Messi's dream lives on as Argentina defeats Croatia to reach the World Cup final

Argentina and Lionel Messi have done it yet again. The South American powerhouse will play in the World Cup final after defeating Croatia 3-0.

It was the fifth time Argentina has played in a World Cup semifinal (defeating the USA in 1930, Belgium in 1986, Italy in 1990 and the Netherlands in 2014). And it is the sixth time it has advanced to a final.

The last time Argentina won the World Cup was in 1986.

In the 32nd minute, Julián Álvarez went one-on-one with Croatian keeper Dominik Livaković who brought Álvarez down - winning a penalty kick.

Messi then stepped up to do what he seemingly always does. Calmly and coolly, he punched the ball high and to the right giving his side a 1-0 lead.

Álvarez wasn't done. In the 39th minute, he led a counterattack and dribbled all the way from midfield, sprinted through three Croatian defenders, and lofted the ball past Livaković to give Argentina a 2-0 lead at the half.

Livaković had shined in goal this tournament. But an unrelenting Argentina offense and some Croatian defensive lapses proved to be too much.

In the 69th minute, Messi had a flash of unbelievable ballhandling against Croatia defender Joško Gvardiol on the right side of the goal.

Messi then found Álvarez who powered it in for the 3-0 lead. Of Croatia's twelve shots on goal, only two were on target.