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World Cup soccer: Argentina outlasts Netherlands on penalty kicks

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Lionel Messi celebrates scoring in the the penalty shootout during the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match at Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Friday. Photo by Chris Brunskill/UPI
Lionel Messi celebrates scoring in the the penalty shootout during the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match at Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Friday. Photo by Chris Brunskill/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Argentina defeated the Netherlands in penalty kicks Friday in Al Rayyan, Qatar, to advance to the 2022 World Cup semifinals.

Playing in his final world cup, Lionel Messi's chances at a title continued when his team won with four successful penalty kicks to the Netherlands' three after the teams ended play tied 2-2.

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Argentinian goalie Emiliano Martinez, who hadn't made a save all game, stopped the first two penalty kicks from Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk and winger Steven Berghuis, which proved to be the difference. Lisandro Martinez scored on the final penalty kick to send Argentina onward.

Next up for Argentina is the 2018 runner-up Croatia, who outlasted Brazil in penalty kicks earlier in the day.

Argentina had led for most of the game. Nahuel Molina opened the scoring in the 35th minute when he slipped past the Dutch defense, received a pass from Messi and put one in the corner of the net for his first international goal.

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When Messi scored on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, it seemed almost certain that Argentina was on its way to the next round.

However, Wout Weghurst gave the Netherlands hope when he headed in a long pass in the 83rd minute to cut the score in half. Then in the 11th minute of stoppage time, with the game about to end, Weghurst knocked in a deflection off a free kick to tie the game in stunning fashion.

The loss eliminates the Netherlands from the tournament, as well as signaling the end of head coach Louis van Gaal's tenure. The 71-year-old coach, who is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, said ahead of the tournament this that would be his last in charge.

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