Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi shared the reason for their celebration against the Netherlands in the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarter-final clash on 9 December. He stated that they were celebrating in some Dutch players’ faces after the win when someone from their team tried to distract them.
The two nations played out an ominous quarter-final clash that ended 2-2 after 120 minutes. Argentina then won 4-3 in the penalty shootout to reach the last four.
When Lautaro Martinez buried the decisive kick, some of the Argentine players appeared to taunt their Dutch counterparts. Otamendi was pictured cutting off the ears of his opponents.
Leandro Paredes was seen raising his fist. Meanwhile, Gonzalo Montiel, Angel Di Maria and Alexis Mac Allister were seen screaming in the direction of a dejected Dutch team.
However, Otamendi has come on record to clear the air, as the former Manchester City defender has revealed why his team behaved in such a manner. Speaking to the press after the match, he said (via the Mirror):
“I celebrated in my face because there was a Dutch player, who every time we got a penalty, came and said something to one of our players. The picture was taken out of context and we celebrated in response to that.”
There were a total of 48 errors in the game. Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz waved 17 yellow cards, including a second yellow to Denzel Dumfries after the match.
It was a tense encounter with Netherlands and Argentina players clashing several times during the match. This is especially so after Paredes hacked down Nathan Ake with a cynical challenge before smashing the ball into the Dutch dugout.
The animosity continued even after the full-time whistle. Lionel Messi confronted Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal for some of the comments he made before the game.
Argentina’s hero in the shootout with two important saves, Emiliano Martinez also had a go at the Dutch coach and referee after the match.
Argentina will face Croatia in the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Argentina’s quest for a second FIFA World Cup title continues against Croatia in the semi-finals on Tuesday (December 13).
Vatreni knocked out one of the tournament favourites, Brazil, in the last eight on penalties and are aiming to make back-to-back finals.
La Albiceleste were beaten 3-0 by the Balkan outfit in the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and will be looking for revenge.