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ARG vs CRO Match Result - FIFA WC 2018
0 - 3
53' A. Rebić
80' L. Modrić
90'+1' I. Rakitić


Croatia make it to the last 16. Argentina are wrecked. They'll need to eviscerate Nigeria by 4 goals if they're to even stand a chance of qualifying.

Sampaoli's men looked utterly unconvincing and incompetent in the second half.

It finishes Croatia 3-0 Argentina.

Man, don't even get me started. I'm out of here.

93' What a ridiculous performance this has been from Argentina. If Croatia were two shades better than them in the first half, they have been miles ahead of them in quality in the second.
91' JOB DONE IN STYLE! Rakitic humiliates Argentina. Proper ragged.

Croatia break on the counter and the Argentinians don't even give chase. Rakitic takes gentle steps into the final third and has Kovacic running freely on his left side. He goes for goal himself but Caballero dives to his right and parries it straight to Kovacic. Kovacic delays his pass and none of the Argentinians even care about showing up stopping him. He slides it across to Rakitic who stays right in the centre of the box, steadies himself and sends the ball to the bottom corner. Humiliated.
90' Messi nutmegs one defender and lays it off to Meza who swivels past 3 challenges and sends one whizzing to the far bottom corner but Vida slides in to send that for a corner. Corner comes to nothing.
88' Kovacic motors down the left flank and has the beating of Mercado but his cut back falls for no one. Argentina clear but it falls for Modric who goes for glory from almost 40 yards out and this time, it's a wayward shot from the Real Madrid talisman.
88' We're into the business end of the game and it looks as though Croatia will see this through comfortably as they keep the ball in midfield with some precise passing. Mascherano crashes into Mandzukic and concedes a freekick.
86' Acuna gets a yellow card for an infringement on the left flank.
85' OH MY MY! Rakitic, the technician, gets it over the wall but can't get it down enough as the ball hits the crossbar.
85' Rakitic is standing by the ball. 30 yards out. 
84' Rakitic is mowed down and the boiling point has been reached. Almost breaks out into a Grove Street brawl as Otamendi puts his face uncomfortably close to Rakitic's and earns a yellow card. He really just kicked Rakitic while he was on the ground. What the heck! Behave, you Cityzen.
83' Higuain gets a shot away on the half turn but he hits it straight at Subasic.
81' Substitution for Croatia.

Perisic off. Kovacic on. 

Modric receives the ball, 25 yards away from goal and the little wizard drops his shoulder and takes Otamendi out of the picture and then leathers it into the corner, past the despairing dive of Caballero. That's it then. Croatia are winning this. 
79' Rakitic is running riot on the left flank. Two silky touches and he plays Kramaric clear. He cuts it back for Rakitic whose shot is blocked.
78' Mascherano plays a good diagonal ball and finds Dybala on the move, on the right flank. But the Juve lad's cross is hit straight at Subasic.
78' Corner comes to nothing but Acuna collects the ball on the left flank and whips one in. This time Mandzukic queers his pitch with a clearing header.
77' Nothing that the Argentines are doing is inspiring any kindof confidence in anyone who's on their side. Pavon tries to charge into the box and Dejan Lovren deals with it with aplomb and clears the ball for a corner.
75' Messi motors down the right flank but is forced to play it back to Dybala. Meanwhile, the referee decides to blow his whistle as Rakitic has been staying down in the middle of the park after a coming together. Tempers are rising here, man. Grab your popcorn.
73' Acuna plays a terrible cross that's aimed at no one. It goes out for a goalkick unhindered. Meanwhile, Sampaoli is losing it near the tactical area. He has already lost his jacket and his tatted up arms are now on show in all their glory.
72' Comedy of errors from the Argentinian defence once again but luckily, Argentina get away with it. Messi is frustrated and is not happy with Strinic's challenge as he almost slaps the Croatian's leg on his way up.
71' Kovacic is all set to come on for Croatia as they seek greater defensive control in midfield.
70' Messi dinks the ball into the area and Higuain shifts it across to Dybala on the right side of the box. He cuts in and goes for goal but can't keep it on target as it keeps rising beyond the advertisement hoardings.
69' Kramaric breaks into the left flank but he has no support. He bides his time and then plays a ball in but Otamendi clears the danger before the ball reaches Mandzukic.
68' Rakitic fouls Dybala in the centre of the park. One more stamp. What's up with all the stamping? That's how fresh shoes get treated in a frat. I guess the setting is not very different.
67' Substitution for Argentina.

