Neither side was able to carve out any real clear-cut chances in the opening half-hour, though, with Enzo Fernandez coming the closest after his long-range strike forced a great save from Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic.
Just moments later, the South Americans were awarded a penalty. Alvarez found himself in behind the defence, before colliding with shot-stopper Livakovic, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot and book the goalkeeper.
As has been the case already in Qatar, up stepped captain Messi. The Argentina no.10 thumped his spot-kick into the top corner, giving Livakovic no chance, despite him guessing the right way.