Argentina's priority: Improve or implode

Messi and Co still doubtful in defence and average in attack as they face France in last 16

It looks like a mouth-watering clash on paper when Argentina take on France in the round of 16 on Saturday, but a classic is possible only if the South Americans make vast improvements over the next few days.

They were minutes away from a 1-1 draw with Nigeria at St Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday, before Marcos Rojo converted Gabriel Mercado's cross in the 86th minute to stave off elimination by the skin of their teeth.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2018, with the headline 'Argentina's priority: Improve or implode'. Print Edition | Subscribe