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Argentina vs Croatia, FIFA World Cup 2018, Highlights: As it Happened

News18.com | June 22, 2018, 2:01 AM IST
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21 Jun 2018 - 23:30 IST - Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Group Stage - Group D

ArgentinaArgentina
110
0 - 3
CroatiaCroatia
140
Latest update: Goals from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic help Croatia seal the win against Argentina and qualify for the Round of 16.

Catch all the action of the FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and Croatia through our live blog.
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Jun 22, 2018 1:32 am (IST)

Croatia's win against Argentina is their first against a South American side at the World Cup, and the first time Argentina have lost on the 21st of June at the World Cup

Jun 22, 2018 1:26 am (IST)

This was Argentina's biggest loss since a 6-1 defeat to the Czechoslovakia in 1958! 

Jun 22, 2018 1:23 am (IST)

Full time: Croatia beat Argentina 3-0. 

Jun 22, 2018 1:20 am (IST)

This has been a very embarrassing defeat for Argentina. They are not knocked out as yet and mathematically have a chance to make it through to the next round still. But is there enough gas in the tank? Unlikely! 

Jun 22, 2018 1:19 am (IST)

GOAL: Rakitic adds a third as he and Kovacic literally walk it in to the goal past Caballero! Sampaoli looks like he wants to be somewhere lese at this point in time. 

Jun 22, 2018 1:16 am (IST)

1998 was when Croatia and Argentina last met at the World Cup with Argentina winning that game then. It was also the World Cup that Croatia lit up thanks to Davor Sukur. Is there a repeat on the cards with Croatia's golden generation? 

Jun 22, 2018 1:14 am (IST)

Ivan Rakitic gives Argentina yet another scare, as his free-kick beats everyone and hits the cross bar. An inch lower and that was another goal. Not the thing Argentina need now! 

Jun 22, 2018 1:13 am (IST)

The tempers are flying as Otamendi is show a yellow card after he clashed with the Croatian players. The Argentine players are frustrated and it is showing now. They are losing their temper at the slightest provocation. 

Jun 22, 2018 1:11 am (IST)

With 8 minutes to go plus added time, Argentina have to really pull something out of the hat here now. 

Jun 22, 2018 1:08 am (IST)

GOAL: Sensational finish by Luka Modric! From outside the penalty box, he lines it up and hammers it past Caballero. Croatia lead 2-0 as Messi and Co look set for defeat.

Jun 22, 2018 1:07 am (IST)

Rakitic's shot is blocked by Mercado to keep Argentina in this. But for how long? 

Jun 22, 2018 1:06 am (IST)

Croatia are throwing men into defense now, even Mandzukuic is back defending the set pieces along with the rest. 

Jun 22, 2018 1:04 am (IST)

Rakitic and Otamendi's coming together has seen the Barcelona man come out the worse of the two. There is edge and nerves in this contest. 

Jun 22, 2018 1:03 am (IST)

Croatia meanwhile are getting Real Madrid man Mateo Kovacic ready as they look to close this down with 15 minutes left in the game. Rakitic is down in the centre circle as Messi continues to drive on with the ball. 

Jun 22, 2018 1:01 am (IST)

Messi is angry here and the emotions are getting in the way of his reactions as he reacts rather angrily to Kramaric's tackle. The master can feel the pressure of the situation and it does not make for good viewing. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:59 am (IST)

Messi has dropped deep in search of service and has Dybala and Higuain are up front ahead of him. Messi plays it to Higuain who brings it down for Dybala. The Juve man has a go with his favoured left foot, but it is over the top. That's a trademark shot of his, and Argentina will hope it works well today. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:58 am (IST)

20 minutes to go in the contest, and Croatia are in no hurry when they have the ball. Argentina have it all do as their opponents look to slow things down. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:56 am (IST)

Sampaoli has thrown in Paulo Dybala as a last throw of the dice. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:54 am (IST)

Croatia are creating chance after chance and are threatening Caballero's goal more than ever. Vrsaljko's ball into Mandzukic eventually is hit outside the frame of the goal, but nervy moments once again for Argentina's defense. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:54 am (IST)

Croatia are creating chance after chance and are threatening Caballero's goal more than ever. Vrsaljko's ball into Mandzukic eventually is hit outside the frame of the goal, but nervy moments once again for Argentina's defense. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:52 am (IST)
Here's another look at how Croatia got the lead after the howler from Caballero!
Jun 22, 2018 12:51 am (IST)

