Tensions flared on and off the pitch between Argentina and the Netherlands.
Not only did Friday’s second quarterfinal of the 2022 FIFA World Cup have the first bench-clearing scuffle of the tournament, but shots were fired during post-game interviews as well.
Following Argentina’s 4-3 penalty shootout win over the Netherlands after the game was tied 2-2 through 120 minutes, one side got the last laugh after plenty of words were exchanged during the matchup.
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In this case it was Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who said Dutch national team manager Louis van Gaal “needs to keep his mouth shut” in an exclusive interview with beIN SPORTS.
Answering a question about his thinking going into the shootout, Martinez responded by saying, “I heard van Gaal saying we [Netherlands] got an advantage in penalties, if we go to penalties we win. I think he needs to keep his mouth shut.”
Despite not making a save in a game where the Oranje scored on both of their two shots on target, Martinez stepped up when it mattered most by saving Virgil van Dijk’s opening penalty attempt and Steven Berghuis’ follow-up try.
That gave Argentina the cushion it needed to see the shootout through, with Enzo Fernandez’s lone miss going wide of the left post.
Argentina will now play Croatia on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. ET, 11 a.m. PT. Both teams are the runner-ups from the previous two World Cups, but only one will get a chance at going to the final for vengeance. Martinez will need to step up yet again with Dominik Livakovic being a stalwart for the Vatreni in goal.