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21st Jun 2018

Diego Maradona ‘cries’ as Argentina are beaten 3-0 by Croatia

An awful night for Argentina

Simon Lloyd

In the end, it wasn’t even close

Having taken full advantage of Willy Caballero’s error, Croatia eased to a 3-0 victory over Argentina on Thursday night, leaving Jorge Sampaoli’s men without a victory in their opening two matches of the 2018 World Cup. Qualification for the knockout stages appears to be a tall order.

Clearly, this is way, way short of what is expected of Argentina at a World Cup finals – something Diego Maradona knows all too well.

Maradona, who helped his country to World Cup glory in 1986, had already made his feelings known about the performance of the team in their opening game against Iceland. Despite this, he was spotted in the crowd in Nizhny Novgorod ahead of kick-off, showing his support for under-fire Lionel Messi.

Despite his backing, Messi was largely anonymous in the game. When cameras picked out Maradona in the stoppage time, his mood had changed significantly since kick-off, many viewers believing he was actually in tears at the performance of his countrymen.

Iceland face Nigeria on Friday in the other of Group D’s second games. Argentina’s World Cup fate is now out of their hands, and a win in their final game against Nigeria is imperative for them to stand any chance of reaching the knockout stages.