Croatia escape!! Higuain finds the by line and pulls it back for Meza who shoots but Subasic saves and before Messi can pounce Rakitic gets in the way. Argentina have not come this close today. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:50 am (IST)

Messi trying to go through the whole Croatian defense with his quick feet but he's once again crowded out. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:49 am (IST)

Messi has Higuain and Pavon for company in attack now. No sign of Paulo Dybala as yet. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:48 am (IST)

Diego Maradona watches on from the stands and he is looking stressed. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:46 am (IST)

Jorge Sampaoli is absolutely livid with his goal-keeper Caballero and he needs the team to pull up their socks sooner rather than later. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:43 am (IST)

Perisic crosses it in from the right and Mandzukic earns a corner for Croatia who will surely look to power on from here. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:41 am (IST)

GOAL: Ante Rebic scores with a superb finish to give Croatia the lead. Argentina's defense falls apart in horrific fashion. Caballero's clearance is mistimed and Rebic finishes it off with one touch and one quick move. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:40 am (IST)

Tagliafico plays it in to Aguero after Messi found him! The shot is weak and Subasic collects easily. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:40 am (IST)

Tagliafico plays it in to Aguero after Messi found him! The shot is weak and Subasic collects easily. 

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Argentina vs Croatia, FIFA World Cup 2018, Highlights: As it Happened
(Image: FIFA)

Preview:

Argentina are rallying around captain Lionel Messi as the South American giants prepare for their crucial Group D clash with Croatia here on Thursday. Messi made an unhappy start to the World Cup on Saturday, missing what would have been a winning penalty as Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by minnows Iceland.

It was a result that has renewed doubts about Argentina's ability to mount a sustained challenge at this World Cup, four years after they reached the final in Brazil. Another adverse outcome on Thursday and many may even start to consider the unthinkable -- that Argentina could be on their way out at the group stage, mirroring their shock first round exit in 2002. Legend Diego Maradona called the Iceland result a "disgrace" and warned coach Jorge Sampaoli he would not be able to return to Argentina with similar performances. Adding to the sense of disappointment, Messi's missed penalty was accompanied by 11 unsuccessful shots, the most in a World Cup game without return by a single player since Italy's Luigi Riva in 1970. Argentina's players however have been quick to close ranks around the Barcelona superstar. "We are all with him, he knows that he can count on the support of all of us more than ever," said Argentina striker Paulo Dybala. "We are here to help him every moment, and of course we will be at his side," Dybala added.

Defender Cristian Ansaldi meanwhile insisted Messi was in good spirits despite the Iceland setback. "We all know what Messi represents to our team and to our country," Ansaldi said. "Not only is he the best player in the world on the pitch, he is also best player off the field. He's in good shape and that's good for us." Despite the solitary point against Iceland, Argentina can take solace from a performance which saw them muster 26 shots and have 72 per cent possession against Iceland. Sampaoli is reportedly considering several changes for the game, including drafting in young forward Cristian Pavon for Angel Di Maria for more creativity up front. Similarly in midfield, Paris Saint-Germain's Giovani Lo Celso could start as Argentina seek more attacking options, possibly at the expense of Lucas Biglia. Their jobs would be to supply Messi and goalscorer against Iceland Sergio Aguero with the kind of service on which they would thrive in a potential 3-3-3-1 formation. Croatia may have secured a vital three points in their 2-0 win against Nigeria in their opening game, but their mood can hardly be described as euphoric.

They came into the tournament under a cloud, with captain Luka Modric charged with perjury in a corruption scandal which has rocked Croatian football. And striker Nikola Kalinic has left Russia due to a back injury, says coach Zlatko Dalic, but amid reports he refused to come on as a substitute after being left out of the starting line-up. Off-field problems for now though have not affected them and they are expected to field an unchanged team, which also includes Messi's Barcelona teammate Ivan Rakitic. The teams have met only once before in the World Cup, in 1998, when Argentina won 1-0 and were the only team that year to prevent Golden Boot winner Davor Suker from scoring. One other possible omen for Thursday; when Riva racked up his unwanted record in 1970, the Italian legend promptly scored two goals in his next match. Argentina will be hoping for the same from Messi.
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