2018 FIFA WC

2018 FIFA WC: Messi fails again, Croatia beats Argentina, joins France to qualify for the Round of 16

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XtraTime Web Desk: Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates are on the verge of World Cup elimination. Croatia is moving on.

Argentina was handily beaten by Croatia 3-0, a loss that makes advancement very difficult with only one group match remaining. It was Argentina's worst loss in group play in 60 years.




Messi, who turns 31 on Sunday, failed to get even one shot off against Croatia on Thursday, five days after he missed a penalty in the team's opening 1-1 draw against Iceland.

Croatia frustrated Argentina throughout the match and never gave Messi space to operate. Messi too failed to inspire the nation again, when his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo is turning out to be a one-man show for Portugal.




Argentina goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero miss-kicked a clearance and Croatia defender Ante Rebic recovered the ball before sending it into the net in the 53rd minute.

Luka Modric scored another with a hooking shot in the 80th and Ivan Rakitic added the third in stoppage time.

On the day's other games France played a solid defensive game to upset some stunning performances by Peru to beat them by an M'bappe goal to seal their berth for the next round.




Australia, on the other hand managed to hold in form Denmark by 1-1 in today's first game. Cristian Eriksen scored a brilliant goal to give the Danes the lead, but Mile Jedinak scored from the spot in his second successive games to steal a point for the Socceroos.

 

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