Catastrophe! Argentina press wails at World Cup ‘disaster’

Argentina’s media criticised the team’s performance after its 3-0 defeat to Croatia at Nizhny Novgorod.

A distraught fan reacts to Argentina’s abject performance in Beunos Aires on Thursday.   -  AP

Argentina’s media stuck the boot into Lionel Messi and his team-mates on Thursday, branding the team’s World Cup defeat to Croatia a “catastrophe” and a “humiliation.”

Argentina faces the prospect of an embarrassing first-round exit in Russia after suffering a 3-0 loss to the Croatians in Nizhny Novgorod, which left it with one point from two games.

For Argentina’s press, the result was too much to bear.

“Catastrophe against Croatia, Argentina disappoints and is on the way out of the World Cup,” the Clarin newspaper wrote on its website. “Argentina were ridiculed by Croatia and has jeopardised its future in the competition,” La Nacion added.

‘Off the pace’ Messi

Television commentator Diego Latorre, of the TV Publica network, reflected on the lacklustre contribution of Messi. “Messi was at a standstill, he was off the pace, depressed,” Latorre said.

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The Infobae website described the loss as a “humiliation.” Infobae took aim at the blunder by goalkeeper Willy Caballero that handed Croatia its opening goal early in the second half, describing the howler as “incredible.”

Former Argentina defender Oscar Ruggeri, a member of the 1986 World Cup-winning team, noted that Caballero had been selected “because he was meant to be good with his feet.”

Argentina’s loss means the team will have to beat Nigeria in its final game and hope other results go its way to advance.

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