FIFA World Cup 2018: Croatia maul Argentina 3-0, book last 16 spot - As it happened

Croatia outperformed Argentina 3-0 to book their place in the round of 16.

 FIFA World Cup 2018: Croatia maul Argentina 3-0, book last 16 spot - As it happened
Pic courtesy: PTI

Croatia dominated throughout the game, it all started when Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero gifted Croatia Ante Rebic a goal with his error. Luka Modric’s stunning goal sealed the match and Ivan Rakitic made it worse for Argentina with his goal in the stoppage time. Croatia clearly outperformed Argentina to book their place in the round of 16. Argentina’s World Cup hopes virtually comes to an end after the 3-0 loss. 

Follow the match updates:

Croatia 3-0 Argentina! 

FULL TIME!!! 

Croatia 3-0 Argentina!

90+1 minute: Rakitic nets the third goal, seals the win for Croatia. Argentina have given up here. 

4 minutes of Stoppage time!

2 minutes to go!

87 minute: Yellow card! Acuna gets booked, Argentina look down as it is really hard for them to come back in this match. 

85 minute: Free-kick to Croatia at a dangerous position. Hits the bar. That was close! 

84 minute: The boiling point has been reached as Argentina's Otamendi gets a Yellow card! 

Croatia 2-0 Argentina!

80 minute: GOAL!!!  Modric scores a stunner! Fires the ball into the right corner, the goalkeeper had no chance of stopping that. This could probably be one of the best goals of the tournament so far. 

77 minute: Corner for Argentina. The ball gets cleared by the defenders. 

75 minute: Tension in both the camps as Croatia's Ractic gets hit on the stomach. 

72 minute: Free-kick to Argentina after Messi goes down. Messi cuts a frustrated figure. 

71 minute: Argentina look determined but they need to improve on their passing up front as they continue to give away possession. 

69 minute: Both teams try to find inroads in the final third as Argentina desperately look for rhythm. 

66 minute: Yellow card! Croatia'sVrsaljko gets booked for a foul. 

65 minute: Croatia's Mandzukic threatened to score there but shoots it wide. That was close! 

60 minute: Argentina are up and attacking now, substitute Pavon and Higuain have seemed to have lifted the Argentinian side. The tempo of the game is back on. Expect a cracker of a match. 

57 minute: Croatia's Kramaric replaces A. Rebic. 

56 minute: Substitution for Argentina. Pavon replaces Salvio. 

55 minute: Can Argentina possibly stage a comeback after that goal? 

54 minute: Substitution for Argentina! Higuain in for Aguero. 

Croatia 1-0 Argentina 

53 minute: GOAL!!! Rebic scores an easy goal after Argentina's goalkeeper makes a horrible pass to him. That was a poor effort from the goalkeeper. The blunder could come back to haunt Argentina after the match. 

50 minute: Yellow card! Argentina's Mercado kicks a Croatian player, gets booked for the tackle. 

48 minute:  Both teams will look to improve on their finishing in the final third after the break. Argentina would look to supply more passes to Messi. 

Second-half is underway

Argentina 0-0 Croatia

Half-time!!

45+2 minute: Croatia's Rebic fails to hit the target after a brilliant through-ball by Modric. Croatia need to improve on their finishing if they fancy themselves to win this match. 

2 minutes of Stoppage time!

41 minute: Croatia certainly look happy to have kept Argentina's Messi quiet in the first 40 minutes of the match. 

39 minute: Yellow card! Croatia's Rebic gets booked for challenge. 

35 minute: Argentina's Mercado goes down after a bad hit. That could be dangerous. 

33 minute: MISS! It is Croatia's turn to make a mess up front as Mandzukic heads the ball away from the goal. 

30 minute: MISS! Perez shoots the ball wide from the target. Argentina miss a golden opportunity, Perez had an open goal in front of him. 

29 minute: Messi has not had a shot on the Croatian goal so far. Argentina need to deliver more passes to Messi upfront.

Possession 

Argentina- 54 percent

Croatia- 46 percent

26 minute: That was close! The Argentinian striker chipped the ball in the middle but Aguero failed to make contact. 

21 minute: Argentina's Acuna creates space on the left flank but his shot hits the crossbar. Decent effort!

20 minute: Argentina's defenders need to be careful with their tackles in the penalty box. 

18 minute: Free-kick to Croatia after a bad foul. Argentina are unhappy with the Referee's decision. 

16 minute: Free-kick to Croatia. Both teams are trying to settle and find space in the final third. 

12 minute: Corner for Argentina after Aguero's fiery shot was deflected by a defender. 

11 minute: That was close! Messi fails to find a touch as the Croatia goalkeeper makes a comfortable save.

8 minute:  Croatia are up and attacking in the early minutes of the match. Perisic and Rakitic are threatening Argentina up front. 

6 minute: Argentina's Otamendi goes down as Mandzukic steps on him. 

4 minutes: Croatia's Perisic sprints across into the Argentina box, misses the target by a whisker. What an effort! Corner for Croatia.  

Kick-off

Lineups:

Argentina XI: Caballero, Mercado, Otamendi, Tagliafico, Salvio, Perez, Mascherano, Acuña; Messi, Aguero, Meza

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

Croatia are currently at the top of Group B and would be keen to maintain their momentum after blanking Nigeria 2-0 in their first match. Luka Modric's penalty had assured Croatia three points after Nigeria's Oghenekaro Etebo had scored an own goal.

But the penalty spot was not lucky for Argentina as their explosive captain-striker Lionel Messi failed to score against Iceland.

Croatia have advanced into the knockout stages just once in the 1998 World Cup in France while Argentina won the FIFA World Cup in 1978 and 1986. They ended as the runners-up in the last edition of the tournament in Brazil.

Full squad:

Argentina: Goalkeepers - Nahuel Guzman, Franco Armani, Wilfredo Caballero. Defenders - Marco Acuna, Cristian Ansaldi, Federico Fazio, Javier Mascherano, Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Eduardo Salvio, Nicolas Tagliafico. Midfielders - Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Angel Di Maria, Giovani Lo Celso, Maxi Meza, Enzo Perez, Cristian Pavon. Forwards - Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala

Croatia: Goalkeepers - Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic, Danijiel Subasic. Defenders - Duje Caleta-Car, Vedran Corluka, Tin Jedvaj, Dejan Lovren, Josip Pivaric, Ivan Strinic, Domagoj Vida, Sime Vrsaljko. Midfielders - Milan Badelj, Filip Bradaric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic. Forwards - Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic

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