The World Cup's dirtiest game yet? Fans brand Argentina 'filthy' after Croatia meltdown

Yahoo Sport UK
Argentina v Croatia featured 38 fouls and seven yellow cards. (Getty)
Argentina v Croatia featured 38 fouls and seven yellow cards. (Getty)

It was the game which left Argentina’s World Cup hopes hanging by a thread, but the scoreline was only half the story.

Croatia’s 3-0 win over the two-time winners was branded the most ill-tempered World Cup game so far by social media users.

As Argentina capitulated in the last 10 minutes, both sides launched into ferocious challenges which saw the game end with seven yellow cards.

Tempers boiled over when Ante Rebic appeared to stamp on Eduardo Salvio’s ankle. (Getty)
Tempers boiled over when Ante Rebic appeared to stamp on Eduardo Salvio’s ankle. (Getty)
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli was left enraged by Rebic’s stamp on Salvio, which sparked the game into life. (Getty)
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli was left enraged by Rebic’s stamp on Salvio, which sparked the game into life. (Getty)
Ante Rebic and Gabriel Mercado thunder into another full-blooded challenge. (Getty)
Ante Rebic and Gabriel Mercado thunder into another full-blooded challenge. (Getty)

There were a whopping 38 fouls in the Group D clash, with the South Americans singled out for their rough treatment by viewers on Twitter.

Croatia defender Sime Vrsaljko, meanwhile, accused Argentina of acting like ‘crying little girls’ after the match.

Tempers boiled over in Nizhny Novgorod in the closing stages when Javier Mascherano lunged in on Ivan Rakitic – before Nicolas Otamendi then kicked the ball at him as he lay on the floor.




The ensuing melee saw the Man City defender booked – with fans left amazed nobody was sent off.

Croatia were far from blameless themselves during the hot-headed encounter, and actually committed more fouls (22) than Argentina during the match (16).

Argentina appeared to be enraged in the first half when Ante Rebic appeared to stamp on Eduardo Salvio’s ankle.

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Handbags: Nicolas Otamendi squares up to Dejan Lovren after another flare-up in Nizhny Novgorod. (Getty)
Handbags: Nicolas Otamendi squares up to Dejan Lovren after another flare-up in Nizhny Novgorod. (Getty)
Boiling over: Even Lionel Messi was drawn into the ill-feeling as he clashed with Croatia during the feisty first half. (Getty)
Boiling over: Even Lionel Messi was drawn into the ill-feeling as he clashed with Croatia during the feisty first half. (Getty)
Despondent: Lionel Messi stands dejected as his Argentina side sit on the brink of World Cup elimination. (Getty)
Despondent: Lionel Messi stands dejected as his Argentina side sit on the brink of World Cup elimination. (Getty)



Jorge Sampaoli demanded a VAR review of the challenge, but the Croatian received only a yellow card.

Rebic went on to open the scoring for Croatia, capitalising on a Willy Caballero blunder to volley home eight minutes into the second half.

Game over: Ivan Rakitic taps in number three for Croatia as Argentina’s players stand and watch. (Getty)
Game over: Ivan Rakitic taps in number three for Croatia as Argentina’s players stand and watch. (Getty)

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The Croats also had Mario Mandzukic, Some Vrsaljk and Marcelo Brozovic booked, while Otamendi, Gabriel Mercado and Marcos Acuna saw yellow for the Argentines.

Argentina now face an early exit from the World Cup, and need to beat Nigeria in their final game to stand any chance of progressing to the last 16.

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