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Dublin: 18 °C Monday 16 July, 2018
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Liveblog

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Hello, and welcome to this evening’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail paul@the42.ie, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the game is at 7pm.

In case you’re wondering about permutations for this group, you can read about it here.

We’re under way…

It’s been a fairly low key start so far.

There have been a few stray passes and it’s been quite stop-start.

6Mins

Mascherano has already given the ball away twice.

Argentina haven’t exactly started this game in convincing fashion.

9Mins

Tagliafico slices a shot wide from the edge of the area.

This game looks like it’ll be a bit more open than either of Argentina’s two previous World Cup 2018 encounters.

13Mins

Mascherano gives the ball away but then makes a good recovery tackle to dispossess Iheanacho.

Argentina are looking vulnerable on the counter-attack.

16Mins

Messi controls Banega’s well-executed through pass.

The Barcelona star takes it down brilliantly before burying it into the corner of the net.

18Mins

26Mins

Messi still looks a bit frustrated at times with his team-mates’ choice of pass and other errors.

There hasn’t been much goalmouth action since Argentina took the lead.

28Mins

Messi plays a sublime through ball, but Higuain can’t beat Uzoho.

Goal difference could be a factor in terms of who progresses in the group tonight, so Argentina could do with scoring a few more.

30Mins

32Mins

Di Maria breaks away on goal, but Balogun cynically trips him.

The defender gets booked for the challenge.

35Mins

Messi’s free kick from just outside the box comes back off the post seemingly after Uzoho gets a slight touch on it.

The Barcelona star really looks up for this game — he’s been comfortably the best player on the pitch in the opening half hour.

40Mins

Messi plays a one-two with Higuain, before passing to Di Maria, whose shot from the edge of the area is blocked.

Argentina have been much the better side so far. One or two promising moments in the early stages aside, Nigeria have looked pretty toothless.

41Mins

Still Croatia 0-0 Iceland.

Luka Modric has flashed a shot just wide.

46Mins

Iheanacho is down after his head connects with Rojo’s high boot.

The referee did not see that as an infringement.

45Mins

46Mins

The second half has begun…

52Mins

Moses sends the goalkeeper the wrong way.

The penalty came about after Mascherano put his hands on Troost-Ekong as a corner was going in.

54Mins

Badelj’s clinical finish has given Croatia the lead.

That’s good news for both Argentina and Iceland.

58Mins

Argentina continue to look very nervy.

There have been far too many misplaced passes from the South Americans.

60Mins

Argentina make a change.

Pavón replaces Pérez.

64Mins

Banega has just been booked for a late challenge on Ndidi.

A sign of frustration creeping into Argentina’s play perhaps.

66Mins

Argentina are going all-out attack now.

They’re practically playing a 4-2-4 formation.

69Mins

Argentina have dominated possession in recent minutes.

They have been hesitant in attack, however, and don’t look like breaking Nigeria down at the moment.

72Mins

Nigeria break and get a sight at goal. Ndidi’s shot from distance goes just over.

Meanwhile, Argentina make another change, as  Meza comes on for the disappointing Di María.

72Mins

73Mins

PENALTY TO ICELAND!

75Mins

ICELAND 1-1 CROATIA (SIGURDSSON 76)

77Mins

Sigurdsson makes no mistake with the penalty to give Iceland hope.

77Mins

Claims for a penalty, as the ball comes off Rojo’s arm.

After consulting VAR, the ref decides it was accidental.

81Mins

Another sub as Argentina desperately push for a winner.

Tagliafico is replaced by Aguero.

As I type, the ball is pulled back to Higuaín, who blasts a good chance over the bar.

82Mins

83Mins

Ighalo goes through on goal.

However, Armani does well to tighten the angle and make the save.

88Mins

Rojo produces an incredible volleyed finish from Mercado’s cross.

Is that the goal that takes Argentina into the last-16?

90Mins

CROATIA 2-1 ICELAND (PERISIC 89)

Right, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can our match report here.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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