2-time former champions Argentina are facing the prospect of an early World Cup exit after an embarrassing 3-0 loss to Croatia who booked their place in the last 16 on Thursday in Russia. Croatia took the lead after a horrendous blunder by Argentine goalkeeper Willy Caballero in the 53rd minute left Ante Rebic with an almost empty goal to slot home.
Real Madrid star Luka Modric then produced an electrifying 80th-minute goal to send them 2-0 up. Lionel Messi's Barcelona team-mate Ivan Rakitic then completed the scoring after Croatia sliced apart Argentina's hapless defence in injury time. The Group ‘D’defeat leaves Argentina with just one point from two games, meaning they will probably have to beat Nigeria in their last game and hope other results go their way to avoid elimination.
Elsewhere on the day, France booked their round of 16 spot after eking out a 1-0 win over Peru. Despite a plucky performance from the Peruvians, a 34th minute strike from Kylian Mbappé was enough for France to seal the win and move to 6 points at the top of Group ‘C’. Peru have been eliminated with their game against Australia left on their fixtures.
This was the first time Australia drew a match at the FIFA World Cup since 2006 where they held Croatia to a 2-2 draw. On Friday, five time World Cup champions Brazil will take on Los Ticos of Costa Rica at 7:00 am, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will face Iceland at 10:00 am while Serbia entertain Switzerland at 1:00 pm. All games will be carried live on TVJ.