June 21 (UPI) — Argentina goalie Willy Caballero made a horrifying mistake during a 3-0 loss to Croatia Thursday in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
The miscue came in the 53rd minute of the Group D setback at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
Argentina and Croatia played a scoreless first half. Croatia’s Ante Rebic put his side ahead with a score in the 53rd minute. Croatia was on the attack and Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado passed back to Caballero at the top of the box.
Chelsea’s backup net minder ran up and casually lofted the ball up with his right foot, likely sending a pass to Mercado out wide.
But instead of putting enough on the ball, he barely tapped it. The ball hovered slightly in front of him, going about five yards, before landing perfectly in front of Rebic. The Croatian striker caught the toss for a volley, using his right foot to spin and blast a shot over Caballero and into the far post netting.
Caballero pounded the ground in frustration and buried his head in his gloves.
“Croatia is an excellent team,” Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli told reporters. “However, after they scored on us we kind of lost our way. And we were emotionally broken and we didn’t have any football arguments to make to change the course of events.”
The goal was Rebic’s first career score in a World Cup.
Argentina plays in its final Group D match against Nigeria at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Saint Petersburg Stadium.