Argentina qualification scenario: Lionel Messi-led Argentina are on the verge of a world cup exit after they were thrashed by Croatia 3-0 in Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
Argentina qualification scenario: Lionel Messi-led Argentina are on the verge of a world cup exit after they were thrashed by Croatia 3-0 in Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. The Albiceleste registered their heaviest group game defeat since 1958 in the process. Second-half goals from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic sealed the victory for the Vatreni. Croatia are at the helm of group D with six points from two games while Argentina has only managed one point from their two games. Nigeria and Iceland have three and one points respectively. Although Argentina’s chances are bleak after their second match, they still can make it to the round of 16. Here is what can happen for Argentina:
The Albiceleste have to beat Nigeria. They will be through if they win and Iceland loses to Croatia. They can also go through with a victory even if Iceland wins. However, the Jorge Sampaoli-men would have to pray that they do not lag behind on goal difference. For example, if Argentina win 3-0 and Iceland win 2-1, they would be level on points but Argentina’s goal difference would be zero, while Iceland’s would be minus-one. Under this scenario, Argentina will qualify. So it’s simple for Argentina: win and try to win big.
Nigeria will qualify for the knockouts with a win or draw against Argentina. The Green Eagles can advance with a draw as long as they stay ahead in goal difference if Iceland beats Croatia. If the two teams are tied in the difference, it goes to goals scored to figure out who advances, where Nigeria is currently one goal ahead. A loss to Argentina would eliminate Nigeria, regardless of the other result.
Iceland has to win in their match Croatia to have any chance. If they win and Nigeria loses to Argentina, Iceland advances. If they win and Nigeria draws, Iceland has to make up the goal difference, which means beating Croatia by at least two goals (their current deficit in differential). If the teams wind up tied in the difference, Iceland will need to have more goals scored than Nigeria, and which they are currently behind on.
Croatia will top the group with a win or draw against Iceland, and they will also win the group if Nigeria fails to win. If Nigeria wins and Croatia loses, Croatia could slip to second on goal difference. But with a plus-five differential right now, it’s very unlikely. It’s safe to write them down as group winners.