Argentina were sent to the very edge of a Group Stage elimination from the 2018 World Cup by an efficient Croatia. The 2014 finalists, who looked as disjointed and directionless as they did against Iceland in their opening match, were beaten 3-0 by Croatia. The result helped Croatia book a place in the Round of 16. On the other hand, Argentina need to beat Nigeria and need many other results to go their way so as to reach the next round. Argentina’s collapse was triggered by a goalkeeping blunder by Willy Caballero in the second half of the game. Caballero chipped the ball straight to Ante Rebic and the latter volleyed the ball first time into goal.
Stats from the match:
– Argentina have failed to win either of its opening 2 group games at the World Cup for only the 2nd time (also in 1974)
– Argentina’s 3-0 loss is their worst in the World Cup group stage since a 6-1 defeat to Czechoslovakia in 1958.
– This is the sixth consecutive World Cup match that Lionel Messi has failed to score in.
– Argentina have scored one goal in their first two games of the 2018 #WorldCup, tied for their fewest through the first two games of a World Cup (also scored one in 2002).
– Luka Modric is the 3rd Croatian to score goals in back-to-back World Cup matches, joining Davor Suker (1998 – 4 games) and Ivan Perisic (2014).