Croatia delt a huge blow to Argentina on Thursday, beating one of the World Cup favorites 3-0 in group stages to keep fate of the South Americans in the tournament in limbo.
Argentina came from a 1-1 draw against Iceland in their first match of the World Cup, making their encounter against Croatia difficult.
“I don?’t know about shame, but I definitely feel pain,” Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli told a news conference after the match against Croatia.
“There is pain because we were not at the level of the Argentinian people expect of us,” he added.
Sampaoli said he took full responsibility for the defeat.
He said he had a plan for the match but “if I had set things up differently, things might have turned out much better.” Argentina pinned high hopes on their star Lionel Messi who did not seem in harmony with the rest of the team.
“I think because of the reality of the Argentinian squad, it clouds Leo’s brilliance. Leo is limited because the team doesn’t get ideally with him as it should,” explained Sampaoli.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said the team qualified for the round of 16 after two games only.
“We have beaten Argentina with thei best player in the world – Messi – and we played a fanstantic match, everything was top notch,” he said.
However Zlakto was caution against celebrating early in the tournament, as the competition was expected to be only tougher.
“We have to be calm, humble, dignified, put in a good shift in a disciplined and responsible manner and as a team,” he said.
“I want my 22nd player in the squad to be as good as my first. Hunger and desire for victory: this is the only way we can achieve something,” said Zlakto.
Argentina will be playing Nigeria in their final group match.
Source: Kuwait News Agency