FULL-TIME, France 4-3 Argentina: One of the best World Cup games ever is over, and so is Lionel Messi’s international career, most likely. It’s been the exact opposite of fun for him, so hopefully he can fully focus on Barça and take some extra weeks off during the season.
GOAL! France 4-3 ARGENTINA (Agüero 90’+3): Messi plays an amazing cross into the box and Sergio Agüero heads home for Argentina. It’s just a consolation, but Messi gets two assists in his final World Cup match.
GOAL! FRANCE 4-2 Argentina (Mbappé 68’): This one is over, folks. Argentina’s defense is picked apart by three passes and Kylian Mbappé scores his second of the game to put France pretty much out of reach.
GOAL! FRANCE 3-2 Argentina (Mbappé 64’): France lead again! Lucas Hernández with a cross from the left, the ball falls to Kylian Mbappé who makes a quick move in the box and fires a shot with his left foot that goalkeeper Armani cannot stop. This already is without a doubt one of the best games in World Cup history.
GOLAZO! FRANCE 2-2 Argentina (Pavard 57’): THIS GAME IS OFFICIALLY DRUNK. France equalize thanks to a spectacular strike by right-back Benjamin Pavard! THE FRANCE RIGHT-BACK HAS THE BEST GOAL OF THE GAME WHAT IS THIS GAME
GOAL! France 1-2 ARGENTINA (Mercado 48’): ARGENTINA TAKE THE LEAD! A free-kick falls to Messi inside the box, the captain takes a shot towards goal that deflects off Gabriel Mercado’s left foot and goes in!
SECOND HALF KICKOFF! France 1-1 Argentina: These last 45 minutes should be wild, y’all!
HALFTIME, France 1-1 Argentina: This has been a great game of football. Argentina have all the possession but don’t really know what to do with it, and France need only two or three passes to get in the box. The first 20 minutes suggested a cakewalk for the French, but the Albiceleste didn’t give up and deserve to be level at the half. Messi had a really tough time with the France midfield early on, but he became more active in the final few minutes and his team was instantly more dangerous even if Leo himself didn’t really have a chance. This game is wide open, folks.
GOLAZO!!! France 1-1 ARGENTINA (Di María 41’): WHAT A GOAL FOR ARGENTINA!!!! Ángel Di María fires a rocket from distance, right into the top corner! The Albiceleste are level just before halftime, and they’re definitely still in this. Wow, just wow.
GOAL! FRANCE 1-0 Argentina (Griezmann 13’): Antoine Griezmann has no issues scoring from the spot, and the French have the lead. We could use this guy at Barça, right?
PENALTY FOR FRANCE! Kylian Mbappé makes an incredible run through the entire Argentine defense, and Marcos Rojo’s only resource is to grab him and bring him down in the box.
KICKOFF! France 0-0 Argentina: What a game this should be! COME ON, LEO! AND SAMMY! AND DEMBY!
Starting XI: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernández; Mbappé, Kanté, Pogba, Matuidi; Griezmann, Giroud
Bench: Mandanda (GK), Areola (GK), Kimpembe, Rami, Sidibé, Mendy (out), Tolisso, Nzonzi, Lemar, Dembélé, Fekir, Thauvin
Starting XI: Armani; Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Pérez, Mascherano, Banega; Pavón, Messi, Di María
Bench: Guzmán (GK), Caballero (GK), Ansaldi, Fazio, Acuña, Salvio, Biglia, Meza, Lo Celso, Higuaín, Agüero, Dybala
The World Cup is now officially LIT as we reach the knockout rounds. The group stage was a lot of fun with plenty of great goals, great performances and shocking results, but now it’s time for the real big nations to clash for a place in the quarterfinals.
And the Round of 16 begins with perhaps the biggest matchup of this phase: France and Argentina will clash in Kazan today, and good lord this should be fun. The French are one of the favorites and have a crazy amount of talent all over the squad, but they just haven’t managed to put together a top class collective performance yet.
They’ll have to do that in this one, because they’re about to face Lionel Messi. Yes, Argentina are not even close to favorites and they are simply a mess. So what do you do to take care of the mess? Turn to Messi. (I am proud of this joke and I don’t care what you think).
And it should be a treat for Barça fans, too, because it’s Messi against Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembélé. They are all expected to start this one, and it should be really fun to watch. Can Messi shock the world by beating the mighty French? Will France’s play finally match their talent? We’ll find out.
So join us after the team news are announced for a LIVE BLOG! It’ll be fun!
Date/Time: Saturday, June 30, 2018, 4pm CET (Barcelona), 3pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 9am EST, 6am PST (USA), 7.30pm IST (India)
Venue: Kazan Arena, Kazan
HOW TO WATCH, STREAM WORLD CUP
How to watch on TV: FOX (USA), BBC One (UK), SuperSport 3 (Nigeria), Sony ESPN (India), TSN (Canada), others
How to stream: BBC iPlayer (UK), TSN GO (Canada), FuboTV (7-day free trial, click here to sign up)
Matchday Thread Rules
We don’t have a lot of rules here, but there are a few things to keep in mind when joining our matchday threads:
Even if the referee sucks or we lose the game, no swearing. It’s just unnecessary. Also, don’t discuss illegal streaming links. Those who do will be warned, and those who post links will be banned. Finally, be nice to each other. This is a Barcelona community and we don’t need to offend one another, especially when it’s the World Cup.
Have fun with the game! Forever and ever, no matter the competition, VISCA EL BARÇA!