Modric trumps Messi as Croatia thump Argentina to reach last 16

Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (dpa) – Croatia qualified for the World Cup round of 16 with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Argentina in Thursday's Group D clash in Nizhny Novgorod. Ante Rebic put Croatia 1-0 up on 54 minutes after a howler from Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

Luka Modric doubled their lead on 80 minutes with a wonderful curling shot from the edge of the box before Ivan Rakitic added gloss with a third in injury time. Argentina's superstar attacker Lionel Messi never got going, with Real Madrid's Modric overshadowing his Barcelona counterpart with a masterful midfield display.

The result means Croatia qualify for the next round ahead of their final group game against Iceland. Argentina, with just one point after two games, must beat Nigeria in their final game if they are to have any chance of qualifying.

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