Highlights, Argentina vs Croatia, FIFA World Cup 2018, Match 23 in Nizhny Novgorod: Croatia win 3-0

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Highlights, Argentina vs Croatia, FIFA World Cup 2018, Match 23 in Nizhny Novgorod: Croatia win 3-0
  • 01:46 (IST)

    An entertaining match  

    That's all for tonight. Hope you have enjoyed our coverage of the match. It was indeed an entertaining one all thanks to Croatia. We will back again tomorrow with the live coverage of Brazil vs Costa Rica game. There are also two other matches tomorrow – Nigeria take on Iceland and Serbia face Switzerland. 

  • 01:37 (IST)

    Match stats! 

  • 01:33 (IST)

    Crushing defeat!

  • 01:32 (IST)

    ARG 0-3 CRO

    With the win, Croatia seal a spot in Round of 16, joining Russia, Uruguay and France. They defeated the Nigerians in the first match and today, they were simply phenomenal against Argentina. Every Croatian player contributed today in their team's win. It's too early to say but this team has the quality to go all the way in the tournament. 

  • ARG 0-3 CRO

    Argentina is on the brink of World Cup elimination. On this evidence, a massive turnaround will be required against Nigeria even if other results fall their way. As for Croatia, they can celebrate a convincing display which has carried them to the knockout stage

  • 01:25 (IST)

    Full time! ARG 0-3 CRO

    What a match for Croatia. They completely dominated Argentina and were the deserving winners of the night. World Cup dream over for Argentina and Messi? In two matches they played, Argentina and Messi were unimpressive.  

  • 90+3' ARG 0-3 CRO

    Argentina's night of misery is compounded by a third goal from Croatia. With Messi and Co still pushing forward, the Croats swarmed forward and Rakitic had the simplest of finishes to seal Argentina's fate

  • 90+2' ARG 0-3 CRO

    The focus will be on Argentina today but Croatia have been very impressive. It is a side with plenty of options at its disposal, as evinced by the switch between Kramaric and Mandzukic in the forward positions. The Croats are likely to top the group and avoid France in the round of 16 which must make coach Dalic very happy

  • 01:19 (IST)

    90+2' ARG 0-3 CRO

    It's all over for Argentina. Rakitic gets the third goal for his team and Croatia are ending up as deserving winners of the game.  

  • 88' ARG 0-2 CRO

    It has all kicked off as Otamendi kicks the ball out of frustration on the fallen Rakitic's head. Seems like the resignation is seeping in among the Argentinean players.

  • 01:14 (IST)

    85' ARG 0-2 CRO

    Could've been 3-0. Rakitic beats the wall but the ball hits the top of the crossbar. The man deserves a goal for his outing tonight.

  • 01:13 (IST)

    GOAL !

    85' ARG 0-2 CRO

    Argentina players clearly frustrated. Stupid from Otamendi to kick Rakitic despite the Croatian player being down.  

     

  • 83' ARG 0-2 CRO

    You suspect that is it. The Argentina defenders stand off Modric and he powers home from about 20 yards. He has been full of life today and Croatia are on their way to the round of 16. Glum faces in the Argentinean camp

  • 01:09 (IST)

    GOAL !

    82' ARG 0-2 CRO

    OH SENSATIONAL! 
     
    Modric with a stunning shot from outside the box to beat Caballero. This is looking game over for Argentina!

  • 77' ARG 0-1 CRO

    Argentina are not pleased with the referee for stopping play when a good attacking situation was developing. The hurt Rakitic is taken off the pitch even as Messi registers his disapproval with Modric. The majority Argentina crowd jeers in unison

  • 73' ARG 0-1 CRO

    After Dybala's introduction, Argentina has Higuaín and Messi playing together upfront while Dybala and Pavon are situated out wide. Meza has been asked to play centrally now

  • 70' ARG 0-1 CRO

    Argentina going for it now, as Enzo Pérez is replaced by Paulo Dybala.  But they will have to be careful on the counter with Croatia enjoying more space in the centre of the pitch

  • 00:58 (IST)

    68' ARG 0-1 CRO

    Last change for Argentina. Dybala comes on in place of Perez.

