Messi will not play in the World Cup final.
A few days ago we played the matches of the 1/4 finals of the 2022 World Cup. FIFA did not guess three of the four semi-finalists, but confidently pointed to France, which the game considers the best in terms of player stats.
We ran simulations of two World Cup semi-finals. Both matches were tense and ended in extra time.
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Argentina — Croatia
The match between Argentina and Croatia was intense. Already in the seventh minute, Alvarez shot dangerously, and in the return attack, Pasalic checked Emiliano Martinez with a twisted shot.
The game of the Argentines was led by Messi. Leo often hit on goal, and in the 16th minute he organized a scoring chance for Alvarez. Forward «Man City» did not break through Livakovic.
At the 25th minute, Enzo Fernandez got a super moment. The Benfica midfielder broke away from Guardiol and famously shot, but Livakovic beautifully put up the glove and once again saved the Croats.
Only in the 40th minute Croatia snapped. Perisic took the ball away from Molina and went one on one, but shot terribly. The Argentines dominated. Before the break, they hit the target seven times, scored 2.5 xG and had to smash the opponents.
The second half began with another moment at the gates of Croatia. Alvarez saw Messi’s connection and cut him out on the move. Lionel rolled back De Paul with his heel, and the Atlético midfielder hit Livakovic in opposition. Dominik left the Croats in the game.
The Balkans made many dangerous attacks, and Modric constantly lost the ball in midfield. The role of the leader of the national team in a difficult situation was played by Kovacic. In the 60th minute, the Chelsea midfielder almost scored, smearing a touchdown.
From the middle of the second half, Croatia led the game, and in the end they got two points. At first, Perisic did not realize a sharp exit to the goal, but in extra time he burst into the opponent’s penalty area and hit monstrously. Lloris easily moved the ball to the corner.
The main 90 minutes ended with a score of 0:0, but they were great. The teams exchanged 17 shots each, and 25 of them flew on target! At the beginning of the match, the Croats looked like outsiders, but then they completely leveled the game.
In the third minute of extra time, they almost scored. Kovacic fired the ball into the goal, but the goal was canceled due to a slight offside.
Croatia did not lag behind the Argentines and scored an honest goal in the 100th minute. Kovacic assessed the situation and with an accurate pass brought Livaya to the gate, who had recently come on as a substitute. Marco did not miss — 0:1.
The Argentines went on the attack. Scaloni released the hopeless shopkeeper Dybala, but his ingenious pass to Correa ended with a blow to the goalkeeper. Livakovic dragged Croatia to the final!
Argentina — Croatia 0:1
Goals: 0:1 — 100 Livay
France — Morocco
The second match was between France and Morocco. The Moroccans missed the game three defenders — Mazraoui, Saiss and Agerd.
The match began with mutual attacks. The blows alternated — En-Nesiri and Mbappe received moments. At the 19th minute, Morocco unexpectedly opened the scoring. En-Nesiri took the ball in the penalty area and passed the ball to a free partner. Sofyan Bufal put the ball down from the kill spot — 0:1.
France responded with lightning speed. First, Dembele shot dangerously twice, and in the 36th minute the French leveled. During the next combination, Mbappe beautifully backed Griezmann, and Antoine easily put his left into the unprotected corner of the goal — 1:1. The first half ended with a slight advantage for the French.
At the beginning of the second half, the Moroccans attacked well, and Ziyech was the best. At first, Hakim shot dangerously after a rebound, and a couple of minutes later he entered the penalty area and famously gave to Unai, but Lloris parried the blow of the Anzhers midfielder. After a corner kick, Amalla took a good shot, but the score didn’t change.
The pragmatic French felt the pressure and jumped into the game. Rabiot and Coman were not bad, and Mbappe had the most dangerous moment. Kilian jumped out at the goalkeeper, but Bunu effectively put up his glove and parried the blow.
In the 75th minute, the Moroccan footballers created a scoring chance. Bufal could have made a double, but spidzhonil and struck without a side job — Lloris pulled the ball. Sofyan was upset and charged a long-range strike in the next attack. It was close, but not so dangerous anymore.
The end of the half was for the French. In the 83rd minute, Camavinga did not beat Buna one-on-one, and in extra time Coman almost brought France to the final — again saved by the keeper. It seems that El-Yamik played a hand in this moment. Lucky: FIFA does not give a penalty for such touches.
In the first extra-time, the teams acted cautiously and managed half-moments.
Still, the French pulled out a victory. In the 116th minute, Griezmann entered the penalty area, bounced back with Coman and hit Bunu twice on goal. The Moroccan keeper parried the first blow, but did not cover the ball on the rebound.
The Moroccans attacked desperately — Amrabat charged dangerously from a distance, but they did not equalize. Griezmann double takes France to World Cup final!
France — Morocco 2:1
Goals: 0:1 — 19 Boufal, 1:1 — 36 Griezmann, 2:1 — 116 Griezmann