World Cup

FT: Argentina 0 vs 3 Croatia

ARGENTINA 0-3 CROATIA

FT: Croatia are through to the last 16 of the World Cup after a stunning 3-0 victory in Nizhny Novgorod which leaves Argentina in serious danger of exiting at the group stage.

Ante Rebic made the most of a Willy Caballero howler to open the scoring in the 53rd minute before Luka Modric curled in a sensational second (81) and Ivan Rakitic stroked in an injury-time third to secure his side’s passage to the knock-out stages.

But after their opening 1-1 draw with Iceland, Argentina go into their final Group D game with Nigeria with only one point and their hopes of staying in Russia beyond the group stage are hanging by a thread.

ARGENTINA 0-3 CROATIA

90+3: Corluka comes on for his 10th cap. Mandzukic is the man withdrawn.

GOAL! ARGENTINA 0-3 CROATIA (Rakitic, 90+1)

Rakitic strokes the third into an unguarded net and Argentina are broken.

Caballero does brilliantly to save Rakitic’s initial effort, but the ball falls to Kovacic who rolls the ball back to his team-mate and he blasts past the man on the line to put the cherry on the cake.

ARGENTINA 0-2 CROATIA

90: WHAT A BLOCK! Meza does brilliantly to run into the area, but Vida does even better to block his goalbound effort.

ARGENTINA 0-2 CROATIA

89: WIDE! Modric shoots from 35 yards, but it lacks his earlier magic and goes well wide.

ARGENTINA 0-2 CROATIA

87: YELLOW! Acuna takes down Vrsaljko and picks up the sixth booking of this game.

ARGENTINA 0-2 CROATIA

86: OFF THE BAR!! From the resulting free-kick, Rakitic curls a brilliant shot onto the crossbar from 25 yards. Brilliant effort.

ARGENTINA 0-2 CROATIA 

85: HANDBAGS AND A YELLOW CARD! Mascherano takes down Rakitic and Otamendi smashes the ball into his face as he lies stricken on the floor. Horrible.

ARGENTINA 0-2 CROATIA 

84: Where the first goal was comical, that one was class. Higuain shoots from 25 yards, but that’s never troubling Subasic.

GOAL! ARGENTINA 0-2 CROATIA (Modric, 81)

A brilliant curled goal from Modric and Croatia are surely in the last 16 now!!!

The Real Madrid man receives the ball from Brozovic 20 yards from goal, takes two touches and curls a sensational right-footer beyond Caballero.

Nobody is saving that. All sorts of trouble for Argentina.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

79: Kramairc brilliantly defends the corner and Acuna’s follow-up cross is also cleared. Argentina have just 10 minutes to go here.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

78: Great tackle from Lovren on Pavon. Argentina have a corner…

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

76: FURY! Messi produces a bit of magic and finds Dybala. Argentina are on the attack, but the ref blows up because Rakitic is down inside the centre circle. The Argentine players are absolutely furious with that call.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

74: Acuna’s cross is terrible, drifting out of play with few options in the area to aim at. Sampaoli takes his jacket off in frustration.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

73: Mandzukic’s ball deflects into the path of Kramaric, but he can’t quite get his feet right and get a shot away.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

71: Higuain shimmies and curls one over the bar from the right. Argentina are pushing forward at every opportunity.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

70: Kramaric does brilliantly, but can’t quite pick out Mandzukic… Croatia are still dangerous on the counter.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

68: FINAL SUB! Dybala comes on for Perez. Sampaoli throws on another forward!

