Croatia coach and ex-player Mario Mandzukic sent off on bench after being left fuming with penalty given to Argentina
CROATIA coach Mario Mandzukic was sent off while on the bench after being left fuming with Argentina’s penalty.
Lionel Messi put his side 1-0 up in the World Cup quarter-final after Julian Alvarez was brought down by keeper Dominik Livakovic.
GettyJulian Alvarez is taken down by Dominik Livakovic[/caption]
Messi converted from the spot, to become Argentina’s all-time World Cup scorer on 11, but ex-Croatia star Mandzukic was left raging.
The ex-striker angrily contested the decision, so much so that it saw him dismissed from the bench and match itself.
Manchester City’s Alvarez then doubled Argentina’s lead before the half-time break.
But the foul that subsequently led to Messi’s opener from 12 yards was hotly disputed in the ITV studio.
Gary Neville, Ian Wright and Roy Keane all agreed that it should not have been given.
But retired referee and expert Peter Walton said the right decision was made, as Livakovic missed the ball and impeded the player.
Co-commentators Ally Mccoist and Lee Dixon also believe a penalty should have been awarded.
The team of Messi and Alvarez again linked up with the City forward doubling his lead to make it 3-0 after 70 minutes.
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Reigning champions France and Morocco contest for the second place in the final tomorrow night.
France beat England 2-1 to progress to the last four, with Harry Kane missing a late penalty.
Meanwhile Morocco stunned Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to become the first African side to reach a World Cup semi-final.
ReutersJulian Alvarez celebrates with Lionel Messi[/caption]