Catastrophe! Argentina media wails at World Cup loss

Catastrophe! Argentina media wails at World Cup loss

Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain looks dejected after the match. (REUTERS/Matthew Childs)

Buenos Aires: Argentina's media stuck the boot into Lionel Messi and his teammates, branding the team's World Cup defeat to Croatia a "catastrophe" and a "humiliation".

Argentina face the prospect of an embarrassing first-round exit in Russia after suffering a 3-0 loss to the Croatians in Nizhny Novgorod, which left them with one point from two games.

For Argentina's press, the result was too much to bear.

"Catastrophe against Croatia, Argentina disappoints and is on the way out of the World Cup," the Clarin newspaper wrote on its website.

"Argentina were ridiculed by Croatia and has jeopardised its future in the competition," La Nacion added.

Television commentator Diego Latorre, of the TV Publica network, reflected on the lacklustre contribution of Messi.

"Messi was at a standstill, he was off the pace, depressed," Latorre said. The Infobae website described the loss as a "humiliation".

Infobae took aim at the blunder by goalkeeper Willy Caballero that handed Croatia their opening goal early in the second half, describing the howler as "incredible".

Former Argentina defender Oscar Ruggeri, a member of the 1986 World Cup-winning team, noted that Caballero had been selected "because he was meant to be good with his feet."

Argentina's loss means the team will have to beat Nigeria in their final game and hope other results go their way to advance.