BSP-03 Argentinian public downhearted after team’s 3-0 loss to Croatia

ZCZC

BSP-03

ARGENTINA-DEFEAT-SUPPORTER-REACT

Argentinian public downhearted after team’s 3-0 loss to Croatia

BUENOS AIRES, June 22, 2018 (BSS/XINHUA) – Crestfallen and dejected, the
Argentinian public reacted grimly to their team’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of
Croatia in the 2018 Russia World Cup on Thursday.

In Plaza San Martin, a park in northern Buenos Aires, many thousands of
fans had turned up to watch their team’s second game in Group D. They left
disappointed.

“That’s it, we’re out,” said the most pessimistic of fans.

Others, intent on remaining positive in the face of a vicious drumming,
refused to give up hope. “We can still do it,” they said.

Manager Jorge Sampaoli was heavily criticized for the inclusion of
goalkeeper Willy Caballero. The Chelsea shot-stopper, who made only three
Premier League appearances last season, committed a terrible error to gift
Croatia their first goal.

Surveys showed that more than 80 percent of fans preferred Franco Armani,
a keeper who has been in exceptional recent form for Argentinian team River
Plate, but Sampaoli did not budge.

“I’m disappointed and really annoyed, but such is football. Caballero has
left us without hope. We’ll see if Armani goes for the next game and if we
can make it to the knockouts,” said one fan.

“We don’t have a goalkeeper,” another fan said. “In the first game
(against Iceland) Caballero didn’t inspire confidence. We all knew we had to
use Armani.”

Wrapped in Argentinian colors, fans in Plaza San Martin suffered with
every goal scored against their team. Argentina’s Lionel Messi, considered by
many to the greatest footballer of all time, could not affect the game.

Pablo, a young Buenos Aires native, said: “I’m hurt because Messi didn’t
deserve what happened today. They left him isolated, he couldn’t touch the
ball, couldn’t find a goal.”

Others were more scathing.

“It was awful, a total mess. We’re hoping that Nigeria beat Iceland on
Friday.”

Aldo, a Colombian tourist who was also watching the game, criticized the
lack of spirit. “You have to play as a team,” he said, “and they didn’t do
that today.”

Despite being World Cup finalists in 2014, Argentina managed only a draw
against Iceland on Saturday before the loss to Croatia on Thursday.

They must now beat Nigeria and hope that other results go their way.

BSS/XINHUA/GMR/0829 hrs