World Cup: Modric Dominates As Croatia Thump Sorry Argentina 3-0 In Nizhny Novgorod To Leave Messi And Co. On The Brink (Photos & Video)

Alan Duffy

22nd, June 2018


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Argentina found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat to Croatia on Thursday, a result which leaves their World Cup survival in the balance.

Both sides had chances to score in the first half, with Mario Mandzukic  heading wide from close range and Enzo Perez firing wide when presented with an (almost) open goal.

After the break, the shaky Argentinians eventually conceded after a dreadful error from Willy Caballero, with the Chelsea reserve ‘keeper misjudging a unnecessarily deft pass that set up  Ante Rebic to volley home.

In the second half,  Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli sent on Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristian Pavón to get his side back into the game.

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However, it was Croatia who would score next, with the outstanding Luka Modric producing a superb curling effort from 20 yards which evaded the diving arms of Caballero.

With his team utterly reliant on him, Lionel Messi struggled to make the requisite impact as Argentina failed to match as effervescent Croatian side in almost every regard.

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In injury time, Messi’s Barcelona teammate, Ivan Rakitic, would score from close-range to seal a deserved 3-0 win which puts the Croatian into the last 16.

The Albiceleste now face the possibility of missing out on a last 16 berth, if Iceland beat Nigeria on Friday and then draw with Croatia in their final game – and it’s nothing that they don’t deserve.

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As things are shaping up, 2018 could prove to be a serious low point in both Messi and Argentina’s recent World Cup history.

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  1. VieuxSang says:

    Otamendi…left me with angry feelings, which I cannot express without colorful words.

  2. Dr. Cajetan Coelho says:

    One sees many important world-class footballers in the current Croatian side. Croatia look set to go far in the ongoing World Cup.

  3. sloth says:

    The reffing was pretty atrocious, especially once Argentina gave away the first goal. Croatia played physically but Argentina consistently got away with the same types of dirty tackling and flopping. The decision to play on while Rakitic was down winded was almost as embarrassing as the attack that followed. Otamendi should have seen straight red for kicking Rakitic in the head, and should probably see a ban beyond that too, but of course that won’t happen.

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