Enzo Perez off. Paulo Dybala on. COME ON, PAULO!
66' Vrsaljko comes from behind and clatters into Acuna and is rightly shown a yellow card.
65' Rakitic shifts the ball with finesse and switches wings to find Vrsaljko on the edge of the box on the right side. He serves a grounded ball for Mandzukic but he can't sneak the ball in through the gap between Willy and his near post. That chance gets put paid to.
64' Dybala is getting ready to come on. FINALLY! Mandzukic is fouled near the centre of the park by Otamendi.

Much better from Argentina. Higuain is released on the left side of the box and he slides it into the near post and Meza tries to run it past Subasic. Meza gets it and he slides it to Messi but Rakitic dives in to block Messi's effort and Argentina have a corner. Otamendi heads the corner ball away from goal and out for a goalkick.

62' Mascherano cuts the ball back into the centre for Messi. Messi tries to swivel past an array of defenders and it looks for a second like the ball is sticking to his foot but Croatia ultimately see it clear.
61' Messi fights his way into space and feeds Higuain on the edge of the area. Higuain slides it across to Pavon but his cross is cleared for a throw.
60' Argentina are struggling as we enter the last half an hour of the game. 
58' Argentina seem to be unable to even string a few passes together. Their fans look deflated and many of them have sunken into their seats.
57' Mandzukic is booked for driving his knee into Meza near the centre of the park.
57' A win puts Croatia through to the last 16. Argentina's future will be beyond them. This is riveting stuff.
56' Caballero gets good distance on his punch on the ball floated into the area from the corner.
56' Substitution for Croatia.

Rebic off. Kramaric on.
55' Substitution for Argentina.

Salvio off. Pavon on.
55' Rakitic threads one through and Perisic motors ahead and whips in an inviting ball into the box but the weight of numbers help Argentina clear the ball for a corner.
54' Substitution for Argentina.

Aguero off. Higuain on. 

I mean, what the heck is going on?
52' Willy Caballero with the blooper of the World Cup and Rebic smashes it in! What was that even? Caballero pops the ball up into the air from Mercado's backpass like a weak teenager and it drops nicely for Rebic who doesn't think twice and volleys it into the back of the net. 
51' Higuain is getting ready to come on for La Albiceleste. I have mixed feelings about this. I'm sure you do too.
50' Croatia break on the counter after an Argentine attack is snookered. Rebic heads clear of the first challenge but Mercado trips him as he threatened to swivel clear. Mercado gets a yellow for that.
49' Acuna and Vrsaljko almost get into an argy bargy over a throw-in on Croatia's right flank. Eventually, the Croats get the throw and Perisic rushes ahead and whips in a ball into the box but there's no Croatian player to receive it and another Croatian attack is scuppered.
48' Messi wins a freekick as Modric handles the ball. 30 yards off goal, Messi takes it short and Meza snatches at it and his shot is blocked.
47' Vida once again plays himself into trouble and gets away with it as Aguero just couldn't gather the astray ball in time.
46' Mario Mandzukic thrusts his elbow into Otamendi's throat and concedes a freekick deep into Argentina's defensive half.
PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Aguero rolls the ball and we're live in the second half.
Argentina have struggled to involve two of their best players- Messi and Aguero. As a result, Croatia have been two shades better than Sampaoli's men. They've created the better chances but they really need their strikers to keep their head in front of goal.

Let's hope the game springs to life in the second half. We're a couple of minutes away from getting right back into the thick of thangs.

