World Cup 2018: Croatia humble mighty Argentina

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Argentina slumped to a 3-0 defeat against Croatia and moved a step nearer to a group-stage early exit from the World Cup.

The game in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod started with fans from both countries in fine voice and enjoying the atmosphere.

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Argentina supporters came to the tournament hoping to see their team repeat the World Cup glory of 1978 and 1986. Star player Lionel Messi has become the team’s talisman.

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But it was Croatia who took the lead in the 53rd minute.

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A botched clearance by Argentina’s goalkeeper Willy Caballero fell to the feet of Ante Rebic who hooked it skilfully into the back of the net

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Ten minutes from the end, Croatia’s captain Luka Modric made it 2-0 with a thunderous shot from outside the area. Argentine supporters and players were looking crestfallen.

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With the game in stoppage time, Argentina scrambled to get back into the match until Ivan Rakitic picked up a pass from substitute Mateo Kovacic to make it 3-0.

Lionel Messi could only look on, no doubt wondering where it had all gone wrong.

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Argentina fans watching in the stadium and around the world were left stunned.

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Former Argentina star Diego Maradona was also in the stadium in Nizhny Novgorod to witness the defeat.

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But the night belonged to Croatia, who are now assured a place in the final stages of the competition.

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