

Simon Collings at Lusail Stadium

21:07 , Matt Verri

Lionel Messi, as he has been in every knockout match so far, is the hero. Croatia controlled the first 30 minutes, but never came back from going behind.

Alvarez also excellent and finished the game with two goals.

Stunning from Messi!

20:59 , Matt Verri

FT: Argentina 3-0 Croatia

20:55 , Matt Verri

Argentina are into the World Cup final!

Sensational from Messi and Alvarez - Argentina are one match away from being crowned world champions.

Croatia fall just short again, this looked like one match too far for them after back-to-back wins on penalties.

 (REUTERS) © Provided by Evening Standard (REUTERS)
20:52 , Matt Verri

90+3 mins: Croatia win a late corner, just the three goals needed in two minutes.

Doesn’t beat the first man, headed away. Think a comeback might just be beyond them now...

Nizaar Kinsella at Lusail Stadium

20:50 , Matt Verri

Argentina have given a host of substitute appearances to players who haven’t been involved like Juan Foyth and Paulo Dybala.

Their fans are making good noise singing a soothing and cathartic anthem.

20:50 , Matt Verri

90 mins: Five minutes added on.

Argentina can enjoy each and every one of these 300 seconds.

20:47 , Matt Verri

88 mins: Argentina content to now just boot the ball up the pitch away from their own box.

They want this clean sheet, having had a couple of late scares already in this tournament.

20:45 , Matt Verri

85 mins: Inches away for Croatia!

Perisic with a brilliant flick on, Lovren throws himself at it at the back post but can’t get there.

Two more Argentina subs. Molina and Mac Allister off, Correa and Foyth on.

20:44 , Matt Verri

84 mins: Ball into the Argentina box, Otamendi flicks it away.

Tagliafico thinks he’s been fouled at the back post, he definitely wasn’t. Will be a corner for Croatia.

Dan Kilpatrick at Lusail Stadium

20:41 , Matt Verri

Luka Modric is off in what will surely prove to be his last meaningful World Cup appearance, with the third-place play-off to come.

That feels like something of an admission from Zlatko Dalic that Croatia are not forcing extra time again here.

20:40 , Matt Verri

80 mins: Modric tries to do it all by himself, Mac Allister there to slam the door shut and the Croatia captain gets a ball in the face for good measure.

He’s going to fall just short once again in his bid for a World Cup medal.

20:37 , Matt Verri

77 mins: Just incredible how good Messi has been tonight. He and Argentina a world away from the performance put in when losing to Saudi Arabia, that feels like it was months ago.

Croatia continue to knock the ball around, going nowhere with it though.

20:34 , Matt Verri

74 mins: De Paul and Alvarez off for Argentina, with this win now in the bag.

Palacios and Dybala are the two to come on, the first we’ve seen of Dybala in Qatar.

20:32 , Matt Verri

72 mins: Otamendi into the book this time, Argentina’s centre-backs can’t help themselves!

Perisic is lining this up from 35 yards out. Surely not.

He does indeed go for goal, simplest of saves. Barely reached Martinez.

GOAL! Argentina 3-0 Croatia

20:29 , Matt Verri


That is truly sensational from Messi! Just skips his way to the byline, skins Gvardiol and cuts it back for Alvarez to put this match to bed.

So, so good.

20:28 , Matt Verri

68 mins: Yellow card for Romero, that’s been coming since pretty much the first couple of minutes.

Goes straight through Petkovic on the halfway line, entirely pointless and he’s into the book.

20:25 , Matt Verri

65 mins: Kramaric on the edge of the box, still not enough from Croatia in the final third.

Lots of nice build-up, nothing to show for it. There’s still a real reluctance to shoot too, too keen to play the extra pass.

20:22 , Matt Verri

62 mins: Almost for Croatia!

Cross swung in, Lovren wins the header but doesn’t get proper contact on it. Bounces up, bit of a scramble in the six-yard box and it’s hacked away.

20:21 , Matt Verri

61 mins: Modric cleaned out by Paredes on the touchline, no idea why he’s decided to slide in there.

