Fortunately, fate shined fondly upon the South American outfit, and Croatia did their job to beat Iceland – meaning that a win would see Jorge Sampaoli’s side through to the next round – despite all their struggles.
And now, despite Messi giving a different version of events in what his half-time team talk consisted of, Rojo has explained just what the attacker told his team when cameras caught their huddle in the tunnel, minutes before heading back out onto the pitch for the second half.
“During half-time, Messi said that all of us have the duty to score so whenever we get the chance, we shoot, no matter our position…” began Rojo, via Barca Blaugranes.
“So when I saw that ball coming towards me, I kicked it in with all that I had in me and [laughs] it went in!”
Marcos Rojo: “After the match against Croatia, we were more united than ever. This goal is for my family and for this group that deserves it. Vamos Argentina!” pic.twitter.com/B1EgTW75QI
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) June 26, 2018
Rojo had absolutely no right to be in the box in the 85th minute, let alone connect with the cross that came in so sweetly on his weaker foot. It was fate as the ball nestled into the bottom right corner. Argentina now face France in their next match.