The Aston Villa keeper was barely tested for the best part of the 90 minutes as Argentina took a two-goal lead before substitute Wout Weghorst set up an unbelievable Dutch counter-attack during the game. Quarterfinals.
Argentina were stunned when Weghorst equalized in the 11th minute of injury time, forcing an extra 30 minutes to the surprise of the 88,235 spectators at Lusail Stadium – nearly all of them cheering for Lionel Messi and his teammates.
But Martinez seized the opportunity to be the hero just when it looked like Argentina would face more World Cup pain, flying to his right to beat Virgil van Dijk’s opening attempt. from dot 11m.
After Messi, who doubled Argentina’s lead in the game with a penalty, coolly finished in his team’s first attempt, Martinez darted left to deny Steven Berghuis.
Enzo Fernandez’s wide drill provided Argentina with a chance to win, but Lautaro Martinez made no mistake in their back kick, which set up a clash with 2018 runners-up Croatia.
“I feel emotional. What I do, I do for 45 million (Argentinas) who are going through a terrible economic crisis,” Martinez said. “Bringing joy to everyone is the best thing for me right now. The players were tired, I saw they needed help but there was nothing I could do. Thankfully, I managed to do it afterwards. when he saved two penalties.”
The victory not only fueled Messi’s dream of getting his hands on the World Cup trophy, but also came just hours after Argentina’s great rivals Brazil were knocked out of the tournament on penalties to Croatia.
All the Argentine players ran to the fans after the decisive penalty but Messi went to celebrate alone with Emiliano Mar… https://t.co/kHUmavavrw
– Hamza (@lapulgafreak) 1670626194000
At 35, Messi knows it will be his fifth and final World Cup – and the winner’s medal will polish his legacy as one of the winners. footballthe greatest players ever, putting him on par with compatriots Diego Maradona and Pele.
But it could all be over without Martinez, who also played a key role in winning the 2021 Copa America, ending Argentina’s 28-year title drought.
Martinez saved three attempts in the semi-final win over Colombia before being named the tournament’s goalkeeper after keeping a clean sheet in a 1–0 win over hosts Brazil in the final.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said: “We know like what he did against Colombia, he can save some penalties.
Martinez was named the league’s goalkeeper, but it’s been a long and winding road to the top for a player who spent 10 years at Arsenal before finally finding a place to call home.
He conceded five goals in his second appearance for the Gunners in the League Cup, a match best remembered for Arsenal’s comeback from four goals to Reading in a 7–5 win.
Martinez’s time at the Gunners was mostly on loan in England’s lower tiers, and he seemed destined for a career as a practitioner before fellow Premier League club Aston. Villa bought him for £20 million ($24.5 million) reported in September 2020.
He became Villa’s starting keeper immediately and by the end of that season he had become the first choice for Argentina, making his debut 10 years after his first call-up.
Over the past year, he has established himself as Argentina’s undisputed number one, a reliable presence that Albiceleste was sorely lacking four years ago in Russia – and a match they hoped could be. lead them to their third World Cup title.