JULIAN ALVAREZ put Argentina 2-0 up against Croatia after a brilliant run from his own half.
The sensational solo goal immediately drew comparisons with Diego Maradona’s strike against England in 1986, despite requiring a little bit of luck.
ITVJulian Alvarez began his run from deep[/caption]
ITVThe Argentina made his way into the box[/caption]
After a fortunate ricochet Alvarez beat Dominik Livakovic one on oneRichard Pelham / The Sun
Alvarez, 22, was back defending a Croatia set-piece during tonight’s semi-final, when Argentina managed to launch a counter-attack.
Its initial protagonist Lionel Messi was brought down, although the ball subsequently fell to Alvarez just shy of the halfway line.
From there he embarked on an amazing solo run, driving at the heart of the Croatian defence.
It appeared that Josip Juranovic had managed to tackle him, only for the ball to ricochet back into Alvarez’s path.
Left-back Borna Sosa then seemed favourite to cut out the attack, only for his scuffed clearance to also rebound back to Alvarez.
The forward then found himself through on goal, poking the ball past Dominik Livakovic to give his side a 2-0 lead five minutes before half-time.
Despite elements of good fortune, the goal was compared to Maradona’s by fans online.
One wrote: “The goal scored by Julian Alvarez is better than that of Maradona in 86.”
AFPDiego Maradona bamboozled England in 1986[/caption]
While a second excitedly tweeted: “ALVAREZ GOT HIS MARADONA GOAL.”
A third frantically tweeted: “MARADONA LIVES IN JULIAN ALVAREZ.”
Alvarez had already played his part in Argentina’s first effort.
The forward was played through one on one with Livakovic, poking the ball beyond the goalkeeper before finding himself being clattered.
After his goal-bound effort was cleared, the referee pointed to the penalty spot, with Messi making no mistake from 12 yards.
Alvarez went on to make it 3-0 on 69 minutes, tucking the ball home following Messi’s sensational assist.
He was subsequently replaced by Paulo Dybala a few minutes later.
APAlvarez celebrates with Lionel Messi[/caption]