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

68: YELLOW! Vrsaljko is booked for a late tackle on Acuna. he’s the fourth man booked.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

66: Vrsaljko plays in Mandzukic who nicks th eball into the side-netting from a tight angle. This is really exciting stuff now.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

65: Clinical, yes. Bit for Caballero it was comical.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

64: DOUBLE BLOCK! Meza’s close-range shot is blocked by Subasic and Rakitic does brilliantly to stop Messi scoring the rebound.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

63: Defeat would not end Argentina’s hopes of qualification, but it could take things out of their hands. An Iceland win over Nigeria tomorrow means they could play out a draw with Croatia next Tuesday and eliminate the 2014 finalists.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

62: Pavon’s ball can’t find Messi. Lovren cuts out the low cross. Argentina are increasingly desperate here.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

60: SUB! Goalscorer Rebic has gone off injured and Kramaric is on in his place.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

59: Huge roars in this stadium. All coming from the thousands of Argentina fans. They are trying to roar their team on. As it stands, remember, Croatia will qualify from the group.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA

57: Modric sends in a corner, but Caballero punches clear. The goalkeeper will hope he hasn’t cost his team this match.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA 

56: ANOTHER SUB! Pavon replaces Salvio. Argentina have just over half an hour to rescue this World Cup.

ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA 

54: SUB! Higuain replaces Arguero. Argentina need to find a goal!

GOAL! ARGENTINA 0-1 CROATIA (Rebic, 53)

It’s a howler from Caballero and Rebic volleys in brilliantly.

Mercado plays a simple back-pass to the goalkeeper, but he scuffs his kick and the ball loops into the air to Rebic who is closing down and he does well to measure his volley into the goal.

Argentina are stunned!

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

53: Tagliafico plays a lovely ball into Aguero on the edge of the area and he turns and shoots at the goalkeeper.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

53: YELLOW! Mercado ruthlessly and cynically fells Rebic on the half-way line as he looks to get clear. Definite booking.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

51: Perisic gets free on the right, but his ball can’t quite reach Rebic in the middle. The wait for a goal goes on…

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

49: Messi wins a free-kick off Modric for handball, but Argentina take it quickly and Acuna’s snap-shot fails to beat the defender.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

47: Mandzukic is penalised for a push on Otamendi. The Juventus forward will still be thinking about that shocking first-half miss… hopefully he won’t regret it too much at full-time.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

46: HERE WE GO AGAIN. No changes to either side at the break. Argentina kick us back off…

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

HT: There’s the half-time whistle and how is this game goalless?

Caballero made a fine save from Perisic in the fifth minute and Acuna’s cross struck the bar before Perez for Argentina and Mandzukic for Croatia missed absolute sitters.

Messi still to get into the game. Join us for the second half.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

45+2: CHANCE! Modric plays a brilliant ball to Rebic, but he has an awful first touch. He was clean through, but loses the chance and skies it over the bar.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

45+1: TWO minutes of added time.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

45: NASTY TACKLE. Meza goes in high on Vrsaljko. The VAR officials take a look for a potential red card but decide no action is needed. That looked pretty bad to me.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

44: Sampaoli is getting increasingly agitated and demonstrable on the touchline. He’s screaming at his players, the opposition players and the officials at any opportunity…

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

42: A brilliant tackle by Vrsaljko stops Aguero as he looks to get into the area.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

40: A booking for Rebic after a poor tackle on Salvio by the touchline. Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli was right next to it, screaming his displeasure, and demanding VAR look again to consider a red.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

38: Tagliafico’s cross is straight into the arms of Subasic. Disappointing from the full-back.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

37: Mercado is down getting treatment after a high boot from Rebic. Both players went into that challenge full-blooded but the Argentina man comes off worse.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

35: How is this game goalless? There’s been two great chances at each end. And in the last five minutes, we’ve seen better chances than you’ll see in entire World Cup matches.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

33: ANOTHER HUGE MISS!! Mandzukic the guilty party at the other end.

It’s a brilliant ball in from the full-back, Vrsaljko, who cuts onto his left and curls it onto the head of the big striker barely four yards from goal but he heads wide. I can’t believe he’s missed that!

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

30: WHAT A MISS!! Perez has an open goal and puts it wide!!

