Albiceleste was crushed on Thursday by Croatia (0-3) on the second day of group D of the 2018 World Cup.
The Croats have six points at the top of the group and are qualified for the round of 16 Argentina remains at one point and finds itself in a very delicate position before Iceland-Nigeria on Friday.
Argentina, the unfortunate finalist of the edition in Brazil four years ago, will be almost eliminated from the World Cup on Friday, in the group stage, in case of Iceland’s victory against Nigeria in Volgograd, which does not seem impossible given the apparent weakness of the Super Eagles.
It would be, for the team of a Lionel Messi who is only the ghost of himself, the logical consequence of two very disappointing results: a draw against solid Icelanders last Saturday in Moscow (1-1), where “Leo” missed a penalty, and a wide and somewhat severe defeat in front of Croatia on Thursday in Nizhny Novgorod (0-3)!
We knew, and we know, the Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric or other Mario Mandzukic talented and therefore dangerous. However Albiceleste had, and still has besides, beautiful arguments to be made: Messi obviously, but also Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria… Jorge Sampaoli can not of course align them all together, these star players offensive (only Messi and Aguero have started game).
Still, the Argentine coach, and it’s difficult to understand, can not find the right formula. Nothing or almost nothing is created with his men, including with a Messi so great with FC Barcelona… Finally except perhaps with Willy Caballero…
The goalkeeper made a big blunder with a recovery that was more than random and quite inexplicable that has benefited winger Ante Rebic, author of a risky but sumptuous fly (0-1, 53). The beginning of the problems for Albiceleste, which, forced to discover itself, unbalanced, was forced to yield to the hard-hitting and incisive counter-attacks of a complete Croatia. His captain Modric scored a superb shot from outside the box ten minutes from the end of regulation time (0-2), and in the 90th +1, Rakitic added the icing on the cake (0-3).
Thunderclap: the Croats offer the scalp of weak Argentineans. The first are already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition. The second, them, will imperatively win against Nigeria Gernot Rohr next on Tuesday. And that may not be enough for them… But is it really surprising for a nation that had hardly validated its ticket for this Russian World Cup?