Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Free Live Stream Argentina Russia World Cup soccer

Free Live Stream Argentina Russia World Cup soccer

Ahead of today's critical FIFA World Cup match against Croatia on the banks of the Volga River, Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli tried to temper the expectations weighing on his star player.

Messi didn't get a single shot off in a defeat that pushed Argentina to the brink of elimination.

Argentina had most possession but failed to finish off their attacks and looked vulnerable in defence, with Lionel Messi struggling to impose himself on the game.

"It's silly. Messi is good but he's never won the World Cup".

Though Maradona, 57, consoled Messi that even he too once missed five consecutive penalties and the 1-1 draw with Iceland was a collective failure, the signs are bad. Argentina probably shouldn't have been one of the favourites but with their history and one of the world's best players everyone automatically expects more of them than they should.

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If that happens, Argentina would be tied with Iceland and the tiebreaker comes down to goal differential. They could have taken the lead in the first half but Enzo Perez missed pretty much an open goal from just 12 yards in the 30th minute. "I think we've recovered, though", Sampaoli said in a news conference in Nizhny Novgorod, the venue for the match against Croatia. Lionel Messi and company were shocked and destroyed by Croatia, 3-0, thanks to goals from Ante Rebi, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. "I believe I did the best job I could and I quite simply did not find a way to give them what they wanted". We're talking about a World Cup that involves millions of people.

Croatia clinches a place in the Round of 16 with the victory, but Argentina must beat Nigeria by a large margin in its next game to survive the so-called "Group of Death".

"The defeat is my responsibility because I am the coach", he said. "Because then what's the point of you being there?" said former Argentine forward Claudio Caniggia.

France, who edged past Australia 2-1 courtesy of an Antoine Griezmann penalty and an own goal in their Group C opener, vowed to ramp up the intensity against Peru in Yekaterinburg.

Blatter has arrived in Moscow to attend matches at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin despite being banned from the game for alleged corruption during his 17 years at the head of world football.

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