World Cup Highlights: Hope For Nigeria As Croatia Trash Argentina ‘Messi-lessly’
The result means that if Nigeria should win over Iceland on Friday and at least a goalless draw in their final game against Argentina, the Super Eagles may move to the round of 16
Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ hope of qualifying for second round may be close to reality following a ‘Messiless (merciless)’ trashing Argentina received from Croatia on Thursday night, June 21, at the team’s second match in FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.
Croatia inflicted a brutal 3-0 World Cup defeat on Argentina after knocking Nigeria 2 – 0 in their opening game. This poor turnout of Argentina will damage the two-time champions’ psyche, and may prove fatal to their participation at this tournament.
Lionel Messi had no answer after a goalkeeping howler from Chelsea’s Willy Caballero gave Croatia a 53rd-minute lead in Nizhny Novgorod before Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic compounded Argentina’s misery.
In an error-strewn game it was Caballero’s mistake which broke the deadlock. The goalkeeper attempted a lob over the head of Ante Rebic, enormously undercooked it and Rebic volleyed the ball home beautifully.
Modric made it 2-0 in the 81st-minute, jinking round his marker and unleashing a gorgeous curling shot.
Rakitic hit the bar from a free kick five minutes later before rolling into an unguarded net in second half stoppage time to complete the rout.
The result means if Nigeria should win over Iceland on Friday with at least a goalless draw in their final game against Argentina, the Super Eagles may move to the round of 16, provided Croatia eliminates Iceland or hold them down to draw.
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