WATCH: Lionel Messi gives Argentina lead against Croatia in World Cup semi-final with record-breaking penalty

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Lionel Messi broke Argentina's all-time World Cup goals record with a penalty against Croatia in the semi-final on Tuesday.
  • Julian Alvarez won penalty
  • Messi converted in 34th minute
  • Broke Gabriel Batistuta's scoring record

WHAT HAPPENED? The record-breaking strike from the spot came moments after Messi had been grabbing his leg in apparent pain. It was his 11th career World Cup goal.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi's goal started a stretch of play that put Croatia on the ropes. Alvarez scored Argentina's second in the 39th minute, and the country probably could have had more before the break given their dangerous play going forward.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR ARGENTINA? If they hold on to defeat Croatia, they would meet either France or Morocco in the World Cup final.