The Netherlands and Argentina are going to penalties after 120minutes of absurded drama in Qatar.
The Netherlands rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to force extra time in the blockbuster quarterfinal.
Argentina appeared to have one foot in a World Cup semi-final against Croatia as Lionel Messi’s crowning run continued.
It was a piece of Messi magic that delivered the opener, when the Argentine wizard drew defenders as only he can before delivering an expert through ball to Nahuel Molina.
Molina did the rest to put Argentina ahead 1-0 in the 35th minute.
“It’s the runs off Messi that weave the magic,” SBS commentator Martin Tyler said.
“And this one was absolutely perfect. And that’s the way to open up a defence of this calibre.
“Molina just had the pace to get there before van Dijk … a tight half has been busted open here and Messi is the architect.”
English football Gary Lineker posted on Twitter: “Argentina lead through Molina. How? Just how does Messi do this s***? Mind-blowingly brilliant”.
Messi joined Molina on the scoresheet in the 73rd minute when he converted a penalty.
But the Dutch gave their fans some hope when Wout Weghorst crushed a header into the net in the 83rd minute to make it 2-1.
Then in the 11th minute of injury time Weghorst scored again to send it to extra time. “That’s unbelievable,” Tyler said.
Argentina suddenly looked cooked.
Former England forward Chris Sutton told the BBC: “The players are shell-shocked”.
Journalist Andy Cryer also said from Education City Stadium: “The whole place seems so flat.
There is just an air of disbelief”.
There was some late drama when Argentina midfielder Leandro Paredes made a sliding tackle on Nathan Ake and then appeared to boot the ball into the Netherlands dug-out.
Virgil van Dijk ran in to remonstrate and knocked down Paredes, before both teams — including most of the bench — gathered for a bit of push-and-shove.
“Oh, goodness me,” Tyler said. “We’ve not seen anything like this in this World Cup. It’s kicked off here. Incidents right in front of the dugout. So many substitutes.”
The teams could not be separated in the 30-minutes of extra time and both teams looked exhausted at the start of the shoot-out.
The winner will play Croatia after Luka Modric’s side stunned Brazil.