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FIFA World Cup: How Lionel Messi’s Argentina can progress to knock-out stages after defeat to Croatia

Superstar Lionel Messi-led Argentina’s World Cup hopes are hanging by a thread on Thursday after they were humbled 3-0 by Croatia in their Group D match.

Published: 22nd June 2018 03:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2018 01:49 PM   |  A+A-

Argentina's Lionel Messi, foreground, looks down as he walks on the pitch after the group D match between Argentina and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Thursday, June 21, 2018. | AP

By Online Desk

Superstar Lionel Messi-led Argentina’s World Cup hopes are hanging by a thread on Thursday after they were humbled 3-0 by Croatia in their Group D match.

While Luka Modric’s side had secured all three points from their outing against Nigeria, Argentina had drawn their opening fixture against Iceland on 16 June, earning one point. 

Thursday’s defeat against the Croats, therefore, leaves them with one point from two games, with a fixture against Nigeria left in hand.

While Croatia have confirmed their knock-out berth by today’s win, the second slot from the group is still open to rest of the contenders including Argentina.

Iceland lock horns with Nigeria on Friday, hoping to get all three points from the match and if they succeed in doing so, they will be second in the group with four points. And if the Africans rout the islanders, then they will sit second with three points.

A draw will, however, will leave Iceland with two points while Nigeria will have just one - which will be the ideal outcome for Argentina.

In next week’s fixture, Iceland is up against the Croats on 26 June while Nigeria will have to take on the South Americans. 

If Croatia emerge successful in the group’s European face-off and Messi’s side manage to find their first victory of the tournament against the Africans then they will advance to the knock-out stages with Croatia with four points, while Iceland will be left third behind them with only two points in their kitty.

Fingers crossed Argentina fans!



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