Tick, Tock: Time running out for Messi to deliver World Cup

first_imgJiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial As with all the Argentina coaches before him, Sampaoli has searched for the right partnership with Messi, who has often carried Argentina by himself and is always compared with Maradona, who brought Argentina its last World Cup title in 1986.“I think that Jorge is looking at every position. We’ll see what happens and what he decides on the day,” Pavon said. “I feel confident and luckily things are going well for me, but I don’t know yet if I’ll be a starter.”25-YEAR TITLE DROUGHTIt’s hard to believe, but Argentina has not won a major title since taking the Copa America — the South American championship — in 1993. That’s 25 years ago; a quarter century of drought for a country that sees itself as soccer royalty.What two-time champion Argentina has felt recently is only bitter defeat: the losing finalist against Germany in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and two more runner-up finishes in the 2015 and 2016 at the Copa America — both times against Chile.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Ginebra makes another move, acquires rookie Julian Sargent for Paolo Taha Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Argentina’s Lionel Messi, left, looks down during the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia — Time is running out for Lionel Messi to bring Argentina a World Cup, which would give him the one thing that’s missing from a career that ranks among the greatest.He turns 31 on Sunday, which means this World Cup could be his last chance. It also means that Thursday’s match against Croatia is momentous. He has delivered for his club Barcelona — four Champions League titles, and nine La Liga championships in Spain — but still no World Cup title for Argentina.ADVERTISEMENT Messi missed a penalty — it was saved — in a disappointing 1-1 draw against Iceland in the opening group match. Argentina needs to beat Croatia to clear its path from the three-game group stage to the knock-out round of 16.“We have to look at what we need to correct from the Iceland match, but we can’t dwell on it,” Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado said. “We have to look forward and win the next match against Croatia.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe Croatians opened with a 2-0 win over Nigeria, putting them in a better spot in Group D than Argentina when the teams meet on the banks of the Volga in Nizhny Novgorod.Jorge Sampaoli hasn’t used the same lineup twice in the 12 games he’s been in charge for Argentina. He’s juggling again, this time likely to start 22-year-old Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon up front with Messi. Pavon is quick and can play on the right or left and is likely to replace Angel di Maria. SENT PACKINGCroatia coach Zlatko Dalic has sent home striker Nikola Kalinic because he wouldn’t come off the bench as a substitute against Nigeria. Kalinic, who plays for AC Milan, says he has a back injury although news reports in Croatia say he is unhappy being a substitute.Dalic said of Kalinic, “I need players who are ready.”Croatia now has 22 players on the World Cup roster.OTHER ARGENTINA CHANGESSampaoli experimented after the Iceland draw with using three defenders with Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi and Nicolas Tagliafico. Mercado would replace Marcos Rojo, who was sub-par against Iceland.Lucas Biglia is also likely to be dropped from midfield and replaced by Marcos Acuna. Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega and Enzo Perez are also possibilities.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Taal victims get help from Kalayaan townlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *