Croatia moves on, while Argentina's left on life support.
Lionel Messi and Argentina's World Cup dreams are in serious jeopardy after suffering a crushing 3-0 loss at the hands of Croatia today.
As a result of today's victory, Croatia has secured a spot as one of the 16 teams that will advance out of the Group Stage, but there's still one spot to be had out of Group D. And Argentina will need plenty of help if they're going to be that team.
But before we sort out how Argentina can still manage to advance, let's quickly recap how Croatia picked up three points today in the standings.
With the score tied at zero at the 29-minute mark, Argentina's Enzo Perez had a golden opportunity to put his team on top but missed a wide open net from about 15 yards out. The two teams entered the half scoreless, but that changed early in the second, as Argentine goalkeeper Willy Caballero botched a clearance. Croatia's Ante Rebic capitalized on the mistake with a beautiful volley to give his squad the 1-0 lead.
Roughly 10 minutes later, Argentina missed another chance to tie the game. Then, in the 80th minute, Luka Modric hooked one past Caballero to give Croatia some insurance. Moments later, Ivan Rakitic put the nail in the coffin.
Now, Argentina must get a win against Nigeria next Tuesday, in addition to some help, the extent of which will be known after Iceland plays Nigeria on Friday.
Nigeria, after losing to Croatia in their opening match, is sitting at the bottom of Group D with zero points, while Iceland, having tied Argentina in the opener, has one point. Argentina will be hoping for a Nigeria win, or a draw at worst.