Lisandro Martinez is on for Argentina, and that rash challenge will be Paredes’ final involvement of the match. Argentina move to a back five.

Dan Kilpatrick at Lusail Stadium

20:19 , Matt Verri

Croatia’s back line was unusually shaky for the Argentina goals but, above all, this feels like the game where their lack of cutting edge has caught up with them.

There’s nothing for the excellent Modric and Kovacic to aim at.

20:17 , Matt Verri

58 mins: Big save!

Messi so strong as he shrugs off Gvardiol, superb one-two with Fernandez and he’s in on goal. Shot from a tight angle, Livakovic denies Messi.

Ridiculously good to even keep hold of the ball.

20:16 , Matt Verri

56 mins: Speaking of...

Argentina with a swift counter, Mac Allister sending a lovely ball over the top to Alvarez.

He almost puts it on a plate for Fernandez, Croatia close him down but Messi is quickly on the scene to keep the attack going.

20:13 , Matt Verri

54 mins: Croatia seeing pretty much all of the ball, but Argentina are still relatively comfortable. Sitting off and letting Croatia have it in midfield.

Messi just strolling around on the halfway line, waiting for his moment to burst into life.

20:10 , Matt Verri

51 mins: Big call from Croatia, Petkovic is on to replace Brozovic. The midfield trio have been broken up!

Should ensure they have another body in the box, they need that presence up front.

20:09 , Matt Verri

49 mins: De Paul with the shot from distance, straight at Livakovic.

Mac Allister still down on the edge of the box, he wanted a free-kick in the build-up. Referee has been keen to let a lot go tonight.

20:07 , Matt Verri

47 mins: Orsic and Vlasic are on at the break for Croatia, Sosa and Pasalic the two to make way.

And Vlasic is immediately involved, brought down by Otamendi. Good position for Modric to put something into the box.

Not his best, again. Martinez rushes off his line to claim.

Back underway!

20:05 , Matt Verri

Up and running for the second-half.

Messi is still rubbing that left hamstring of his...

Nizaar Kinsella at Lusail Stadium

20:04 , Matt Verri

Reel 2 Real playing “I like to Move It” at half-time. Maybe Chesney Hawkes has finally been beaten here in the semi-final.

20:03 , Matt Verri

Argentina were 2-0 up with just over ten minutes remaining against the Netherlands, but were taken to extra-time. They also lost to Saudi Arabia having taken the lead.

Croatia meanwhile have come from behind to beat Japan and Brazil in the knockout stages so far.

So... it’s not over!

Just kept going and going and going...

20:00 , Matt Verri

Messi at it again!

19:56 , Matt Verri

Nizaar Kinsella at Lusail Stadium

19:52 , Matt Verri

Modric still smiling at half-time, seems he is trying to lift some of the younger players.

HT: Argentina 2-0 Croatia

19:50 , Matt Verri

Messi beats three Croatia players a couple of times each, they can’t get it off him. And that’s half-time.

Argentina 45 minutes away from the World Cup final - they’re in complete control.

Massive, massive ask for Croatia now.

 (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)
19:48 , Matt Verri

45+3 mins: Messi putting himself out a bit, comes back into defence to help out and then carries the ball away. Helped by Paredes body-checking Perisic to halt any pressure on his team-mate.

Croatia work it out to Perisic, he swings a cross in... straight out of play.

19:46 , Matt Verri

45 mins: Modric’s effort is blocked, Juranovic fires it back into the box and Martinez parries it away.

Better from Croatia, who are starting to recover after that disastrous spell. Half-time whistle will be a welcome one for them.

Four minutes added on.

Simon Collings at Lusail Stadium

19:44 , Matt Verri

It’s ricochets like that for Alvarez which make you feel like this World Cup has Messi and Argentina’s name on it.

19:43 , Matt Verri


Livakovic with an unbelievable save to keep out Mac Allister’s header, after the midfielder flicked the corner on at the near post. That would have been game over.

Messi swings the corner in, punched away this time.

19:41 , Matt Verri

41 mins: Croatia are rattled, to put it mildly.

Argentina fly forward again, De Paul with the shot from the edge of the box and it’s deflected behind for a corner. He wants a penalty for handball, not getting that though.