Argentina 0-0 Croatia. Be right back, lads and lasses. Nothing great happening here anyway.
47' Vrsaljko charges out to squeeze the ball out of traffic and Modric then plays in Rebic clean through on goal by carving up the Argentinian defence. But Rebic gets overexcited, cannot bring the ball under control and refuses to acknowledge Modric's liberated run into the box. He tries to go for the top corner but ends up finding the top row.
45' 2 minutes added on.
44' Vrsaljko is drop kicked to the ground by Meza and the referee blows his whistle but doesn't whip out the yellow. Certainly deserved one.
42' Rebic brings down Salvio as the winger tries to shepherd the ball clear from inside his own box. Infringement noted and Rebic cautioned.
41' Messi plays a weighted ball for Aguero. The City striker waits for the ball to roll into space but is stopped in his tracks. Rakitic is fouled by Mascherano and Argentina concede a freekick.
40' One more of Acuna's crosses is foiled as he is tracked down by 4 Croatian players. He won't be complaining about a lack of attention anytime soon.
38' Salvio writhing in agony near the touchline. Rebic goes studs first on Salvio's achilles and he has been rewarded with a yellow for his efforts.
37' Mercado is on his feet now. Got the wind knocked out his sails for a good couple of minutes there.
35' Mercado is totaled by Rebic. Both the players go for the ball and Mercado gets there before his Croatian counterpart. But he is butt struck to the ground by Rebic who was travelling at some pace! Mercado is knocked out, man.
34' Argentina take it short and fail at routing a way past the Croatian defence once again.
33' Salvio slips the ball through Strinic's legs and the latter, clearly embarrassed, shoves his elbow into Salvio's face and concedes a freekick.
32' Mandzukic misses a sitter!
Modric measures his steps and cuts inwards from the right flank and floats a sumptuous cross for Mandzukic near the far post. Instead of nodding it across Caballero from 3 or 4 yards out. But the Juve striker decides to go near post and ends up edging the ball with his head on to the advertisement hoardings. Would they get a better chance than this?
31' Croatia try to work their way out from the back and once again, Vida's indecisiveness is noticed by Messi and he almost foils his peace but Vida gets away with that.
29' Perez says NO to a GIFT as chaos reigns. Tagliafico plays a lobbed ball into the path of Acuna on the left flank. The winger wrestles past Vrsaljko and taunts Subasic out of his position before laying it off to Perez who misses the chance with the goal gaping.
27' Messi tries to pump the ball into the box from the right flank but it's overhit and Subasic comes out to pick it up, unchallenged.
26' Meza takes that corner straight to the side netting. The less said about it, the better.
25' Aguero plays a lovely give and go with Acuna on the left flank and then steers past Vida and tries to swing one into the centre of the box but Lovren heads it clear and concedes a corner.
23' Strinic, silk in his foot, swivels past Acuna and plays Vrsaljko on the wing but the Atletico Madrid winger sees his poke past Tagliafico cleared out for a throw-in. Croatia will need to labour their way past this so far resolute Argentine backline.
22' Modric, happy to win a throw-in near the corner flag on the left wing. Strinic takes it and the ball finally falls to Modric but there's no room whatsoever for him to work something and Argentina win a throw.
21' Acuna whips a cross from the left flank and it is driven with a lot of pace and it clips the top of the crossbar and fades into obscurity on the left flank. 
19' Argentina asking for trouble. Caballero asking for trouble more like. He tries to pass the ball to Tagliafico but sells him short and Mandzukic almost latches on to him and burdens the Argentinians with a goal to chase. But it is not to be as Mandzukic fouls the Argentine full back in his effort to get on the ball.
18' Croatia get a freekick in their defensive half after Argentina were denied one. Mascherano ushers Modric to the ground after Perez was condemned to eat grass by Lovren. 
17' Messi with a couple of frank touches, each measured to leave a player needing Prozacs but his teammates let him down once again as they relinquish possession.
15' A nasty coming together between Perez and Rakitic sees the latter come off worse. Their shins collided, man. If you ever been on a football pitch, you'd know that hurts like a b****.
14' Mascherano tries to release Acuna on the left flank with a lobbed ball but it's played far too deep and rolls out for a goalkick before Acuna can retrieve it.
12' What a block by Lovren! What a chance for Argentina!
Messi sees Salvio's overlapping run and plays him clear into the right flank. The winger cuts it back and it falls for Meza who goes for goal and connects cleanly. But Lovren has it covered and deflects it out for a corner. The corner comes to nothing though.
11' Messi almost nods one past Subasic. Acuna stops in his tracks on the left flank and then slides it across for Enzo Perez. Enzo dinks it into the box with Messi hottailing the ball but he just can't poke it past the Croatian keeper.
9' Modric slaloms past his adversary and lays it off to Rakitic. Rakitic then plays it across to the opposite wing for Vrsaljko and it's a 3 on 2 situation for the Croats. However, Vrsaljo tries to touch it back into Mandzukic but he doesn't connect well and Tagliafico intervenes to clear the danger. Lucky escape for Sampaoli's men.
8' Meza plays a lovely diagonal for Salvio but he can't salvage the attack as it soon send to ruins. Croatia burst on the counter with some deft passing and Tagliafico catches Mandzukic from behind in identical fashion to how the latter got Otamendi.
6' Otamendi has been tripped by Mandzukic. An unpleasant challenge. Mandzukic comes from behind and stamps on his foot and sends the Argentine writhing in pain, momentarily.
5' Modric whips in the corner. Lovren tries to nod it back into the centre of the area but Mascherano sees it clear.
4' Work for Caballero! Perisic almost ragged Argentina to tears there. A long ball is played from the back and Rakitic lets it run to Perisic. The Inter Milan winger pounces upon it and runs into the box and then lets one rip to the far post but Caballero gets a hand to it and diverts it for a corner.
2' It's a rather unhurried start to the game as both teams try to pass the ball around and earn an initial advantage. 
1' Croatia aren't pressing too high and that enables Otamendi to burst forward and he then plays a dinked ball for Salvio but its slightly overhit and give away possession to Croatia via a goalkick.
PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Mandzukic rolls the ball and we're off. Argentina will attack from left to right on the tv screen. Croatia are in their black chequered kit and the Argentines are in their glorious white and blue. 
The teams are lined up in the tunnel and soon the pre-match routine is underway. Lionel Messi will lead the men in whites and blues out on to the field. He and Mascherano embrace Ivan Rakitic in the tunnel. The Catalan connection.

