Argentine goalie commits embarrassing and costly blunder at the World Cup — and now the team is on the brink of disaster

Elsa/Getty ImagesArgentina’s World Cup hopes took another brutal blow on Thursday as the team fell, 3-0, to a surprising Croatian side.
  • Argentina’s World Cup hopes are falling apart after a disastrous start to the tournament.
  • In the team’s second match of the group stage, a costly error from goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero put the team into a hole from which it wouldn’t recover.
  • Now with just one point after two matches played, Argentina will need help from other teams in its group if it has any hope of advancing to the knockout stage.

The 2018 World Cup has been quite a trial for Argentina so far.

In the team’s first match, the tiny nation of Iceland played the 2014 runners-up to a gutsy 1-1 draw, with the superstar Lionel Messi getting stopped on what could have been a winning penalty kick in the late stages of the game.

Facing increased pressure through the rest of the group stage, Argentina slipped again in its second match, 3-0, with goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero making a costly error in the second half that left his team scrapping for a result.

Defender Gabriel Mercado played the ball back to Caballero for what should have been an easy clearing kick. But Caballero mishit the ball, sending a blooper into the air that Croatian winger Ante Rebic volleyed into the back of the net, breaking the scoreless draw in the 53rd minute.

Argentine manager Jorge Sampaoli reacted as you may expect.

Argentina’s troubles doubled in the 80th minute, with Luka Modric hitting a scorcher from outside the box that raised Croatia’s lead to 2-0.

In stoppage time, a relentless Croatian attack and misguided Argentine defending contributed to the final goal.

Argentina now finds itself needing help from the rest of its group, with Friday’s match between Iceland and Nigeria taking on significant importance.

Should Iceland win or tie, the country of just 335,000 will have a win-and-in scenario in its final match of the group stage, facing a Croatian side whose spot in the knockout round is already secure. Even with an Iceland loss, Argentina will have to pile on the goals against Nigeria and pray to advance on goal differential – a tall order considering the 3-0 hole the team dug for itself Thursday.

Argentina came into the 2018 World Cup as one of the favourites to win the tournament, but so far the trip has been quite disastrous.

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