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Croatia defeat Argentina 3-0 to qualify for 2018 World Cup round of 16

Croatia defeat Argentina 3-0 to qualify for 2018 World Cup round of 16

- Croatia have qualified for the round of 16 at the Russia 2018 World Cup
- They defeated Argentina 3-0 on Thursday night, June 21, in their second game
- Croatia also won their first match which was a 2-0 win over Super Eagles of Nigeria
Croatia have qualified for the round of 16 at the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after beating Argentina 3-0 in their second Group D game on Thursday night, June 21.
Argentina went into this game with the hope of them getting a win after drawing their first match against Iceland, but they were embarrassed by Croatia who were superb in this tie.
This is Argentina’s worst defeat at World Cup since 1958 and also their worst start since 1974 as Lionel Messi failed to help his national team.
A shocking gaffe from Argentina goalkeeper Wilfredo Ceballero gave Ante Rebic the glorious chance to score the first goal for Croatia in the 53rd minute.
Real Madrid star Luka Modric netted the second goal for Croatia in the 80th minute after an assist from Marcelo Brozovic.
Ivan Rakitic scored the third goal for Croatia in the 90th minute for them to win the match 3-0.
Below is the live updates of the encounter.

90' And that is it as Croatia beat Argentina 3-0 to qualify for the knock out stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup

90' Goal.........And that is the third goal for Croatia
89' Just one minute to the end of the final whistle and Croatia are still leading 2-0
88' Reckless challenge there as Marcos Acuna commits a rough foul on Sime Vrsaljko
85' The referee signals a free kick as Javier Mascherano from Argentina trips Ivan Rakitic and this will be the third time he will be lucky to escape a red card
84' Gonzalo Higuain tries his luck from distance but his effort ends up safely in the hands of Danijel Subasic
83' Lionel Messi is trying all he could to get at-least a goal back for Argentina, but Croatia defenders are strong
82' Ivan Perisic is leaving the field to be replaced by Mateo Kovacic in a tactical substitution for Croatia
81' Goal..........Croatia score their second goal in this match and Real Madrid man Luka Modric is the scorer
68' Lionel Messi's wings seem to have been clipped here by the Croatians who are not giving the Barcelona star any chance
67' What a great chance there for Paulo Dybala who finds some room for a shot but fails to work the keeper and it is a goal kick for Croatia
63' Lionel Messi from Argentina swings a cross into the box, but Dybala fails to connect well with the superb pass and an easy catch for Croatia goalie Subas

