Julian Alvarez emulates Pele as he becomes the youngest player since the Brazilian icon in 1958 to net at least two goals in a World Cup semi-final… as the Argentina star played a crucial role in helping his nation reach the final
Alvarez burst through the Croatia defence to double Argentina’s lead on the night, before he tapped home a third thanks to Messi’s stunning assist.
In doing so he became the youngest player since Pele at the 1958 World Cup to score two goals in a World Cup semi-final.
Julian Alvarez (right) netted a brace in the semi-final to help Argentina into the World Cup final
Pele scored a hat-trick in the semi finals of the 1958 World Cup before getting two in the final
It is 64 years since Pele achieved the feat at the age of 17 at the tournament held in Brazil.
He set the world alight by netting a hat-trick for Brazil in their 5-2 semi-final win over France, before netting a brace as the South American nation beat hosts Sweden by the same scoreline.
Manchester City prodigy Alvarez achieved the feat at 22 years and 316 days, and he will now look to repeat Pele’s feat by scoring in the final to help Argentina lift the trophy for the first time since 1986.
It was Alvarez’s best performance of the entire tournament as he had a part to play in all three goals.
Alvarez burst through the Croatian defence and fired past the keeper to put Argentina 2-0 up
A stunning assist from Lionel Messi gave Alvarez an easier task of tapping in Argentina’s third
He first won the penalty which was converted by Messi, after he was brought down by Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic in the area.
Five minutes later, Alvarez was sent through by Messi as he burst through Croatia’s defence – and after a few lucky ricochets, smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Alvarez then added a third in the second-half as Messi rolled back the years with a stunning assist- driving past Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol three times before providing an easy finish for the youngster.
The striker is now on four goals for the tournament, tying himself with Gonzalo Higuain in 2010, for the most goals for any Argentina men’s player in a single World Cup aged 22 or younger.