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26th Jun 2018

The reaction of Argentina’s manager to their winning goal spoke volumes

Argentina are through to the last-16 of the World Cup

Robert Redmond

Argentina are through to the last-16 of the World Cup

The South Americans finished second in Group D thanks to a dramatic win over Nigeria. Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead in the first-half with a superbly-taken goal, but they never looked confident.

Javier Mascherano kept giving the ball away, Angel Di Maria played poorly and the lead never felt secure. Just after half-time, Nigeria won a penalty, which was dispatched by Victor Moses, and Argentina appeared to be on their way home.

However, Marcos Rojo popped up at the end to score a volley from 12-yards out, giving his side a priceless lead with just four minutes to go. They held on to advance as runners-up behind Croatia and will play France on Saturday in the last-16.

There were jubilant scenes amongst the Argentina players at full-time, but their manager didn’t join in with the celebrations. Jorge Sampaoli stormed straight down the tunnel.

There are reports that the senior players in the Argentina squad have fallen out with Sampaoli. There were even suggestions that he could be sacked following the 3-0 defeat to Croatia last week.

He celebrated Argentina’s winner alone.

If there is a rift between the squad and their manager, it’s possible that they might put it behind them now they’re into the knockout stages.