“Still One Step To Go” For Argentina Coach Lionel Scaloni After Qatar World Cup Semi-final Win Over Croatia

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Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni gestures during the World Cup soccer semi-final match against Croatia.© AFP

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni admitted it was difficult not to let his side down after their World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia on Tuesday but urged his team to quickly gather their focus for the final. Captain Lionel Messi scored a penalty and then set up two goals for Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez as Argentina won 3-0 at the Lucille Stadium to book a place in Sunday’s final against holders France or Morocco. “The truth is the result probably didn’t reflect the game. I think we deserved to win but maybe not by such a margin,” said Scaloni, whose side took the lead from the penalty spot after the half-hour mark. Foul on Alvarez.

Scaloni said he expected his side to struggle against an inspired Croatian midfield Luke Modric.

“They controlled possession at first, but we knew it could happen because they have three top-class midfielders who have been playing together for years and know each other very well.

“We understood how the game would play out, but the game started with penalties.”

Argentina’s players celebrated wildly in Doha with their fans who made up most of the crowd in Doha, and Scaloni added: “We celebrated because it’s exciting to be in the final, but there’s still a step to go. It’s something to enjoy but it’s over now, so we have to move on to the next one. will.”

Scaloni, 44, is now hoping to win the World Cup just 18 months after beating Argentina in the Copa America in Brazil.

It will be Argentina’s sixth World Cup finals but the former defender rejects comparisons with illustrious coaches of the past, including Cesar Luis Menotti, Carlos Bilardo and Alejandro Sabella, who led them to the 2014 final.

He said, I cannot compare myself with other coaches.

“Going to the final and representing the national team makes me proud. But I can’t put myself at the same level as them. I feel proud to be in the final.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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