Argentina are in crisis mode and on the verge of crashing out of the World Cup now after Croatia dealt a massive blow to their hopes in Russia.
Lionel Messi & Co. cut a sorry figure after Croatia roundly defeated the 2014 World Cup finalists 3-0 in their Group D clash. This defeat now pushes Argentina into the third spot, and the result between Iceland and Nigeria will now heavily determine their slim chance at this World Cup.
Croatia, produced a masterclass performance, especially the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic who were at the top of their game against the South American giants. The 3-0 scoreline definitely justifies Croatia’s performance and shows how bad Argentina were on the night, especially their goalkeeper Willy Caballero, whose errors cost them dearly.
There were many shining stars on the pitch for Croatia, but not so much for Argentina, as Lionel Messi, their top player, cut a shadow figure during the game, as he failed to influence the game with his mastery. We have three Croatia player who made the game a memorable one.
The Croatian right-back put in a hard-working shift against Argentina. His primary job was to prevent any attacks that happen from his side of the pitch, with Enzo Perez, in particular, the threat he was wary of. He did a good job defending whatever was thrown at him from that end and preserved Croatia’s fortunate lead for a long time.
As Argentina’s overall threat was minimised by Croatian midfielders, Vrsaljko had many opportunities to make forward runs on the right side and help his team with their attacking play. He was a total threat to Argentine defenders all night and would be happy with his display as his team crushed the 2014 World Cup finalists.
Top class performance from Rakitic at the heart of midfield. Some of the credit should also go to his partner there, Marcelo Brozovic, who, combined well with Rakitic to nullify any potential attacks the Argentines started. Rakitic helped shield the defence well and showed up on the pitch with full of energy and determination.
He also helped build Croatia’s attacking play from the back and distributed the ball well to forward or attacking players on either side of the pitch. In the end, he scored Croatia’s third goal late in the game to seal the deal for the Europeans and deal a massive blow to the South Americans on their chances to qualify.
Another top class performance from the Croatia captain, who is out there to define the term ‘Golden Generation’. It was his night, and an outstanding team display which he described as ‘Perfect’ helped crush Argentina in this crucial encounter. Modric was at the heart of every meaningful attack the Croatians started, as we had predicted before the game.
As Argentina were starting to grow in the game late on, he delivered the crushing blow with a sensational strike from outside the box, to double Croatia’s lead and, take the game completely away from Argentina. He now has two goals in two games at this World Cup, and if performances like these are to continue, there sure could be more in the coming days.