HomeFIFA World Cup 2018Argentina on the brink of elimination as Croatia create...

Argentina on the brink of elimination as Croatia create history

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A crowd stunned, hopes dashed, Argentine flags seemingly crumpled by what seemed like clenched fists, furious in frustration, and everywhere one saw- Croatian flags- it wasn’t just any other evening at Nizhny Novgorod.
For all intents and purposes, the equation between Argentina and an elusive World Cup, last chased in 1986, seems like a saga of unrequited love.

Croatia draw first blood against Argentina

The story of 3 goals fired by Croatia, successfully against Argentina may not alone sum up the story of the heavily one-sided match. You would have to reflect on the emotions that each goal accompanied to truly understand the depth of Argentina’s despair.
When the first goal was fired by Croatian winger Ante Rebic, unquestionably, a freebie from goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who in an attempt to chip the ball over Rebic- standing just short of the goal-post- could land the ball no further than Rebic’s powerful scoring leg, Argentine hearts stopped. An acrobatically-fired kick would kick Argentina in the gut.
Croatia would go 1-up and onlooker Diego Maradona had his hands all over his face. Caballero’s howler, will, most likely not be forgotten for years to come.
The opening 45 minutes had brought about a calm, with both teams sharing the ball possession, looking for soft spots to go through.

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But as they say, a storm often follows the calm.

By the time the second goal came about, Croatia had not only smelled blood, they were keen to create a blood-bath.
Mid-fielder, Luka Modric, would not only dribble the ball out of the Argentine defence but literally toyed around with a scattered fortification in front of the goal-post to fire a thunderous blow that curvingly blazed past Caballero. At this time, Messi’s beard may have grown a few white hairs as Maradona’s head was buried in his hands.
The final strike, the nail in the coffin, would come from among the agilest athlete and also among the most promising one. After finding a way past the Argentine centre-forwards and defenders, as Rakitic fired closer to what had already been a bombarded goal-post, he’d go for a clean strike, which Caballero would save.
Within, a nano-second of the ball saved by the keeper would fall around Mateo Kovacic, who’d simply pass it back to Rakitic, who’d- with all the time in the world- push the ball gently into the Argentine goal-post, bringing curtains to the game.

At this time, there were more tears in the stadia than there’s water in the Nile

Facing their worst possible defeat, the biggest in margin since 1958, where they’d lost 6-1 to Czechoslovakia, Argentina now stare at the exit from the Group stage itself.
Should that actually happen, it will not only stun the footballing world but will make the believers in Messi, who failed to score yet again, crestfallen?

For Croatia, however, the feeling is indescribable.

For the first time since 1998, has the European team proceeded to the final 16, which means the knock out stage. And what suffices to say at this time is that anyone who’s going to take the Rakitic-Kovacic-Modric powered side lightly, is toying with destiny.
 

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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