Argentina’s hopes of progression at World Cup 2018 have been placed on life support after Lionel Messi disappeared and Croatia roared to a vital 3-0 victory.
Coach Sampaoli’s woeful tactical rejig into a 3-4-2-1 formation led to an error-strewn display, that brought out the worst in the Barcelona icon, Messi.
Eintracht Frankfurt forward Ante Rebic was lucky to stay on after a first-half horror challenge on Eduardo Salvio – emphatically volleyed in from goalkeeper Willy Caballero’s cataclysmic chipped pass, before Real Madrid superstar Luka Modric struck a goal of staggering quality from 25 yards.
Barca’s Ivan Rakitic finished off against a bedraggled side during injury time. His shot was pushed into substitute Mateo Kovacic’s path and he then calmly applied the finish into an open net.
La Albiceleste will now be praying that pointless Eagles of Nigeria can prevent Iceland from winning on Friday.
If Iceland win against Nigeria, a point will send them through in their final Group D-game regardless of Argentina’s result.