Argentina were humiliated by a terrific Croatia side as they won 3-0 against the South Americans. Lionel Messi’s lacklustre side were clueless and the European side punished them big time to seal their berth in the knockout stages of the World Cup, first time since 1998.
Setting the Scene:
Argentina had all the pressure on them as they only managed a draw against Iceland, Croatia won against Nigeria 2-0 in their opening fixture and they were at the top of their group. Only a win would have meant that the South American side have their fate in their own hands ahead of the final match day.
Jorge Sampaoli started with a three men back line while Croatia went with a four men defense. Defensive lapses gave both the teams early chances but neither could take it. Croatia although looked a better side than Argentina, but Los Albiceletes had the chance of the half when a misunderstanding betwwen Lovren and Subasic led the ball to Enzo Perez but the River Plate midfielder only managed to hit the wrong side of the net in an open goal. Mario Mandzukic had the best chance for Croatia but his header was wide.
Croatia drew the first blood in the second half when a horrendous mistake by Caballero gave the ball to Rebic, who struck a thumping volley past the hapless keeper to give the Crotes a massive lead. Messi came close for the South Americans but his shot was kept out by Subasic. Game was settled Luka Modric scored an amazing goal to make it 2-0 for the Croatians ten minutes from time. Rakitic added another one in the stoppage time to complete a convincing scoreline of 3-0 in favour of Croatia.
Argentina: Caballero; Mercado, Otamendi, Taglafico; Mascherano, Perez (Dybala), Acuna, Salvio (Pavon); Messi, Meza, Aguero (Higuain)
Croatia: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Rakitic, Brozovic; Rebic (Kramaric), Modric, Perisic (Kovacic); Mandzukic
This embarassing loss means Argentina are stuck at 1 point after 2 games, while the Croatians are 6 points after 2 matches. The SOuth American country will face Nigeria while Modric’s country will face Iceland.