Julian Alvarez Dec 13, 2022; Lusail, Qatar; Argentina forward Julian Alvarez (9) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first half of a semifinal match against Croatia during the 2022 World Cup at Lusail Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Croatia may have been the better team for most of the first half but it was Argentina who had the lead going into halftime.

Five minutes after Lionel Messi scored a penalty, Argentina went on a colossal counterattack after a Croatia corner. Julián Álvarez, who won the penalty to set up the first goal, was a one-man crew to march down half the pitch and score. (via Telemundo Deportes on Twitter)

It wasn’t exactly a Maradona-esque type of goal but it counted all the same. Álvarez went about 60 yards with the ball but he failed to make a crucial pass at multiple points that would’ve increased Argentina’s chances of scoring. Instead, he kept the ball himself and needed to rely on some errors on the Croatian defense to not only keep possession, but score.

Sometimes, that’s just how the ball bounces and Argentina will take that goal however it happens.

Croatia went into the halftime break down 2-0, a scenario they haven’t really faced this World Cup. They haven’t even allowed more than one goal, much less have to play from behind by multiple goals. Though this is Croatia and they have a flair for the dramatics. They got to this point by equalizing in the 117th minute and winning in penalties so they will look to make a memorable comeback in the second half.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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