Croatia’s ‘Golden generation’ shines as Argentina suffers a nightmare

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia – All eyes were on Argentina and in particular their leading star Lional Messi, as the Barcelona forward has had to deal with increasing pressure from fans and the world to perform for his national side, after his football rival Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four goals in the World Cup in two games already. But Thursday night was a flop, as they went down 3-0 against a compact and well organised Croatian team.

Argentina are now facing for the first time in 20 years of exiting the world cup in the group stages. The Argentina football team has had the anguish of losing three consecutive final losses, 2014 World Cup final, and two consecutive Copa Finals in South America.

Croatia outperformed their star-studded counterparts, thanks to goals from Ante Rrebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

Messi was a shadow of himself, as the Croatians made sure tactically to keep him out of the game.

Captain Luka Modric who scored a cracking goal in the 80th minute said, ” The most important objective was achieved. We are ecstatic over it,”

“Our collective game, particularly in the second half was excellent. We cut off Messi, we stopped him receiving the ball.”

Argentina fate is not in their hands in Group D, if Iceland win today against Nigeria and lose against Croatia, they have a chance to qualify out the group stages, all they have to do is win their final game against Nigeria next week.

Argentina Coach Jorge Sampaoli was aware the pressure put on the maestro, he said, “Leo is prejudiced by not having in us, drivers as good as him. We, as the drivers, have to take responsibility,”

“There’s a minimal possibility of qualifying. There is shame and pain at not delivering for the Argentine people.”

Photo Credit- www.thestar.com.my

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