Argentina vs Croatia Argentina Match 23 Croatia 21 June 2018 21:00 UTC+3 ( 11:00 AM PST / 2:00 PM EST) Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod (44,899 Capacity) --------------------------------- Head-to-Head Statistics: - Matches Played: 4 - 2 Argentina wins, 1 Croatia win, 1 tie The only match that occurred between the two in an official FIFA tournament was for the group stage of the 1998 World Cup in France. Argentina won said match 1-0 with a goal by defender Mauricio Pineda in what was his only career goal for the national team The win gave Argentina the first place spot in the group, with a perfect 9/9 point finish. That Croatian side would later make a deep run in the tournament, losing to eventual champions France in semifinals before receiving a third place consolation prize shortly after. Other than that, Argentina and Croatia have only faced each other in friendly matches. The first of three friendlies took place prior to the 1994 World Cup and finished in a scoreless draw. The two would later see each other again in another pre-World Cup friendly, this time in preparation for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Croatia won this match 3-2 (their only win vs. Argentina) with goals by Klasnić, Srna, and Šimić. Tevez and Messi scored early goals for Argentina. Of the players present that night, Messi is the only one to still be on the Argentine NT (and one of the few to still be active in general), while Luka Modrić --who debuted for Croatia that night-- is the only player from the Vatreni that will be present in Russia. The third and most recent friendly between Argentina and Croatia occurred in a post-2014 World Cup match that finished 2-1 in favor of Argentina, with goals by Cristian Ansaldi and Messi. From the players that played that match, Ansaldi, Fazio, Mascherano, Banega, Enzo Perez, Di Maria, Messi, and Aguero will be present in Russia, as will Caballero, Guzman, Otamendi, Biglia, and Higuain, who were subs that night. Croatia's Form: - Finished second --behind Iceland-- in Group I of the UEFA World Cup Qualifiers, with 6 wins, 2 losses, and 2 draws (15 GF, 4 GA). In the second round of qualifiers, they defeated Greece 4-1 on aggregate to make it to the 2018 WC. - Similarly to Iceland, Croatia pulled an upset at the 2016 Euros as they topped their group and defeated Spain 2-1 in the process. However, they were eliminated shortly after by Portugal in the Round of 16, in a match that was decided in the final minutes of extra time by a late Quaresma goal. - 2018 has been an irregular year for Croatia in terms of friendlies, with 2 wins and 2 losses in 4 games played. Coincidentally, both of their losses came at the hands of South American teams (0-2 loss to Peru in March, 0-2 defeat to Brazil last week), while their wins were minimal 1-goal victories vs. Mexico and Senegal, respectively.