World Cup 2018: Argentina Humiliated by Croatia is on the Verge of Elimination

World Cup 2018
The captain of Argentina Lionel Messi after the 3rd goal of the Croatians during the World Cup on June 21, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod.

Argentina Lionel Messi, a finalist in 2014, is on the verge of eliminating World Cup 2018. Humiliated Thursday by Croatia (3-0)!

Attention sensation: Argentina Lionel Messi , finalist in 2014, is on the verge of eliminating the World Cup-2018. Humiliated Thursday by Croatia (3-0), who qualified for the knockout round, she no longer has her fate in hand before her last match of the group stage, June 26 against Nigeria.

Even Diego Maradona is biting his nails. The Argentine star, in the stands in Nizhny Novgorod, watched helplessly the surprise defeat of his country, sealed by a revival gag his little sovereign goalkeeper Willy Caballero , immediately sanctioned by a magnificent goal by Ante Rebic (53).

Ten minutes from time, Luka Modric showered the Albiceleste with another splendid goal, by far (80th), before Ivan Rakitic added to the humiliation in extra time, at close range (90 + 1). ).

Croatian midfielder Luka Modric after scoring his team's second goal against Argentina on 21 June 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod.
Croatian midfielder Luka Modric after scoring his team’s second goal against Argentina on 21 June 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod. (© AFP / Johannes EISELE)

The Croatians, already 2-0 winners against Nigeria, qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

As for the Argentineans, they will now have to follow closely the results of Iceland, which held them in check for their debut (1-1) and faces Friday Nigeria. An Icelandic victory would singularly complicate the business of Messi and company …

No collective landmarks

But what happened? After his surprise draw against Iceland, Argentina was already at the bottom of the wall at this World Cup started without certainty or collective benchmarks. His coach, Jorge Sampaoli , had made strong choices after the failed debut, leaving on the bench the stars Angel Di Maria or Marcos Rojo, for the benefit of less known players, Gabriel Mercado (Seville FC) or Maximiliano Meza (Independiente).

It may soon find itself under the fire of the critics Argentina, because these choices have not frankly paid. The Albiceleste got opportunities early in the game, by Meza (countered by Dejan Lovren, 13th), and especially by Enzo Perez, author of an improbable failure (30th).

Messi, if only …

But the Argentineans quickly died out against a Croatia which, if it does not have in its manpower of Lionel Messi, has on the other hand a little all that is missing in Argentina: a coherent collective, a midfielder who knows how to build actions, a defense that has collective benchmarks and a decisive goalkeeper.

Car Caballero, inducted N.1 by Sampaoli to the detriment of Sergio Romero before the competition, has made a good parade early in the game against Ivan Perisic (5th), but Argentina will surely remember from his match that this raise absurd that allowed the Croatians to open the scoring.

Match preview and match statistics Argentina - Croatia.
Match preview and match statistics Argentina – Croatia. (© AFP / Sophie RAMIS)

And Lionel Messi? He surprised the newspaper “Olé” early in the game by taking the lead during the anthem of his country. He then, as against Iceland where he missed a penalty, much tempted to carry his team, but without success. The comparison is cruel with his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo who allowed his Portugal to win Wednesday against Morocco (1-0) by registering, already, his 4th goal of the World Cup.

At 30, the ‘Pulga’ may be arguing in Russia its last World Cup. After the defeat in the final in 2014, an exit in the first lap would really mark the list of this huge player. But even great, Messi can not do everything alone.

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