Argentina’s World Cup descended into farce on Thursday night after they fell to a 3-0 humbling at the hands of Croatia.
Despite making a number of changes from the side’s 1-1 draw against Iceland in their opener, Jorge Sampaoli’s side were wretched as their European opponents took full advantage of their defensive shortcomings in a ruthless second half.
Goals from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic put Argentina to the sword, sent Croatia safely through to the last 16 and led to serious questions being asked of the South American side.
Pass accuracy: 80%-76%
Chances created: 6-10
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 21, 2018
Wow! This is embarrassing for one of the great names of world football. Croatia have been wonderful but Argentina ???
Messi has hardly touched it.
Qualification is in Iceland’s hands now #ARGCRO
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) June 21, 2018
Croatia a contender for most intelligent team of the World Cup. Argentina the opposite.
— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) June 21, 2018
I do feel kinda bad that this isn’t Lionel Messi’s fault at all but it will completely be piled on Lionel Messi forever and ever
— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) June 21, 2018
Go home Argentina…you’re drunk.
— Spencer FC (@SpencerOwen) June 21, 2018
Brilliant from Modric but in all the years of watching Argentina I can’t remember them ever having such a poor side.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 21, 2018
Understatement: #ARG are an unmitigated disaster!!!…what has Sampaoli been doing with this team during the preparation?…I love #Messi as a player, but can’t and won’t defend him disappearing when his team needed him the most. #ARGCRO
— Alejandro Moreno (@AleMorenoESPN) June 21, 2018
Argentina’s fate is now out of their hands regarding their qualification for the next round. Defeating Nigeria in their final match will not be enough if Iceland record a positive result against the same opposition on Friday, and get at least a draw against Croatia in the final match next week.
A fantastic night for Croatia, a team seriously gathering momentum, but very worrying times for Sampaoli and Argentina.