Emiliano Martinez and Lionel Messi didn't hold back in damning assessment of 'useless' referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz
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Emiliano Martinez and Lionel Messi were furious with the performance of referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz in Argentina's dramatic World Cup quarter-final win over the Netherlands.
Martinez was the hero in a dramatic penalty shootout at the Lusail Stadium on Friday evening after a 2-2 draw in regulation time.
Tensions boiled over several times, with Lahoz handing out 15 yellow cards and a red card by the end of the contest.
Despite the victory, Martinez was outraged by the official's performance on the whole. You can check out his comments below.
The Aston Villa goalkeeper believes Lahoz 'wanted' the Netherlands to score, pointing to the 10 minutes of added time during which they equalised.
Argentina went 2-0 up thanks to goals in each half from Nahuel Molina and Messi. Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal responded by bringing on Wout Weghorst, who scored a header with seven minutes to go.
With the last kick of the game, he finished off a genius free-kick routine to take the game an extra 30 minutes.
Martinez vented: "It was a tricky game and I thought we controlled the game really well. We went 2-0 up, we basically controlled the game and the referee was giving everything to them.
"All of a sudden they got a good header, a good flick, which I couldn’t see and then it turned upside-down.
"The ref was giving everything to them. He gave 10 minutes [added time] for no reason, 10 minutes.
"He was giving free-kicks outside the box for them two or three times – he just wanted them to score, that’s basically it.
"So hopefully we don’t have that referee anymore because he’s useless."
Even the usually tranquil Messi ended up speaking his mind about Lahoz.
Without diving into specifics, in fear of getting in trouble, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner claimed the 45-year-old should not officiate at the competition again.
Messi said: "This match shouldn't have ended as it did. I don't want to talk about the referee because they sanction you, but people watched what happened.
"We were afraid before the match because we knew how he was and I think FIFA has to review this, you can't put a referee like him for these matches."
Argentina will now face Croatia in the first semi-final on Tuesday. Croatia defeated Brazil, who many tipped to win the tournament, via penalties earlier on Friday.