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How Argentina Can Still Progress To The Knockout Round

How Argentina Can Still Progress To The Knockout Round
By Eoin Lyons

With Jorge Sampaoli's men on the cusp of elimination following a dismal defeat to Croatia in Group D, there is still hope that La Albiceleste can qualify from their group.

Argentina have Nigeria to thank for slightly widening their slim chance of progression to the round of 16 in Russia after the Super Eagles defeated Iceland 2-0 with two goals from Ahmed Musa sealing the victory.

How Argentina Can Still Qualify

Going into the last round of fixtures already qualified Croatia will take on Iceland with Lionel Messi and co. taking on Nigeria.

If Nigeria beat Argentina then they will go through regardless of what happens between Croatia and Iceland.

In order for Argentina to progress to the round of 16, they will need to beat Nigeria but if Iceland beat Croatia, Argentina will need a better goal difference than Iceland to progress.

Iceland's goal difference currently stands at -2, with Argentina's at -3, so for instance, if Iceland beat Croatia 1-0 and Argentina beat Nigeria 3-0 then Argentina would go through.

If both Argentina and Iceland both win and end up on the same goal difference then it could come down to goals scored and then even fair play records.

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Here is how Group D stands at the moment:

The final two games of Group D will be played on Tuesday 26th of June at 7pm.

The response to Argentina's performances at the cup has been very critical, with La Nacion honing in on the form of Messi as a reason for the South American's poor showing:

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That Messi does not exist anymore, he of the electric and vertiginous bursts that turned rival defences into scorched earth. The Messi of today is different, a "walker" that at the age of 30 gives passes and looks for the right moment to slip through the defences. He does not have the energy or the vitality of yesteryear.

On Argentine television deemed it appropriate to have a minute's silence during their coverage to mourn the state of their nation's football team:

Needless to say there's not a lot of hope among fans that Sampaoli can spring a surprise in the final round of Group D.

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How Argentina Can Still Qualify 

See Also: Analysts Collide Over Southgate's 'Naive' Response To Leaked Teamsheet

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