Argentina vs Croatia will face each other in the semifinal of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Argentina and Croatia have played against each other in international friendlies twice since (2006 and 2014), with both teams winning one apiece.
In the World Cup, the teams faced each other twice, winning one match each.
The first time they met at the FIFA World Cup was in 1998, when the South American side won 1-0 in the group stage, thanks to a Mauricio Pineda goal.
Argentina and Croatia then faced off in the 2018 edition, when the Europeans punished their opponents for their errors at the back on the way to a comprehensive 3-0 win. Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic found the net for the Croatians as they marched on to its maiden World Cup final.
What happened when Argentina and Croatia faced each other the last time?
The last time Argentina and Croatia faced each other was in the 2018 World Cup in Russia in a Group D match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, where Croatia clinched a 3-0 against Argentina.
Argentina had opened its World Cup campaign with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Iceland, while Croatia won 2-0 against Nigeria in its opening match.
La Albiceleste started the match positively, doing most of the attacking in the first quarter. However, Croatia eventually settled in and started coming into the game.
Enzo Perez and Mario Mandzukic missed big chances in the first-half as the teams broke for half-time with a 0-0 scoreline.
The match got its first goal in the 53rd minute after a horrible error from Argentina keeper Willy Cabellero. He tried to pass the ball to Gabriel Mercado but mistimed his kick, chipping the ball high up in the air. The ball fell straight into the path of Croatia’s Ante Rebic, who volleyed the ball inside the net from close range in the top right corner.
That goal dampened Argentina’s morale, and Croatia was looking more dangerous by the minute.
The second goal came in the 80th minute, and this time, not from any error. Luka Modric got the ball after being played a square pass by Marcelo Brozovic. A long way out from goal, Modric looked up and curled the ball past Nicolas Tagliafico and a diving Cabellero into the bottom-right corner. It was a sensational strike, and defeat was imminent for Argentina.
The misery was not over for Argentina. In the first minute of additional time, Croatia launched a counter-attack from an Argentina corner. Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic and Mandzukic broke down the middle. Rakitic’s initial shot was saved by Cabellero and the rebound fell to Kovacic. Instead of going for the shot, he squared the ball back to Rakitic, who slotted the ball inside the net.
That 3-0 victory was Croatia’s first win in five attempts against a South American side at the World Cup, having lost its last four matches.
It was also Argentina’s heaviest defeat in the group stages of the World Cup since a 6-1 loss to Czechoslovakia.
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