After a mix-up in the Croatia backline, Aguero wins the ball and Vida deflects the ball into Perez’s path 12 yards out with the goalkeeper stranded – but his first-time shot is an inch wide of the post! Shocker!!

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

28: Messi’s ball into the area is too high for Aguero and straight into the arms of Subasic. We’re yet to really see any magic from the Barcelona hero just yet.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

27: WORST CORNER EVER!!! Meza smashes the corner straight into the side-netting. Sunday League standard…

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

26: Aguero causes panic as he runs at the Croatia backline. His cross is cut out by Strinic and Argentina will have a corner…

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

25: Subasic gets in a bit of a tangle. The Croatia goalkeeper’s clearance is straight to an Argentina foot, but the return ball prompts an offside flag.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

22: OFF THE BAR!! Acuna gets down the left and whips in a cross which turns into a shot as it beats goalkeeper Subasic and bounces off the top of the bar!

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

21: LUCKY! Caballero plays a short pass to Tagliafico inside his own area and Mandzukic is on him like a flash. The ball breaks to Modric, but before he can shoot the ref blows for a foul by Mandzukic. Sloppy stuff from Argentina.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

19: NO FOUL! Perez goes down under a challenge from Brozovic right on the edge of the area. It looks a foul, but the referee is unmoved much to the annoyance of the Argentina players.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

16: Rakitic and Perez both throw themselves at the ball. The ref gives the foul to the Croatia man and there’s a brief flashpoint as a few players square up.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

15: Mascherano’s long ball is just beyond Acuna. This is bubbling up nicely.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

13: ANOTHER CHANCE! Lovren does brilliantly to slide and block Meza as he connects with Aguero’s pass. That was goalbound. Good defending.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

12: CHANCE! The first glimpse of a chance for Messi. Perez plays a delightful dinked ball over the top and Messi stretches to reach it, but can’t quite connect.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

10: Rakitic finds Vrsaljko with a brilliant ball to the right, but his cut-back bounces beyond Rebic. That was another good opening for Croatia. The final ball just wasn’t quite there.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

9: Mandzukic goes down this time under a challenge from Tagliafico and Croatia win a free-kick. A bit of payback for his earlier foul on Otamendi?

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

7: Mandzukic catches Otamendi and the defender goes down clutching his foot. No booking from the Uzbek ref, though.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

6: Modric’s corner is scrambled clear. Questions were asked of Argentina’s defence after the Iceland game and Perisic had so much time and space then. He really could have opened the scoring.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

5: GREAT SAVE!! Caballero is called into action early. Perisic has acres of space on the left, drives towards the area and drives low across the goalkeeper, who dives to his left and forces the ball out for a corner.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

4: The two sides are still feeling each other out. Argentina are quick to press whenever Croatia have the ball in the opening stages.

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

2: It’s a gorgeous evening for football. The iconic blue and white stripes of Argentina are on display for the first time in this tournament. Sadly Croatia are in all-black as a consequence…

ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA

1: KICK-OFF! What will Messi do this evening? Will the Barcelona man be outshone by Real Madrid’s Modric? Or will somebody else steal the headlines? Stay with us to find out…

NATIONAL ANTHEMS

Messi is looking down and scratching his head as the camera pans down the Argentina line-up. Another legend, Diego Maradona, is in attendance this evening hoping to see his countrymen pick up their first win of Russia 2018.

TEAMS ON THE WAY OUT

This could potentially be one of the most entertaining matches of the group stage. A Croatia win puts them in the second round and puts Argentina in real trouble. The players are walking out in Nizhny Novgorod…

TEAM NEWS

ARGENTINA TEAM NEWS

Team to play Croatia: Caballero, Mercado, Tagliafico, Otamendi, Salvio, Acuna, Meza, Mascherano, Perez, Messi (c), Aguero

CROATIA TEAM NEWS

Team to play Argentina: Subasic, Vrsaljko, Strinic, Lovren, Vida, Perisic, Rakitic, Modric (c), Brozovic, Rebic, Mandzukic

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *