'Played the penalty with anger' - Ex-Nigeria striker on Messi knowing Argentina close to winning World Cup

Published: December 13, 2022
'Played the penalty with anger' - Ex-Nigeria striker on Messi knowing Argentina close to winning World Cup

Former Super striker Julius Efosa Aghahowa Tuesday evening gave his verdict on the chances of Lionel Messi fulfilling his  ambition of winning the World Cup following Argentina's semifinals win over Croatia.  


La Albiceleste defeated the 2018 finalists 3-0 as they get close to lifting the title for the first time in 36 years when Diego Maradona captained the team to a triumph. 


Aghahowa who played for Nigeria and scored a goal in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan was on analysis duty for Brila FM. 


"Messi didn't look back. He played the penalty with anger. He (Messi) realizes that having come close this far after a shaky start, they are close to winning it. 


"It's been a World Cup of upsets and Argentina weren't ready to take any chances. Messi and the rest of the team grew into the tournament. We don't know how the final will be but it's looking good for them," Aghahowa stated 


On Croatia conceding a first half penalty converted by Messi and how the Europeans ought to have reacted to the setback, Aghahowa had this to say. 


"You don't blame anybody for causing penalties, you have to encourage each other to get an equaliser. 


"That was a defensive blunder. Normally Croatia doesn't give you those opportunities but tonight, Messi and Co were just too good for them," the onetime Shakhtar Donetsk and Wigan Athletic striker concluded. 


Argentina will face the winner of the France versus Morocco game on Wednesday night for the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. 


Izuchukwu Michael



Photo Credit : fifa.com 


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