France 4 (Antoine Griezman 1, Benjamin Pavard 1, Kylian Mbappe 2)
Argentina 3 (Angelo Di Maria, Gabriel Marcado, Sergio Aguero)
Well 4-3 score line may not suggest. But Argentina was really swept away. They looked terribly shaken from fast and furious French surge in the second half getting knocked down and knocked out 4-3. The manner they were humiliated may not have been completely reflected from the margin of defeat. It could be much wider.
The South American giant looked competitive in the first half finishing 1-1. Going down 0-1 through a penalty early on Argentina drew level through a thunderous left footer from Di Maria 1-1. Argentina even went into lead 2-1 through a smart goal from Gabriel Marcado. But France stepped up the pace. Argentina defense was caught napping. 3 French goals were scored in quick succession.
First Benjamin Pavard scored an unbelievable goal from an acute angle. Equalizing 2-2. Then one of rising star of world football talented Mbappe struck two deadly blows at 64th and 68th minutes making it 4-2. Argentina could reduce the margin at the dying moments of added time through Aguero 4-3, taking advantage of the complacency of France. But it was too late in the day for any drama.
Argentina was left bruised and battered. Lionel Messi one of the best the game would ever see would leave empty handed. In Qatar in 2022 Messi will be 35. We are not sure Messi would be around or even his poor looking team would qualify. This Argentina team is just not good enough now at world level. They crawled to qualify, huffed and puffed to advance into the group of 16. France on the night was far superior side. It was however a great game.
Goal is what matters and there were plenty as many as seven. 32 years trophy draught of Argentina got extended. France moved to quarter final where they may find Spain.
The match started in brisk pace. Roja made a defensive lapse conceding a penalty. In such a crucial match getting down early and that through a penalty hurts. Argentina did well to equalize through a great Di Maria goal striking a long distance curving scorching left footer (1-1). We are not sure what conversations they had in the respective dug outs.
Argentina went into lead through Marcado 2-1. France unleashed their A game for the first time in the tournament. Griezman and Mbappe were looking lethal. 3 goals of France were scored 11 minutes taking the steam out of Argentina sail. First Pavard scored from a difficult angle. Then in 4 minutes space redoubtable Mbeppa struck twice taking the match out of Argentina 4-2. The match was all but won. Aguero coming as substitute reduced the margin at the last moment of added time giving some respectability to the final scored 4-3.
It was inevitable outcome for a sorry looking Argentina team. They looked well below their brilliant best right from the first match against Iceland. They were miserable against Croatia. They were lucky to survive the ordeal of the first round. They were just not good enough to advance.
Better team of the night won. Bye Bye Argentina. Bye bye Messi and Maradona. The world cup title draught extended. Team must go through major over hauling. Young new players must be introduced. Hope in Qatar a different Argentina would be seen provided they qualify at all.
BDST: 1057 HRS, JUN 30, 2018