Argentinian public downhearted after team's 3-0 loss to Croatia | 2018-06-22 |

Argentinian public downhearted after team's 3-0 loss to Croatia

Xinhua     22nd June, 2018 12:06:06 printer

Argentinian public downhearted after team's 3-0 loss to Croatia

Crestfallen and dejected, the Argentinian public reacted grimly to their team's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Croatia in the 2018 Russia World Cup on Thursday.


In Plaza San Martin, a park in northern Buenos Aires, many thousands of fans had turned up to watch their team's second game in Group D. They left disappointed.


"That's it, we're out," said the most pessimistic of fans.


Others, intent on remaining positive in the face of a vicious drumming, refused to give up hope. "We can still do it," they said.


Manager Jorge Sampaoli was heavily criticized for the inclusion of goalkeeper Willy Caballero. The Chelsea shot-stopper, who made only three Premier League appearances last season, committed a terrible error to gift Croatia their first goal.


Surveys showed that more than 80 percent of fans preferred Franco Armani, a keeper who has been in exceptional recent form for Argentinian team River Plate, but Sampaoli did not budge.


"I'm disappointed and really annoyed, but such is football. Caballero has left us without hope. We'll see if Armani goes for the next game and if we can make it to the knockouts," said one fan.


"We don't have a goalkeeper," another fan said. "In the first game (against Iceland) Caballero didn't inspire confidence. We all knew we had to use Armani."


Wrapped in Argentinian colors, fans in Plaza San Martin suffered with every goal scored against their team. Argentina's Lionel Messi, considered by many to the greatest footballer of all time, could not affect the game.


Pablo, a young Buenos Aires native, said: "I'm hurt because Messi didn't deserve what happened today. They left him isolated, he couldn't touch the ball, couldn't find a goal."


Others were more scathing.


"It was awful, a total mess. We're hoping that Nigeria beat Iceland on Friday."


Aldo, a Colombian tourist who was also watching the game, criticized the lack of spirit. "You have to play as a team," he said, "and they didn't do that today."


Despite being World Cup finalists in 2014, Argentina managed only a draw against Iceland on Saturday before the loss to Croatia on Thursday.


They must now beat Nigeria and hope that other results go their way.