Croatia trash Messi’s Argentina!

June 21, 2018

Argentina 0-3 Croatia: Lionel Messi and Co on the brink of elimination

CROATIA 3-0 ARGENTINA – NIZHNY NOVGOROD STADIUM: Argentina are on the brink of a humiliating group stage exit at the 2018 World Cup after losing a gripping battle to Croatia on Thursday night. After a goalless first half the Croats took the lead in farcical circumstances after a miskick from Willy Caballero went straight to Ante Rebic, who found the roof of the net with a crisp first-time volley. Luka Modric then crashed home a powerful effort from 25 yards out into the bottom corner to leave Lionel Messi and Co needing results in the final group games to go their way to stand a chance of making the last 16.

Argentina are on the brink of a humiliating group stage exit at the 2018 World Cup after losing a gripping battle to Croatia on Thursday night.

After a goalless first half the Croats took the lead in farcical circumstances after a miskick from Willy Caballero went straight to Ante Rebic, who found the roof of the net with a crisp first-time volley.

Luka Modric then crashed home a powerful effort from 25 yards out into the bottom corner to leave Lionel Messiand Co needing results in the final group games to go their way to stand a chance of making the last 16.

Ivan Rakitic confirmed the three points for Croatia with a simple tap-in from only six yards out as Argentina tired late on

Ivan Rakitic confirmed the three points for Croatia with a simple tap-in from only six yards out as Argentina tired late on

Barcelona midfielder Rakitic is joined by Mario Mandzukic in celebrating a big win over group rivals Argentina

Barcelona midfielder Rakitic is joined by Mario Mandzukic in celebrating a big win over group rivals Argentina

Luka Modric lets fly after getting the better of Nicolas Otamendi to double Croatia's lead against Argentina on the night

Luka Modric lets fly after getting the better of Nicolas Otamendi to double Croatia’s lead against Argentina on the night

Modric's effort bends inside the post and nestles into the back of the net despite the best efforts of Willy Caballero

Modric’s effort bends inside the post and nestles into the back of the net despite the best efforts of Willy Caballero

Modric celebrates his spectacular strike which found the back of the net and put Argentina on the brink of elimination

Modric celebrates his spectacular strike which found the back of the net and put Argentina on the brink of elimination

The Croatian players surround Luka Modric after he doubled their lead just 10 minutes from time in Nizhny Novogrod

The Croatian players surround Luka Modric after he doubled their lead just 10 minutes from time in Nizhny Novogrod

Ante Rebic holds his hands to his ears as he celebrates putting Croatia ahead against Argentina in the second half

Ante Rebic holds his hands to his ears as he celebrates putting Croatia ahead against Argentina in the second half

Rebic hit a crisp volley on the full into the roof of the net after Willy Caballero miscued a clearance straight into his path

Rebic hit a crisp volley on the full into the roof of the net after Willy Caballero miscued a clearance straight into his path

The Argentina goalkeeper grimaces after his horrendous mistake left them facing defeat against Croatia in Group D

The Argentina goalkeeper grimaces after his horrendous mistake left them facing defeat against Croatia in Group D

Rebic is surrounded by Croatian team-mates as they celebrate taking a shock lead against Argentina on Thursday night

Rebic is surrounded by Croatian team-mates as they celebrate taking a shock lead against Argentina on Thursday night

Argentina captain Lionel Messi looks furious after seeing his side go behind in farcical circumstances to Croatia

Argentina captain Lionel Messi looks furious after seeing his side go behind in farcical circumstances to Croatia

MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS:

Argentina (3-4-3): Caballero; Tagliafico, Otamendi, Mercado; Acuna, Mascherano, Perez (Dybala 68), Salvio (Pavon 56); Meza, Aguero (Higuain 54), Messi

Subs not used: Guzman, Ansaldi, Biglia, Fazio, Banega, Di Maria, Rojo, Lo Celso, Armani

Booked: Mercado, Acuna, Otamendi

Croatia (4-2-3-1): Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Modric, Brozovic; Rakitic, Rebic (Kramaric 57), Perisic (Kovacic 82); Mandzukic (Corluka 90+2)

Subs not used: Livakovic, Jedvaj, Bradaric, Caleta-Car, Badelj, Pjaca, Pivaric, Lovre Kalinic

