LUSAIL, Qatar ( Associated Press) — Emiliano Martinez and his healthy habit of saving penalties at the World Cup, too.
Argentina’s goalkeeper was a mainstay of Argentina’s 4-3 victory over the Netherlands in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw in 120 minutes of play on Friday for the quarter-finals, again appealing to unorthodox resources.
“Dibu” stopped shots from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis from 11 steps at the end of a dramatic night in which the Argentine had the victory within his grasp but let it escape in extra time and went ahead thanks to his skill. . 30 year old goalkeeper.
“The boys were tired, they gave me 90 minutes, I could not help them by making saves in the 90s, but I had to help them there,” he declared after the victory at the Lusail Stadium, with the majority of Argentina In its 88,000 stands.
Martínez also wore a hero’s cap at the 2021 Copa América, the first title Albiceleste won after a 28-year drought.
In the semi-final against Colombia, Aston Villa’s goalkeeper chose a controversial tactic to block shots from Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina and Edwin Cardona.
“Look, I like you as a brother, look, I cover it for you; I eat you, I eat you”, was the remembered phrase he gave to Meena before his execution.
Argentina won 3–2 on penalties and played in the final against Brazil.
“Dibu” also did his bit on the biggest stage of the World Cup.
The towering Dutch captain Van Dijk parried the shot after a short run but Martínez guessed his intent by diving to the right. Although the penalty shootout had just begun, Martínez noticed the Argentine fans behind him and heckled them.
When it was Steven Barguis’s turn, the Argentine took the ball away from him to distract him. And the same ending: they close the arch and celebrate with a dance.
“Thank God I saved two and I could have saved more,” said Martínez, who ran to the Dutch bench after his teammate Lautaro Martínez was slaughtered and hurled insults at his rivals.
He also said that he was inspired by statements from Dutch coach Louis van Gaal, who slipped in the preview that he saw the most advantage in the penalty shootout. The Netherlands tried to avenge the loss against Albiceleste in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup – also on penalties.
“I captured it and saved it on my cell phone…” I thought I was going to gag,” he shot off.
Martínez highlighted the importance of the victory for his country, which is going through a difficult economic situation.
“We are not passing through good times and giving them happiness is the most satisfying,” he said.
Croatia, the next opponent in the semi-finals?
“Let me enjoy today, tomorrow (on Saturday) we will analyze Croatia,” he closed.