Lionel Scaloni praised his “beautiful” Argentina side’s penalty shootout win over the team Holland But he admitted that his team was dragged into an “ugly game” by a Dutch team that surprised him with their aggression.
The coach’s comments came after a thrilling but very poor game, which featured one red card and 16 yellows – two of which came during a penalty shootout in which Dutchman Denzel Dumfries was sent off for taunting his opponents. After, after Argentina won 4-3 on penalties, after a 2-2 draw, the players of the Dutch team provoked as Lionel Messi exchanged words with Louis van Gaal and his assistant Edgar Davids.
“It was a hot game,” Scaloni said. “But that was the quarter-final. And what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch. Of course we had 11 men. Leo [Messi] He was a very important player and showed that he is the best of all time and we are happy to have him on our side.”
Argentina’s Leandro Paredes was also fortunate to receive a yellow card for not only fouling Nathan Ake badly, but then smashing the ball onto the Dutch bench, setting off a match between the two sides.
But Scaloni pointed out that the instigators were the Netherlands. When asked if they played in an anti-football way, he replied: “They played in a way I didn’t expect from them. But every team, every coach, decides how to play. I won’t talk about their footballing philosophy but really in the second half it was an ugly match.”
“We didn’t have chances and were often interrupted but they are allowed to play the way they want to.”
Messi was man of the match, setting up the first, scoring Argentina’s second from the penalty spot and then – for good measure – giving them the lead in a penalty shootout. But he admitted that his team suffered after losing a 2-0 lead, as Dutch striker Wott Wieghorst scored two goals in the last seven minutes, forcing extra time.
He said, “We suffered a lot.” “It was a very difficult match. We lived it on the pitch for the people. Diego Maradona sees us from heaven, he pushes us to the end.”
But Messi, who was also booked due to an argument with the Spanish referee, Antonio Mateo Lahoz, criticized the way the match was managed. “I felt so angry,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about the referee because later they punish you, you can’t say what you think because they punish you. FIFA should review that.”
Argentina is now the favorite to win third place world Cup But Messi refuses to get carried away.
“Croatia is a very tough opponent,” he added. “They have great players, and they know themselves very well. They have the same coach since the last World Cup and it’s a World Cup semi-final, it’s going to be tough.”
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