GOAL! Argentina 2-0 Croatia | Julian Alvarez 39'

19:39 , Matt Verri


All comes from a Croatia corner, Argentina clear it and they break. Messi pokes it through to Alvarez and he’s away.

Drives straight at the defence, bundles his way through a challenge in the box and then lifts it into the back of the net!

Nizaar Kinsella at Lusail Stadium

19:37 , Matt Verri

Lionel Messi is now the joint-top scorer at the World Cup with five goals.

It’s his 11th goal overall in this competition on his 25th appearance which puts him joint-top of the all time charts with Germany legend Lothar Matthaus.

19:36 , Matt Verri

36 mins: Not really sure what Croatia are complaining about. Goalkeeper completely took out Alvarez.

Croatia won’t panic though - they fell behind in extra-time against Brazil and still found a way through.

Simon Collings at Lusail Stadium

19:34 , Matt Verri

Croatia, even after it is scored, are still moaning about the penalty. Perisic follows the referee all the way to the centre-circle and remonstrates with him.

GOAL! Argentina 1-0 Croatia | Lionel Messi 34'

19:33 , Matt Verri


Livakovic has been superb at saving penalties this tournament, he’s not getting anywhere near that though.

Hammered into the top corner!

19:33 , Matt Verri

Kovacic booked for his complaints, Livakovic shown a yellow for the foul. He cleaned Alvarez out, as the striker poked it past him.

Over to Messi...


19:32 , Matt Verri

Ball over the top, Alvarez is in all of sudden!

Knocked past Livakovic and he brings the striker down - penalty!

19:31 , Matt Verri

31 mins: This is a special Croatia move, worked up the pitch and it comes wide to Perisic on the left.

He cuts inside, goes for a clever dink into the box and it loops up over the bar. Should have had a corner, goal-kick given though.

19:28 , Matt Verri

28 mins: Apparently so, Modric clips it into the box instead. No pace on it though and the direction isn’t much better. Not a great combination.

He does brilliantly to charge all the way back into the right-back position though, heads away the long ball in his own box to halt the counter.

19:27 , Matt Verri

27 mins: Superb from Kovacic, somehow manages to turn his way out of trouble a couple of times. All came from Messi getting caught on the ball.

Kramaric then shows some nice footwork himself, draws the foul and that will be a free-kick. Just about too far out for a shot you’d think.

19:25 , Matt Verri

25 mins: Mac Allister slips the ball through to Alvarez, tries his luck from 20 yards out. Bounces up just in front of Livakovic but it’s still a comfortable save.

Better spell from Argentina, no surprise that it’s come as Messi starts to regularly get on the ball for the first time.

Dan Kilpatrick at Lusail Stadium

19:23 , Matt Verri

Messi has been clutching at his hamstring, which will alarm Argentina supporters, but he looked fine just now when bursting in from the right and trying to find a team-mate.

19:22 , Matt Verri

22 mins: He’s now starting to burst into life, a couple of lovely touches. Sighs of relief across Argentina.

Nearly a stunning pass to cut Croatia open, just about cut out by Pasalic. Did well to track back there, the winger.

19:20 , Matt Verri

20 mins: Messi with a bit of a limp on the halfway line, looks to be the back of his left leg bothering him.

Nobody panic... yet. Doesn’t look to be anything too serious at the moment - he’s just walking around but that’s nothing unusual.

Simon Collings at Lusail Stadium

19:19 , Matt Verri

You can see why every club wants Gvardiol. So classy and composed on the ball. Ridiculous he is only 20 years old.

19:18 , Matt Verri

18 mins: Brozovic with a nice pass out wide, Sosa has plenty of time.

Opts for an early cross but instead blasts it halfway up the stand behind the goal. Look down at the pitch to suggest it bobbled up is fooling nobody.

19:16 , Matt Verri

16 mins: Croatia win a corner, up come the centre-backs.

Taken short, Modric involved before it’s eventually swung in. Lovren there at the back post, can only nod it well wide.

19:15 , Matt Verri

15 mins: Messi down on the edge of the box, he thinks he’s been tripped off the ball. Referee disagrees, would have been incredibly soft.

