FIFA World Cup semi-finals: Argentina vs. Croatia in the FIFA World Cup semi-finals: Lionel Messi’s Argentina has had an excellent run following their debacle in the first group stage match. However, they will face Croatia, who defeated favorites Brazil to reach the competition’s semi-finals.
The first FIFA World Cup semi-final between Argentina vs. Croatia will be played on Tuesday, December 13 at Doha’s Lusail Stadium. Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, will face a disciplined Croatia led by Luka Modric, a team that has flown under the radar in this edition of the tournament.
They began by defeating Japan’s massive killers. They then brought a flying Brazil to its knees. And they didn’t do it by turning on fashion. Croatia has been one of the most tedious teams to watch.
Zlatko Dalic has adopted an underdog mentality in order to lead his team to the World Cup semifinals, where they will face Argentina on Tuesday. To accomplish this, he has reduced risk and curtailed his team’s aggressive instincts, even if it means forcing shootouts. He then relies on his players’ unwavering determination.
— RVCJ Media (@RVCJ_FB) December 13, 2022
The only thing that could go against them in Argentina vs. Croatia is fatigue after a string of games that went all the way to shootouts. However, the Croats had a similar run in 2018; they recovered despite being severely damaged and having nothing left in the tank.
Dalic, unlike many other coaches, hasn’t changed much throughout the season.
His starting lineup has remained mostly consistent, as has his system, an attack-focused 4-3-3. The midfield trio of Marcel Brozovic, Luka Modric, and Mateo Kovacic has been crucial to their success. As a result, while his starting lineup and structure remained unchanged, Croatia’s willingness to commit to the forward position was contingent on their opponent.
In Dalic’s system, midfielders serve as a defensive shield rather than a creative force for the strikers.
For example, when the ball was in Japan’s third against Croatia, Modric, Brozovic, and Kovacic were nearly 20 metres apart in a straight line around the half line. Dalic’s top priority was not to get more people up front to put pressure on the Japanese defence. Instead, if the forwards lost possession of the ball, he decided to halt counterattacks. Croatia dominated the midfield against Brazil.
Perisic and Pasalic didn’t have to worry about keeping track of the Brazilian wing-backs because they were mostly stationed in the area. As a result, Croatia’s wingers retreated and assisted the midfield defence. Croatia completely shut down Brazil’s offensive potential by putting five players in the middle of the field.
And the defensive line was ready and capable of handling the situation whenever the midfield was unable to withstand their opponents’ pressure. Croatia has absolved itself of any responsibility to launch an attack. Croatia had the fewest shots on goal of the four semifinalists, half as many as Brazil, who leads the competition in this category.
Croatia is willing to subject its opponents to a torturous and protracted death. It’s upsetting to watch. But their perseverance has paid off handsomely.
Venue and Timing of Argentina vs. Croatia in the FIFA World Cup semi-final
Argentina vs Croatia is set to be played in the Lusail Iconic Stadium on 14 December, Wednesday at 12:30 AM IST.
Live Streaming of Argentina vs. Croatia in the FIFA World Cup semi-final:
Argentina vs Croatia can be watched on Sports18 on TV and can be streamed over Jio Cinema app.
Croatia: Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Kramaric, Petkovic, Perisic
Argentina: Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez