FIFA World Cup 2018: Croatia Stun Argentina – Relive the GoalsJune 22, 2018
Argentina needed to win against Croatia in their Group D clash at the 2018 FIFA World Cup to keep their fortunes and hopes of progressing to the round of 16 in their own hands, but it wasn’t to be as the Lionel Messi-led side crumbled under pressure and were handed an embarrassing 3-0 defeat by the Luka Modric-led side. All the focus in the build up to the match was on none other than Lionel Messi and the question was would he able to pull his side out of the deep hole they were in after the draw against Iceland. Unfortunately, Messi and Argentina failed to dazzle and surrendered rather tamely against the Croatians who scored three goals in 45 minutes to complete the win.
The Argentine defense looked brittle from the start and it was surely a matter of time before Croatia would break the little resistance on offer to find the back of the net. Willy Caballero was not having the best of outings, and it was his howler that started the downward spiral on the night for the Albiceleste. On the 53rd minute, Cabellero failed to clear out of his box with conviction, and Ante Rebic who was hovering around looking for a mistake from the defense, pounced immediately with first time volley to open the scoring.
With time running out, Argentina threw all their resources into attack in the hunt for the crucial equaliser. That left spaces open in defense, and there are few better in the game of football than Luka Modric in terms of utilising space well on the field of play. Modric picked up the ball outside the penalty box, set himself up as he had time and space to pick his spot and let fly his trademark unstoppable curler which beat Caballero all ends up and killed the contest.
There was minutes left on the clock before the final whistle, and understandably Argentinian players’ shoulders had dropped. Capitalising on that was Ivan Rakitic as he led a quick breakaway with Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic alongside him. The duo made a complete mockery of their opponents defense as they literally walked the ball into the net to make it 3-0 and rub salt on the wounds.