Argentina’s 3-0 defeat to Croatia in the FIFA World Cup in the Group D encounter on Thursday has been met with condemnation and disappointment. Some have been sympathetic towards the players and staff while some have taken it rather badly – such as TyC Sports. The presenters and pundits on the channel held a minute’s silence for the death of the national team after the game.
From their studio in Moscow, with the World Cup taking place in Russia for the first time, the TyC Sports panel, comprising of six men, came together and bowed their heads and stood in silence to process the dreadful performance they had witnessed at the Nizhny Novgorod stadium.
Following the disappointing show, Argentina denied reports that their players are looking to get coach Jorge Sampaoli sacked. The 2014 World Cup finalists were on the brink of an early exit from Russia but received positive news after Nigeria beat Iceland. Following the defeat, Sampaoli himself admitted that any blame for the result should be leveled on him and the team leadership.
“It’s absolutely false,” an Argentine official read from the statement. News agency AFP also reported that any reports or claims about a players’ meeting that was concerned with the ousting of Sampaoli was false.
Argentina’s defeat to Croatia was preceded by a 1-1 draw to Iceland in their opening match. Following two games in the group, Croatia are through to the last-16 with two wins in as many games. Meanwhile, Nigeria have three points and Iceland, Argentina have one apiece. Going into the final group games, next week, Argentina will have to beat Nigeria and hope they do enough to thwart Iceland’s effort against Croatia.
Following that defeat there was speculation in Argentine media that the players held a meeting in which they considered pushing Sampaoli out of the team. 1986 World Cup winner Jorge Burruchaga was cited as a potential replacement for Sampaoli in case something of the sort happened.
It was also reported that team captain Lionel Messi and striker Sergio Aguero are both considering retirement from international football. Messi and Aguero have both won a host of trophies at the club level but their international careers have been barren.