  • 67' ARG 0-1 CRO

    Thanks to the change in formation, Argentina are no longer being outnumbered in the wide areas. Although Argentine defenders are still not as quick as Croatia, Pavon and Meza are positioned high and wide to increase the pressure on the opposition defence

  • 66' ARG 0-1 CRO

    Argentina responded poorly to going behind but a sense of purpose seems to be returning to Messi. An incisive run from Messi signaled a change in intention

  • 00:53 (IST)

    63' ARG 0-1 CRO

    Croatia survive thanks to superb save from Subasic. Higuain's bal from the left finds Meza who should be scoring from six yards. Subasic, though, palms it away.  

  • 60' ARG 0-1 CRO


    Higuaín replaces Agüero and it seems like Sampaoli is moving to a four-man defence as he makes another change. Pavon, who had Impressed against Iceland, comes on for Salvio. Otamendi and Tagliafico in central defence while Mercado moves out to right-back. A 4-2-3-1 system with Messi playing behind Higuaín; Meza and Pavon manning the flanks

  • 00:45 (IST)

    55' ARG 0-1 CRO

    Changes for both the teams. 
     
    Salvio is taken out and in comes Pavon. Also, Higuain replaces Sergio Aguero.  
    For Croatia, Kramaric comes off the bench to replace Rebic. 

  • 54' ARG 0-1 CRO

    Rebic scores! Argentina's mission for self-destruction continues. A miscued clearance by Caballero allowed Rebic to volley home, a goal which spells disaster for Argentina. You can't say Croatia haven't deserved it

  • 00:42 (IST)

    GOAL !

    53' ARG 0-1 CRO

    WHAT A HOWLER!

    Goalkeeper Willy Caballero miscued a simple clearance as Rebic volleys the ball into the net and Croatia take the lead in the game. 

  • 00:39 (IST)

    YELLOW CARD !

    51' ARG 0-0 CRO

    First Argentine yellow card of the night and it goes to Mercado for a cynical challenge on Rebic. 

  • 00:34 (IST)

    45' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Second-half is underway. Argentina will have to up the ante. Croatia should look to be more clinical up front. 

  • 00:24 (IST)

    True that! 

  • 00:23 (IST)

    The first-half stats! 

  • ARG 0-0 CRO

    Rebic and Perisic have switched wings but this has no effect on the scoreline. It is Croatia, though, who are in control at half-time. Argentina has put in another diffident performance and it's not looking great for Messi and his teammates. A draw today will make their road even wobblier

  • 00:20 (IST)

    Half-time! ARG 0-0 CRO

    Croatia were in terms of chances created but they have nothing to show for it. Argentina and Messi struggled with inconsistency.  

  • 00:18 (IST)

    45' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Chance for Rebic from a terrific ball from Modric but the striker hits it to the crowd sitting behind the post. 

  • 40' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Sampaoli is furious with the referee for only booking Ante Rebic for his foul on Salvio. He is asking for a video review but it will not be forthcoming

  • 35' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Argentina is sorely missing Ever Banega here. They could do with a passer in midfield who would bring a semblance of control to their play

  • 32' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Messi watch: Waking, jogging, dithering

  • 00:02 (IST)

    30' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Croatia lucky not to go goal down after a defensive mishap. Lovren unsure of clearing lets Salvio get hold of the ball and the full-back passes it on to Perez, who faces an open goal, sends the ball wide. 

  • 23:59 (IST)

    29' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Agüero has often been accused of not producing the kind of football he does for City when he plays for Argentina. Nobody can blame him tonight. He has been his team's biggest threat, showing verve and pace in the final third

  • 26' ARG 0-0 CRO

    All eyes on Lionel Messi tonight. But it is the Croatian number 10, Luka Modric, who is having more of an influence. It must only help him that nobody has been asked to mark him tightly. The few times Mascherano has tried, the results haven't been great

  • 20' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Argentina has certainly come out with a plan to press Subasic. Twice now, he has had a close shave with an opposing forward running him close

  • 23:46 (IST)

    13' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Close! Messi makes the move from the right, passes it to Aguero who drills a neat pass to Salvio but the full-back's shot from the box is blocked by Lovren. 