60' This Could be a good chance here as Enzo Perez from Argentina cuts the opponents defense open with a through ball, tries to locate Lionel Messi, but his pass was blocked
59' Argentina know a defeat for them in this game would probably destroy their chances of reaching the round of 16, and they are looking for an equalizer
58' Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic looks to have committed a foul on Gonzalo Higuain, but the referee is not having it and waves play on
57' Argentina star Eduardo Salvio is leaving the field and to be replaced by Cristian Pavon in a tactical substitution as they fight on for an equalizer
53' What a blunder from Argentina goalkeeper Caballero as Croatia will qualify for the round of 16 if they should win this tie
53' Goal........Croatia take the lead here against Argentina. What a superb goal scored by Ante Rebic
52' Wilfredo Caballero could cost his team a goal after a defensive blunder
48' Argentina are seriously mounting the pressure here against Croatia as they know a draw in this tie will not help their quest to qualify for the knock out stage
47' Real Madrid star Luka Modric controls the ball with his hands, and the referee blows his whistle and was given a warning
46' Mario Mandzukic from Croatia commits a foul by elbowing Nicolas Otamendi and he was lucky not to have received a red card
45' The second begins between Argentina and Croatia
Half Time Argentina 0-0 Croatia
45' And that is it as the referee blows the whistle for the end of the first half. The scoreline after the first 45 minutes is 0-0
44' Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi looks to have committed a foul on Mario Mandzukic, but the referee is not having it and waves play on
43' Javier Mascherano is penalized again for pushing Ivan Rakitic and he has been seriously warned by the referee
42' Marcos Acuna from Argentina crosses the ball but it is nowhere near the intended target as Croatia goalie Danijel Subasic quickly picks the ball
40' And the first yellow card in this match goes to Ante Rebic after a dangerous challenge on Eduardo Salvio. He was lucky not to have been given a red by the referee
37' Lionel Messi tries to locate Aguero with a brilliant pass, but Subasic comes out quickly to save the danger for Croatia
35' Dangerous challenge by Ante Rebic from Croatia and Gabriel Mercado was on the receiving end of that. Rebic was lucky to have missed a warning card
33' What a miss by Mario Mandzukic who has a great opportunity to score, but sends his header wide of goal. Croatia would have taken the lead in this match
30' Poor play by Domagoj Vida as his weak attempt to clear the ball puts his side Croatia under pressure and they were lucky that Lionel Messi did not score
28' It is still goalless in this match as Croatia are trying not to concede a goal in this game while Argentina on the other hand know the consequence of not getting a win
25' Maximiliano Meza swings in the ball from a corner on the left, but it is nowhere near a teammate and it goes out of the field. Lionel Messi seems to be angry with that
23' What a superb run from Ivan Perisic, but when he was about to deliver the killer pass for Rebic, Otamendi was in a right position to clear the danger for Argentina
22' It doesn't look good here as Mario Mandzukic is injured and is taken off the field to receive medical treatment. He was challenged by Manchester City star Nicolas Otamendi
19' Marcelo Brozovic tries his luck from distance but his effort ends up safely in the hands of Argentina goalie Wilfredo Caballero
17' Javier Mascherano is penalized for pushing Luka Modric, and the former Barcelona star will have to be careful in this match for him not to receive a red card
16' What a lovely cross there from Luka Modric into the box, but Nicolas Otamendi relieves the pressure with a clearance to save Caballero make trouble
14' Dangerous challenge by Enzo Perez from Argentina and Ivan Rakitic on the receiving end of that and was lucky to have missed a yellow card
12' Eduardo Salvio from Argentina tries to pick out a team-mate in the area but his cross is blocked by Ivan Perisic who has been so far superb for Croatia
10' That would have been a great chance for Sergio Aguero as Eduardo Savio gave him a true pass, but Croatia goalie Danijel Subasic comes out quick for safety
9' Sime Vrsaljko from Croatia passes the ball in the box, but it's intercepted by Nicolas Otamendi who cleared the ball away
8' Croatia defenders are now under pressure with flurry of attack from the trio of Messi, Aguero and Acuna
7' Luka Modric locates Mario Mandzukic with a lovely pass, but the flag was raised as he was in offside position
5' Argentina players are trying their best to score early in this match as they know how vital a win will be for them
4' Barcelona star Lionel Messi tries to locate Sergio Aguero with a beautiful pass, but his effort was blocked by Ivan Rakitic
3' Luka Modric from Croatia swings in the corner from the right hand side, but his effort was saved by aCaballero
2' The referee signals a free kick as Sergio Aguero from Argentina trips Sime Vrsaljko and the Manchester City striker was lucky there to have missed a yellow card
1' The referee starts the match as Croatia kick off the game in what is expected to be a tough battle between these two team
- Good evening and welcome to tonight's live updates for the 2018 World Cup Group D match between Argentina and Croatia. Below is the preview for the big match.
Lionel Messi and his Argentine national teammates will be under serious pressure to deliver on Thursday night, June 21, when they face Croatia in their second Group D game in Russia.
Argentina who were runners up at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil started their campaign at the Russia 2018 tournament on a disappointing note as they were held to a draw by Iceland.
Croatia on the other hand started impressively beating the Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-0 and they will need at least a point against Argentina for them to be sure of qualifying for the round of 16.
They will be without Nikola Kalinic who has been sent home after refusing to come on as a second half substitute in their match against Super Eagles of Nigeria.
This will be the fifth meeting between Argentina and Croatia, with the South Americans winning twice to Croatia's one.
Croatia have lost all four of their World Cup meetings with South American sides, once in each of the four tournaments they've played in.
Lionel Messi has scored in each of his two previous appearances against Croatia including his first ever goal for Argentina in March 2006.
Possible line-ups:
Argentina: Caballero; Mercado, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Salvio, Mascherano, Meza, Acuna; Messi, Aguero, Pavon.
Croatia: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Rakitic, Badelj; Brozovic, Modric, Perisic; Mandzukic​.
Meanwhile, the time for this match is 7pm Nigerian time, and we at will bring you excellent live updates of the encounter.

Earlier, had reported how the Super Eagles Nigeria of Nigeria tasted their first defeat against Croatia as they lost 2-0 in their opening match of Group D at Russia 2018 World Cup.
Ogehenekaro Etebo unfortunately scored an own goal as Mario Manduzkic's flying header came off his foot and the ball rolls into the net to put Croatia ahead.
A gaffe from Nigerian defender Ekong gave the referee no other choice than to give Croatia a penalty which was scored by Real Madrid star Modric.

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