Can Croatia stop Argentina?

Unlike Argentina, Croatia has quite a short history in the World Cup. The reasonably young European nation played in its first World Cup tournament in 1998. They had since qualified for all editions apart from 2010, when they did not make the Last 32. Their best performance was a runner-up finish in Russia in 2018, when they lost only to France.

So far in Qatar, they have imitated their 2018 run, coming out of the group stages unbeaten; they have won both their Round of 16 and quarter-finals matchups via penalties. They will play against Argentina in a semi-final matchup. If you want to know about France Vs Are France and Argentina still favorites over Morocco and Croatia, click here.

Only their third meeting

Before 1991, Croatia was not a nation but part of Yugoslavia; they, therefore, have short World Cup history with most countries. This will be the sixth time that Argentina and Croatia will play each other, having played three friendlies and two World Cup games.

The first was an international friendly in 2006; Croatia won 3-2. The two nations have faced each other on two occasions at the World Cup; the first time was at the 1998 edition, where Argentina won 1-0 in their group-stage clash.

The last time they met was in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, when Croatia beat Argentina 3-0 in the group stage. With goals from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, and Ivan Rakitic, Croatia defeated Argentina and topped their group with all nine points.

Croatia went to the finals and lost to France, while Argentina lost 4-3 in Round 16 to the eventual champions, France.

The overall head-to-head record between Argentina and Croatia is evenly balanced, having played each other five times, earning two wins each and a draw.

First knockout stage meeting

The two sides have met in the World Cup only twice; each time has been in group stages; their semi-final clash on Tuesday will be the first time they meet in an elimination stage.

 So far, both sides have made strong bids for the trophy at the Qatar World Cup. Croatia is in their second consecutive

 World Cup semi-final and has a perfect record in penalty shootouts, having come out on top in all four they have contested in their history. Croatia will be looking to become the first back-to-back finalists since Brazil in 2002.

Argentina has won the title twice, in 1978 and 1986, and has been runners-up on three occasions. Argentina, under Lionel Messi, is eyeing their second World Cup final after his team lost to Germany in Brazil in 2014.

 The World Cup trophy is the only major title missing from Messi’s collection, after winning Copa America in 2021 and the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions earlier this year.

At this year’s tournament, Argentina has been the favorite after Brazil, which Croatia eliminated in an upset win. Will the Argentines face the same fate under the Croats?

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