Goalscorers: Rebic 53, Modric 80, Rakitic 90+1

Booked: Rebic, Mandzukic, Vrsaljko, Corluka

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov

Argentina talisman Lionel Messi is tracked by three Croatian runners as he tries to take the ball upfield early in the game

Argentina talisman Lionel Messi is tracked by three Croatian runners as he tries to take the ball upfield early in the game

Argentina midfielder Eduardo Salvio attempts to get the ball under control as Croatian Ivan Strinic keeps a close eye

Argentina midfielder Eduardo Salvio attempts to get the ball under control as Croatian Ivan Strinic keeps a close eye

Croatia and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic challenges for an aerial ball against Argentina's Nicolas Tagliafico

Croatia and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic challenges for an aerial ball against Argentina’s Nicolas Tagliafico

Croatian winger Ivan Perisic broke through on the left-hand side and was allowed an early sighter on the Argentina goal

Croatian winger Ivan Perisic broke through on the left-hand side and was allowed an early sighter on the Argentina goal

Argentina and Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero was able to get a hand to the shot and push it behind for a corner kick

Argentina and Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero was able to get a hand to the shot and push it behind for a corner kick

Argentine captain Lionel Messi stretches to try and get a boot to the ball as it bounces loose in the penalty area

Argentine captain Lionel Messi stretches to try and get a boot to the ball as it bounces loose in the penalty area

Croatia's Sime Vrsaljko attempts to block a shot from Argentina's Maximiliano Meza during the first half in Nizhny Novgorod

Croatia’s Sime Vrsaljko attempts to block a shot from Argentina’s Maximiliano Meza during the first half in Nizhny Novgorod

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic squirms in agony after he was on the receiving end of a foul from Enzo Perez

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic squirms in agony after he was on the receiving end of a foul from Enzo Perez

Argentina players remonstrate with the referee after he blew his whistle for a foul against them during the first period

Argentina players remonstrate with the referee after he blew his whistle for a foul against them during the first period

Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano argues with the official, Ravshan Irmatov, after being called for a foul on Luka Modric

Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano argues with the official, Ravshan Irmatov, after being called for a foul on Luka Modric

Enzo Perez slumps to his knees after missing an open goal to put Argentina ahead in the opening stages against Croatia

Minutes later Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic missed a free header at the back post to give the European side the lead

Minutes later Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic missed a free header at the back post to give the European side the lead

Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado receives medical assistance after being on the wrong side of a collision in the first half

Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado receives medical assistance after being on the wrong side of a collision in the first half

Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli makes a VAR signal with his hands after an over the top challenge from Ante Rebic

Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli makes a VAR signal with his hands after an over the top challenge from Ante Rebic

Dejan Lovren cannot stop Sergio Aguero getting a shot off at goal but the striker's effort is easily saved by Danijel Subasic

Dejan Lovren cannot stop Sergio Aguero getting a shot off at goal but the striker’s effort is easily saved by Danijel Subasic

Croatia goalscorer Ante Rebic leaves the field after picking up an injury shortly after his spectacular second half strike

Croatia goalscorer Ante Rebic leaves the field after picking up an injury shortly after his spectacular second half strike

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic dives in with a last-ditch block to prevent Lionel Messi from equalising for Argentina

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic dives in with a last-ditch block to prevent Lionel Messi from equalising for Argentina

Lionel Messi argues with his Croatian counterparts after the referee stopped play with Argentina in the opposition half

Lionel Messi argues with his Croatian counterparts after the referee stopped play with Argentina in the opposition half

A mass brawl breaks out on the pitch after Nicolas Otamendi kicked the ball into Ivan Rakitic's head as he lay on the ground

A mass brawl breaks out on the pitch after Nicolas Otamendi kicked the ball into Ivan Rakitic’s head as he lay on the ground

Lionel Messi looks crestfallen at the end as Argentina face a humiliating group stage exit after their heavy defeat by Croatia

Lionel Messi looks crestfallen at the end as Argentina face a humiliating group stage exit after their heavy defeat by Croatia

Argentina legend Diego Maradona was in the stands in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday to watch his countrymen in action

Argentina legend Diego Maradona was in the stands in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday to watch his countrymen in action

SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk


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