This has been a really positive start from Croatia, look far better in possession than their opponents so far.

Dan Kilpatrick at Lusail Stadium

19:13 , Matt Verri

Croatia are knocking the ball around confidently and the quality of some of their passing is lovely. Modric, Brozovic and Kovacic make everything look so smooth.

19:12 , Matt Verri

12 mins: Romero with a legal challenge this time, rushing out to close Spurs team-mate Perisic down.

Croatia starting to get control of the ball, Brozovic dropping deep and dictating things. Sosa cuts inside and curls a cross into the box, blocked though and Argentina prevent it going behind for a corner.

19:10 , Matt Verri

10 mins: Cagey opening ten minutes, neither side yet to have any sort of success in attack.

Can already sense the referee is going to have a busy night, both sides appealing for everything.

19:07 , Matt Verri

7 mins: Romero has absolutely cleaned out Kovacic!

Went flying in, nowhere near the ball. Right in front of the Croatian bench, they all fly up and march towards the touchline.

Lucky to get away without a card for that. Doesn’t even get a talking to.

19:05 , Matt Verri

5 mins: First bit of work for Martinez in goal, swiftly off his line to claim a cross into the box.

So many dark blue shirts getting behind the ball whenever Argentina are in possession, Croatia are going to make this a very difficult night.

Nizaar Kinsella at Lusail Stadium

19:04 , Matt Verri

Croatia’s fans are doing pretty well. They are outnumbered at least five to one but they’re audible against the imposing Argentina support.

19:02 , Matt Verri

2 mins: Croatia happy to let the Argentina centre-backs have the ball, no real sign of any pressng.

De Paul goes over the top for Molina, he keeps it in play and fires it across the box but can’t really control the cross on the stretch.


19:00 , Matt Verri

We’re up and running!

France or Morocco in Sunday’s final is the prize for whoever comes out on top tonight.

Simon Collings at Lusail Stadium

18:56 , Matt Verri

We’ve seen a fair few empty seats at this tournament, but not tonight. Place is nearly full as we approach kick-off.

Lusail Boulevard was swarming with Messi shirts before kick-off.

Here we go!

18:54 , Matt Verri

Teams are out onto the pitch, brilliant atmosphere as you’d expect.

Neymar and Ronaldo among the stars to have already been knocked out in Qatar... one of Messi and Modric will see their run end tonight.

Nizaar Kinsella at Lusail Stadium

18:52 , Matt Verri

Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and Marco Materazzi seem to all be watching this game together here. What a group of players!

Dan Kilpatrick at Lusail Stadium

18:50 , Matt Verri

Croatia to grind it out again?

18:47 , Matt Verri

Croatia won’t let this be an end-to-end match.

Their two knockout matches have been incredibly tight, going all the way to penalties. Whatever happens, whatever position they find themselves in, they still back themselves.

Argentina are going to have to work so hard to get the job done tonight.

Tagliafico: We’re doing it for Messi

18:40 , Matt Verri

Nicolas Tagliafico is back in the side tonight, and he believes the presence of talisman Messi makes the World Cup journey more special for his team-mates.

He said: “He is the one who gives us a special advantage. When we are on the pitch with Messi, it is a sense of motivation and help.

“The most beautiful thing is that we are trying to achieve our dreams with Messi by our side.”

 (AP) © Provided by Evening Standard (AP)

Not long to go!

18:35 , Matt Verri

Argentina fuelled by sense of destiny

18:28 , Matt Verri

Lionel Scaloni’s side appear fuelled by a sense of destiny in Qatar, and every game Lionel Messi plays at this stage of his career feels loaded with historical significance.

Argentina’s emotion is also connected to their unrivalled support and tonight’s match — back at Lusail Stadium, where they began the tournament with a defeat by Saudi Arabia and hope to end it in Sunday’s final — is set to be like another home game for Scaloni’s players.

There are an estimated 50,000 Argentines in Qatar, while they have been adopted by a huge percentage of locals and neutrals.