Woof, this could be the night Messi winds me up, winds you up, winds everyone up. I want him to tear it up tonight. Do you?

You can let me know your predictions, opinions and whatever it is that you want to convey on Twitter- @goddamnhunter or you can mail me-'

Get in!
Cristiano Ronaldo comprehensively won Round 1 of the bout. He has already raised the bar in the second after scoring the goal that buoyed Portugal past Morocco. Jorge Sampaoli will need his way above average players to keep it real tonight and not slip into their ill fitting robes of complacency.

Having struggled against Iceland, Argentina will find Croatia tougher to negotiate with. The Croatian midfield looks way better on paper than Argentina's. Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic are both players that can shift the drift of the game in a blink. Their considerable attacking strength is further solidified by the presence of experienced campaigners like Mario Mandzukic and Perisic.

It's an almost do-or-die situation for La Albiceleste. But expect Croatia to do everything in their power to deny the Argentinians a route to the knockout stages. 

It promises to be a cracker. Perhaps the biggest high-profile game after Portugal vs Spain. Woof! And it all starts in under 15 minutes.
Argentina vs Croatia: Confirmed lineups

Argentina:  Willy Caballero; Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico; Eduardo Salvio, Javier Mascherano, Perez, Maximiliano Meza, Acuna; Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero

Croatia: Subasic; Vida, Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Vrsaljko; Rakitic, Brozovic, Luka Modric, Perisic, Rebic ; Mario Mandzukic
Argentina vs Croatia: Kickoff information

Date: 21st June 2018
Kickoff time: 7:00 pm (BST), 11:30 pm (IST)
Venue: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Argentina vs Croatia: Team News

After taking a trip via dullsville where they hit a roadblock against the Vikings from Iceland, Argentina will face an even tougher test against the Croatians.

Sampaoli, who has never fielded the same XI consecutively in his stint so far, is expected to switch to a 3-4-3 against the Croats.Cristian Pavon might get his debut tonight.

Nikola Kalinic, who sustained a back injury and refused to come on against Nigeria has flown back home and is the one major absentee from the Croatian team.

Meanwhile, Dalic has said that he will not shy away from making changes to his team.

Argentina vs Croatia: Probable lineups

Argentina: Willy Caballero; Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico; Eduardo Salvio, Javier Mascherano, Maximiliano Meza, Acuna; Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Cristian Pavon

Croatia: Subasic; Vida, Vedran Corluka, Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Vrsaljko; Rakitic, Badelj, Luka Modric, Perisic, Rebic ; Mario Mandzukic

Argentina vs Croatia: Form guide

Argentina: W-W-L-W-D

Argentina are as on and off as on and off gets. After drawing to Iceland in the first match of their World Cup campaign, they will need to do better than they have in their last 5 games to have a chance at breaking down this Croatian side.

