Lusail [Qatar], December 10 (ANI): A strike from Nahuel Molina with a beautiful assist from Lionel Messi gave Argentina a 1-0 lead during the first half of their quarterfinal match against the Netherlands in the ongoing FIFA World Cup at Lusail on Saturday.
In the opening 10 minutes of the match, the Dutch enjoyed bulk of ball posession. In the eighth minute, there was one nervous moment for the Men in Orange as Dutch keeper Andries Noppert's pass to a defender turned to be too close to Argentina's Julian Alvarez inside the box, but nothing happened.
There was only one attempt from both sides and it came from two-time champions Argentina, but it was not on target.
After the ten-minute mark, Dutch started to dominate the possession more. There was a lot of game in the midfield.
In the 18th minute, Jurrien Timber gave a great long pass to Steven Bergwijn, who was inside the Argentinian box, but keeper Emiliano Martinez managed to collect the ball from the edge of the box.
In the 21st minute, Netherlands earned a corner but the Argentinian box was cleared out easily.
Star striker Messi went for a long-range goal, wriggling away from Marten de Roon, but the shot went well wide of the goal.
In the 24th minute, Netherlands lost a chance at scoring as well. The ball came to Memphis Depay on his left foot, but his finish was way too wide.
Nathan Ake sent an aerial pass to Cody Gakpo at the edge of Argentina box, but the young striker tripped Cristian Romero down, giving a free kick to Argentina.
In the first 30 minutes, the Dutch enjoyed around 60 per cent of ball possession and there were no shots on target.
The 35th minute of the match saw Lionel Messi delivering an incredible assist. After being able to spot Nahuel Molina, the legendary striker made great use of wide space available to pass the ball to Molina, who latched to it and netted it past the goalkeeper Noppert to make it 1-0.
In the 40th minute, Alvarez fed Messi inside the Dutch box, Messi tried to pierce a shot on goal, but Noppert saved it with ease. It was the Dutch player Timber who got booked.
Five minutes of stoppage time was added.
Later it was Argentinian Romero who was booked and in the 47th minute, Wout Weghorst was also booked. It was raining yellow cards.
At the end of half-time, the scoreline read 1-0 in favour of Argentina, who enjoyed only 42 per cent of ball possession as compared to 58 per cent by the Dutch. Both teams were given two yellow cards each. Argentina had hit three shots on target while Netherlands managed none. (ANI)