Read Dan Kilpatrick’s full piece here

 (AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (AFP via Getty Images)

Zlatko Dalic’s pre match thoughts

18:22 , Matt Verri

“We are among the best teams in the world, the Croatia boss said. “That’s an extraordinary thing to be among the four best teams in the world for Croatian football.

“However, we want more. The Argentina team are led by the great Lionel Messi but they are under greater pressure at the moment. We know how they play.

“As an optimist by nature, I trust my players. We will not adapt too much. We will continue to play our own game.”

How Croatia continue to defy odds

18:15 , Matt Verri

Pay a visit to Croatia’s training base at this World Cup and you will find the word ‘obitelj’ written all over the place.

In English, it means ‘family’, and on Tuesday Tottenham wing-back Ivan Perisic will be one of the father figures leading a band of brothers into their semi-final against Argentina.

Croatia have played at six World Cups, reaching the last four in three of them. It is a remarkable achievement for a country with a population of only about four million, and the feeling in Croatia is the spirit in the team is one of the reasons they continue to defy the odds.

The experienced leaders in the squad play a key role. Alongside Perisic is Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida and Luka Modric. They all lead in different ways, with Lovren and Vida known for being the most vocal in the dressing room. Modric and Perisic lead more by example.

Read Simon Collings’ full piece here

 (REUTERS) © Provided by Evening Standard (REUTERS)

Scaloni: Argentina are not unsporting

18:08 , Matt Verri

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has dismissed suggestions his team are guilty of ‘unsporting’ behaviour.

From Leandro Parades booting the ball into the Netherlands dugout, Virgil van Dijk body-checking him soon after, then both benches encroaching on the field of play, it was a tense quarter-final which boiled over after the game had concluded.

As some Argentina players taunted their Dutch counterparts, Lionel Messi gave head coach Louis van Gaal and assistant Edgar Davids a piece of his mind. Emi Martinez, who saved two penalties in the shootout, then insulted the performance of referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz to the media. FIFA opened a disciplinary case against Argentina.

Scaloni said: “That’s football sometimes there can be arguments and more challenging times. That’s why there’s a referee. We need to put an end to this idea of Argentina not being good winners.

“We won the Copa America in Brazil with the most sporting behaviour: Messi, Neymar, [Leandro] Paredes, sitting together in the tunnel in the Maracana. I am not convinced with this idea of unsporting behaviour.”

 (REUTERS) © Provided by Evening Standard (REUTERS)

Semi-final specialists

18:02 , Matt Verri

1930, 1986, 1990, 2014.

Four World Cup semi-finals for Argentina in their history - four wins. They have never lost at this stage.

Decent record to have.

 (AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (AFP via Getty Images)

Settle in...

17:53 , Matt Verri

Eight of Croatia’s last nine knockout matches at knockout tournaments have gone to extra-time.

Both in Qatar have gone further than that, with Croatia holding their nerve in penalty shootouts against Japan and Brazil.

Four years ago at the World Cup they beat Denmark and Russia on penalties, before edging past England in extra-time.

They’ve got not problem with this being a long night!

Croatia unchanged

17:46 , Matt Verri

As expected, Croatia go with the same side that started in the quarter-final win over Brazil.

Sosa continuing at left-back now he’s fully fit, with Pasalic and Kramaric keeping their places in the front three despite relatively quiet performances.

Gvardiol has been superb at centre-back all tournament and will need to be so again tonight. As ever, that midfield three will be looking to take control of the match.

 (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)

Croatia team news

17:41 , Matt Verri

Starting XI: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Brozovic, Modric, Kovacic, Pasalic, Kramaric, Perisic

Return to a back four

17:37 , Matt Verri

Argentina opt for a back four, moving away from the system used against the Netherlands.

That means Lisandro Martinez drops out, with Paredes coming in to start in midfield. Argentina look to have packed that area of the pitch, trying to match the trio of Modric, Brozovic and Kovacic.

Molina and Tagliafico as full-backs as expected, while Alvarez once again gets the nod over Lautaro Martinez up front.