Croatia: L-W-L-W-W

Croatia got the better of an underwhelming Nigerian side but they will have to be at the top of their game against La Albiceleste. They will need to be strong defensively or the Argentinian frontline will run riot.

Argentina vs Croatia: Head to Head

Games played: 4

Argentina wins: 2

Croatia wins: 1

Draws: Solve it. Knock yourself out.

Argentina vs Croatia: Key Players

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored yet again. Will Lionel Messi respond in kind or will his struggles continue? All said and done, if this Argentine side is to make anything out of their World Cup privileges, Leo Messi will need to stand up and deliver. No two ways about it.

Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric, the midfield wizards will look to dictate proceedings and their creative contribution will go a long way in getting Croatia through to the next round.

Argentina vs Croatia: Prediction​​​

Predicted Scoreline:
Argentina 1-2 Croatia
V. Ćorluka
M. Mandžukić
V. Ćorluka
I. Rakitić
assist: M. Kovačić
M. Acuña
N. Otamendi
M. Kovačić
I. Perišić
L. Modrić
assist: M. Brozović
P. Dybala
E. Pérez
Š. Vrsaljko
M. Mandžukić
A. Kramarić
A. Rebić
C. Pavón
E. Salvio
G. Higuaín
S. Agüero
A. Rebić
G. Mercado
A. Rebić
Croatia (4-1-4-1)
Zlatko Dalić (Manager)
W. Caballero
N. Tagliafico
N. Otamendi
G. Mercado
M. Acuña
J. Mascherano
E. Pérez
E. Salvio
M. Meza
L. Messi
S. Agüero
D. Subašić
I. Strinić
D. Vida
D. Lovren
Š. Vrsaljko
M. Brozović
I. Perišić
I. Rakitić
L. Modrić
A. Rebić
M. Mandžukić
Croatia (4-1-4-1)
Zlatko Dalić (Manager)
Argentina Subs
C. Ansaldi
F. Armani
É. Banega
L. Biglia
Á. Di María
P. Dybala
F. Fazio
N. Guzmán
G. Higuaín
G. Lo Celso
C. Pavón
M. Rojo
Croatia Subs
M. Badelj
F. Bradarić
T. Jedvaj
L. Kalinić
M. Kovačić
A. Kramarić
D. Livaković
J. Pivarić
M. Pjaca
D. Ćaleta-Car
V. Ćorluka
10 SHOTS 14
16 FOULS 22
Pos Club P W D L GD Pts
Group A
1 Uruguay 3 3 0 0 5 9
2 Russia 3 2 0 1 4 6
3 Saudi Arabia 3 1 0 2 -5 3
4 Egypt 3 0 0 3 -4 0
Group B
1 Spain 3 1 2 0 1 5
2 Portugal 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Iran 3 1 1 1 0 4
4 Morocco 3 0 1 2 -2 1
Group C
1 France 3 2 1 0 2 7
2 Denmark 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Peru 3 1 0 2 0 3
4 Australia 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group D
1 Croatia 3 3 0 0 6 9
2 Argentina 3 1 1 1 -2 4
3 Nigeria 3 1 0 2 -1 3
4 Iceland 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group E
1 Brazil 3 2 1 0 4 7
2 Switzerland 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Serbia 3 1 0 2 -2 3
4 Costa Rica 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group F
1 Sweden 3 2 0 1 3 6
2 Mexico 3 2 0 1 -1 6
3 Korea Republic 3 1 0 2 0 3
4 Germany 3 1 0 2 -2 3
Group G
1 Belgium 3 3 0 0 7 9
2 England 3 2 0 1 5 6
3 Tunisia 3 1 0 2 -3 3
4 Panama 3 0 0 3 -9 0
Group H
1 Colombia 3 2 0 1 3 6
2 Japan 3 1 1 1 0 4
3 Senegal 3 1 1 1 0 4
4 Poland 3 1 0 2 -3 3
Tournament FIFA WC 2018 - Week 2
Stadium Stadion Nizhny Novgorod
Match time Thu, 21 Jun 2018, 11:30 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2018 01:23 AM | Published: Jun 21, 2018 22:18 PM
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