Croatia dominate Argentina in comfortable win
Argentina’s postmortem will commence after a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Croatia. Jorge Sampaoli looked lost on the sidelines as he watched a soulless display. Desperate to change the game, Sampaoli hooked Sergio Agüero early in the second half.
Both sides went into the half-time break at 0-0. Goals from Ante Rebic, Luca Modric and Ivan Rakatic did the damage. Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero’s audacious attempt to chip Rebic ended in disaster on 53 minutes. Rebic made no mistake from close range and it went from bad to worse for Argentina. Croatia deserves all the headlines, plaudits and superlatives. Sampaoli switched to a 3-4-3 for this game but Argentina’s midfield were never going to compete with Modric, Rakatic and Ivan Peresic. Croatia’s win gives them six points and a guaranteed place in the knock out stages. Argentina’s World Cup dream now looks more like a nightmare.
Modrić (Croatia): "Messi is an exceptional player. However, he can't do it himself. Argentina needs to help him." pic.twitter.com/b0vmCgYWYH
— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) June 21, 2018
Dare to dream
Ahead of the tournament, there were doubts about the suitability Croatia’s head coach Zlatko Dalić. Croatia have had two excellent games, there won’t be many teams that will fancy playing them in the Round of 16. A headline was spotted on the internet reading “La Albiceleste self-destruct” – Croatia deserve a little more credit than that. The Blazers are now priced at 14/1 to win the World Cup.
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
There’s still a long way to go for Dalić, Modric et al but Croatia have every right to dream about football’s most prestigious title. South American football looks lost in Russia. Argentina are on the verge of World Cup elimination, their star man hasn’t had a mention but don’t lay the blame on him or Cabarello.
I am the one who needs to make the final decision. The key to our defeat related to my responsibility because I am the coach. Had I set things out differently, things may have turned out better, I don’t think it is right to put the burden on Caballero. Jorge Sampaoli via BBC Sport
Featured image credited to Armin Kuebelbeck via wiki commons