Argentina team news

17:32 , Matt Verri

Starting XI: Martinez, Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico, De Paul, Paredes, Fernandez, Mac Allister, Messi, Alvarez

Martinez on eventful win

17:24 , Matt Verri

It certainly wasn’t boring as Argentina beat the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

Their 4-3 win in the shootout followed an exhausting 2-2 draw after 90 minutes, involving more than one mele between the sides as Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz dished out no fewer than 17 yellow cards and struggled to maintain control of the tie.

Emi Martinez, who saved two penalties in the shootout, was not impressed with the officiating.

He said: “The ref was giving everything for them. He gave 10 minutes [added time] for no reason. He was giving free-kicks outside the box for them, like two, three times.

“He just wanted them to score, that’s basically it. So, hopefully we don’t have him that ref anymore. He’s useless.”

Martinez added: “I heard Van Gaal saying: ‘We’ve got an advantage in penalties, if we go to penalties we win.’ I think he needs to keep his mouth shut.”

Read his full comments here

 (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)

Messi: Maradona with Argentina

17:17 , Matt Verri

Lionel Messi believes the spirit of Diego Maradona is driving Argentina to World Cup glory.

Argentina beating the Netherlands on penalties on Friday night to reach the semi-finals, and Messi feels the legendary Maradona, who captained the country to World Cup glory in 1986, is behind them.

“Diego is seeing us from heaven. He is pushing us and I really hope this stays the way until the end,” said Messi.

“We are really happy. We enjoyed that moment. People are really happy and excited. We are among the four final ones. I have to say that now we have a weight off our shoulders.”

 (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)

Four years ago...

17:10 , Matt Verri

These two sides met four years ago at the 2018 World Cup, though it was a group-stage match on that occasion.

Dare say Argentina won’t be bringing that game up in their pre-match team talk tonight - they were beaten 3-0 in Russia.

Rebic, Modric and Rakitic all scored as Croatia cruised to victory. Will surely be a bit tighter this time...

 (AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (AFP via Getty Images)

Tonight’s setting!

17:02 , Matt Verri


16:57 , Matt Verri

Given how both teams have operated thus far, it’s going to be very tight.

Messi, however, could prove the difference. Croatia don’t hold too much of an attacking threat outside of penalties and the Argentina star could punish them in a game of few chances.

Argentina to win, 1-0.

Croatia team news

16:51 , Matt Verri

Croatia again have no injury concerns, Borna Sosa having returned to start their dramatic win over Brazil in the last round and Mislav Orsic fit.

Bruno Petkovic’s late leveller has put him back in contention to start after Andrej Kramaric’s quiet performance. Mario Pasalic will hope to keep his place in the attack.

Predicted Croatia XI: Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modic, Brozovic, Kovacic; Pasalic, Petkovic, Perisic.

 (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)

Argentina team news

16:44 , Matt Verri

Argentina will be without full-back pair Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuna, who were both booked against the Netherlands and therefore suspended for the semi-final. Nicolas Tagliafico should come in at left-back as Nahuel Molina starts on the right.

Head coach Lionel Scaloni should revert to a back four here after drafting Lisandro Martinez into a bolstered defence for the win over the Dutch. That means Angel Di Maria should come back in as Martinez drops out.

Papu Gomez is a doubt with an ankle knock that kept him out of the quarter-final, though Rodrigo De Paul is fit.

Predicted Argentina XI: E. Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Li. Martinez, Tagliafico; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Messi, Alvarez

 (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)

How to watch Argentina vs Croatia

16:36 , Matt Verri

TV channel: In the UK, the match will be televised free-to-air and live on ITV, with coverage starting at 6.15pm.

Live stream: Fans can also catch the game live online via ITVX and ITV website.

LIVE coverage: Follow all the action LIVE right here, with expert analysis from Dan Kilpatrick, Nizaar Kinsella and Simon Collings.

Good afternoon!

16:28 , Matt Verri

Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Argentina vs Croatia!

We’ve reached the semi-final stage of the World Cup, these two sides looking to become the first to book their place in Sunday’s final.

Argentina made the final eight years ago, Croatia were runners-up in 2018... both looking to go one better in Qatar!

We’ll have all the latest updates, build-up and team news ahead of kick-off, which comes at 7pm GMT from the Lusail Stadium.

 (Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)

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