Argentina

Argentina and Uruguay scramble to restore power after massive outage

Argentine President Mauricio Macri has promised a full investigation.

Argentine media said the power cut occurred shortly after 07:00 (11:00 BST), causing trains to be halted and failures with traffic signalling.

The blackout was prompted by a failure in an electrical grid that serves both Argentina and Uruguay.

The outage occurred as people in Argentina were preparing to go to the polls for local elections, delaying voting in several regional provinces.

Parts of Paraguay were also affected, a state energy company said.

     

Preview: France v Argentina

Didier Deschamps' men have struggled to hit top gear in the World Cup so far, although they still managed to top Group C with seven points from three games. However, a turgid goalless draw with Denmark on Tuesday - a stalemate that ensured France finished first and Denmark qualified - attracted plenty of negative headlines.

Next up is a blockbuster clash with Argentina - and Umtiti's Barcelona club-mate Lionel Messi - in the last 16 on Saturday and the former Lyon man says only the result counts in Kazan.

Nigeria 1 Argentina 2

The Super Eagles were heading through to the last 16 at Argentina's expense with four minutes to go of the final Group D game, but Rojo's sensational low volley saved Jorge Sampaoli's men and set up a showdown with France in the next round. 

Messi gave Argentina the lead in St Petersburg on Tuesday, the Barcelona superstar scoring a stunner to bring up the 100th goal of Russia 2018.

But when Javier Mascherano dragged down Leon Balogun in the box shortly after the restart, Victor Moses stepped up to roll Nigeria level and within touching distance of progressing.

World Cup: Messi scores 100th goal

With Argentina needing to beat Nigeria on Tuesday in St Petersburg to have a chance of qualifying for the last 16 at Russia 2018, the forward gave his side a 14th-minute lead.

Ever Banega's lofted throughball was ideally placed for Messi to impressively control and hammer home a right-footed drive to put Jorge Sampaoli's men in front.

Messi had failed to score in Argentina's two previous Group D games, missing a penalty in a 1-1 draw against Iceland and proving toothless as his side were thumped 3-0 by Croatia.

Preview: Nigeria vs Argentina

After two rounds of action in Group D, the 2014 runners-up are staring elimination in the face, having been held to a surprise 1-1 draw by debutants Iceland before capitulating to a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Croatia.

So much of the pre-tournament talk was whether - in what could be his final World Cup - Messi would finally experience international glory, as great rival Cristiano Ronaldo did with Portugal at Euro 2016.

Messi could retire, says Zabaleta

Messi cut an isolated figure as Argentina fell to a humbling 3-0 defeat to Croatia in their Group D clash on Thursday, making a premature exit a distinct possibility for the two-time champions.

Zabaleta, who was part of the team that reached the 2014 final, believes the Barcelona star could call time on his international career should they fail to progress to the last 16.

"I just feel so sorry for Lionel Messi," he told the BBC.

Argentina 0 Croatia 3

Jorge Sampaoli's side produced an abysmal second-half display that severely damages their hopes of following Croatia out of Group D, with Caballero's stray pass to Gabriel Mercado that was volleyed home by Rebic in the 53rd minute proving the turning point.

Any hopes of a late Argentina fightback were extinguished 10 minutes from time as the irrepressible Luka Modric whipped a fine strike into the bottom-right corner from just outside the penalty area.

Argentina 1 Iceland 1

With Diego Maradona watching on from the stands, Messi failed to convert from the spot in the second half of an eventful Group D opener at the Otkrytie Arena in Moscow.

Sergio Aguero had fired the beaten finalists from four years ago ahead in the 19th minute, finally breaking his World Cup duck at the ninth attempt with a rising left-footed drive.

Yet debutants Iceland refused to melt on the main stage, Alfred Finnbogason capitalising on Willy Caballero's weak punch to score his country's maiden goal in the history of the tournament just four minutes later.

Argentina rule Romero out of World Cup

Romero was expected to be Argentina's number one goalkeeper for the World Cup, but will be unable to take the gloves in Russia following his latest injury setback.

The goalkeeper was expected to start in goal for Manchester United in the FA Cup, but manager Jose Mourinho selected David de Gea due to Romero's lack of fitness.

And the 31-year-old, who started the World Cup final as Germany edged a 1-0 win over Argentina in 2014, will now miss the chance to represent his country in Russia.

Spain 6 Argentina 1

Spain were pegged back by Germany for a 1-1 draw on Friday but Argentina – without Lionel Messi due to injury – fared far worse than the reigning world champions. 

Diego Costa put Spain in front, Marco Asensio then adding his second assist of the game by setting up Isco, although Nicolas Otamendi headed one back for Argentina before the break.

That proved a mere consolation for the visitors at the Wanda Metropolitano, though, with Isco on target again shortly after the restart to put Spain in total control.