Lionel Messi, Julian Alvarez Give Argentina 2-0 Lead vs. Croatia

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Lionel Messi gave Argentina a 1-0 lead over Croatia in their 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinal matchup on Tuesday with a 34th-minute penalty.

Julian Alvarez made a threatening run right between Croatia’s center backs and received a brilliant pass that forced goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic to come off his line. Alvarez just got the shot off, but Livakovic collided into him without touching the ball that saw Argentina get awarded a penalty.

Messi stepped up to the spot and converted for his fifth goal of the tournament, three coming via penalty.

Alvarez then got rewarded with a goal of his own in the 39th minute when he ran with the ball from midfield all the way into the penalty box, and two failed clearances from Croatia saw the 22-year-old finish it home to make it 2-0.

It marked Alvarez’s second goal of the tournament after he secured his first against Poland in the Group C finale.

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