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Coming into this World Cup, there were plenty of question marks surrounding this Argentina team.

They had the always brilliant Lionel Messi, and a brilliant striker in Sergio Aguero, but the rest of the team? There were questions about depth in midfield, sure, but the biggest unknowns surrounded their defense and goalkeeping.

These are big problems for a team to have! And both those issues were made evident in one horrible moment during the team’s game against Croatia on Thursday, June 21st.

Again, the biggest issues for Argentina heading into the World Cup were defending and goalkeeping.

The goalkeeping error here is obvious. Willy Caballero sees a pretty simple pass back, and instead of booting it, tries to play a cute pass back to his defender.

Lionel Messi hiding his face in his palms
Lionel Messi hiding his face in his palms
The ball pops up in the air, Ante Rebic volleys it, Argentina is down, 1-0.

But there was more bad here, which created the bad moment. Croatia was able to put Caballero under pressure because they sent a hopeful ball forward, which Argentina’s center back Nicolas Otamendi wasn’t able to win in the air.

Him losing that aerial challenge gets his teammate Mercado then running back fast at his own goalie, and forces him to play a ball back to Caballero that puts him under pressure.

Again, this is mostly on Caballero, who was only named the starter because of an injury to Sergio Romero, usually the team’s No. 1. He needs to do better there.

He should have put his foot through the ball and kicked it to kingdom come. But he was put under pressure because Otamendi couldn’t win a 50-50. Argentina’s two biggest problems were exposed on the same play, and it may doom them.

Source: Nate Scott

www.sports24ghana.com