  • 12' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Argentina's three man-defence is living dangerously. Playing a high line, which means Croatia can hit them with pace. Messi has barely had a touch

  • 8' ARG 0-0 CRO

    That run from Perisic has Argentina worried. As Otamendi recovers from a knock, Mascherano pulls Mercado aside and gives him a few suggestions on how to counter the quick Perisic.

  • 7' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Brozovic sitting very deep to nullify Argentina. And Croatia have plenty to offer on the other side of the pitch. Argentina's slowd defence is threatened early by a searing run from Perisic

  • 23:36 (IST)

    5' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Early warning for Argentina. Ivan Perisic breaks through from the right, covers the ground and smashes the ball towards the net but Caballero comes up with a good save. 

  • 23:30 (IST)

    1' ARG 0-0 CRO

    Alright then, the national anthems are done and it's kick-off at Nizhny Novgorod. Will we witness Messi's magic today? Cristiano Ronaldo has already scored four goals in the tournament. Messi, none. 

  • Will Messi make an impact today?

    Messi is practising dead ball shooting from 20 yards with mixed results. It's the shot we associate with him often, but after an iffy display against Iceland, it will be interesting to see whether he can be less profligate today

  • Only one change for Croatia

    Marcelo Brozovic replaces Andrej Kramaric. In theory, this move should give the Croats greater control in central areas of the pitch while Luka Modric will push further up to play behind Mario Mandzukic in the final third

  • Three changes to the Argentina side  

    Biglia, Rojo, and Di Maria (who had started every qualifier for Argentina) are out. They are replaced by Enzo Pérez, Gabriel Mercado, and Marcos Acuña. Seems like Argentina will field a 3-4-3 formation today

  • Argentina are out to do their final warm-up!

    Image Courtesy: Priyansh

  • 22:44 (IST)

    The line-ups of both team are out

    Argentina: Caballero, Mercado, Tagliafico, Acuna, Mascherano, Otamendi, Salvio, Meza, Perez, Messi, Aguero

    Croatia: Subasic, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Rakitic, Brozovic, Rebic, Modric, Perisic, Mandzukic

Preview: Lionel Messi is going to have a hard time keeping up with Cristiano Ronaldo at this year's World Cup.

The Argentina great had a penalty kick saved during his team's tournament-opening 1-1 draw with Iceland. At 31, this could be Messi's last World Cup, and Thursday's match against Croatia is crucial as the longtime Barcelona forward tries to deliver his first major title for Argentina.

Messi's biggest rival, Ronaldo, seems less burdened during what could also be his final World Cup run.

Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the group D match between Argentina and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Thursday, June 21, 2018. (Modric scored once in Croatia's 3-0 victory. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Luka Modric celebrates after scoring against Argentina. AP/Ricardo Mazalan

Ronaldo has scored a tournament-leading four goals — all of Portugal's goals so far — while silently needling Messi. After his first goal, the 33-year-old Ronaldo stroked his chin, implying that he was the "GOAT," an acronym for "greatest of all time." Messi is featured in ad with a real goat.

And when Ronaldo took the field for Portugal's 1-0 win over Morocco, he sported a goatee on his previously clean-shaven chin. He promptly scored with a header in the fourth minute.

Croatia leads Group D after its 2-0 win over Nigeria, and another victory would put Argentina in a precarious position. Veteran midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic shined in the opener, with Modric scoring one goal and setting up another.

Croatia hasn't advanced past the group stage since 1998, and this could be the last chance for Modric, Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, all of whom are over 30.

Another veteran provided a bit of drama for Croatia. Coach Zlatko Dalic sent home Nikola Kalinic because the striker wouldn't come off the bench as a substitute. The team will continue with 22 players.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jun 22, 2018 01:47 AM

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