Live Argentina - Croatia Score and Text Commentary of International Friendly 2014
Messi scores in Argentina's 7-0 victory over Hong Kong.

Live Argentina - Croatia Score and Text Commentary of International Friendly 2014

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam
ArgentinaRomero, Zabaleta, Fazio, Vergini, Ansaldi (J Silva 76)i, Banega (Pereyra 70), Mascherano, Enzo Pérez, Messi, Agüero (Tevez 61), Di María (Lamela 76)
CroatiaKalinić (Vargic 88), Vrsaljko, Jedvaj, Lešković (Rog 84), Leovac, Antolić, Badelj, Milić (Tomecak 70), Kovačić (Halilovic 45), Sharbini (Jajalo 65), Čop (Mitrovic 84).
SCORE0-1, Sharbini (11 min), 1-1, Aguero (48 min), 2-1, Messi (57 min)
Live LoaderVAVEL Live SmallLive Match

21:50. But for tonight, that's all. Thanks for joining VAVEL UK for our live coverage of Argentina 2-1 Croatia, we hope you enjoyed our live minute-by-minute match commentary as second-half goals from Aguero and Messi reverse the lead in their favour after Sharbini marked his third appearance with a second goal. Thanks again, and good night. Make sure to come back to VAVEL for more coverage of this week's international friendlies and European qualifiers. 

21:48. A decent friendly at Upton Park tonight then, as Argentina beat Croatia 2-1 at the home of West Ham United. Next up, Martino's side play Portugal in a lucrative friendly against Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford next Tuesday evening. 

21:45. Tonight's scores elsewhere: Turkey 0-4 Brazil, Netherlands 2-3 Mexico, Belgium 3-1 Iceland.

21:42. And so ends Croatia's four-game winning streak, but in truth they always had an eye towards their European Championships Qualifying game against Italy this weekend. Still, a spirited side gave Argentina a good run for their money despite eventually falling to defeat.  

21:38. Lionel Messi plays the full 90 for Argentina, as they come from behind to take a 2-1 win over Niko Kovac's youthful Croatia side. The underdogs took an early lead when Anas Sharbini's controlled finish sealed off a good move for their side, but Argentina cranked up the pressure for the rest of the first-half. Lionel Messi was central to everything they did, but they weren't clinical enough in front of goal. Sergio Aguero's deflection from Christian Ansaldi's 25-yard range effort fooled debutant goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic to equalise the game shortly after half-time and Gerardo Martino's side were in the lead less than 10 minutes later. Sergio Aguero latched on to Messi's wonderful through ball and Kalinic brought him down inside the box to give away a spot-kick, which the Argentine captain duly tucked away in the bottom left. From there on in, Martino's side controlled the game and though Messi could have added a third when he hit the post and Kalinic tipped Javier Mascherano's fierce strike wide of goal, Argentina will be happy with their performance tonight.

FT: Argentina 2-1 Croatia.

90+2' Final chance for Croatia as Silva gives away a cheap costless-kick, but the delivery is headed out across the opposite flank.

90+1' Into three minutes of stoppage time now as Perez wins a corner, and takes it but it's hooked away on two occasions before Tevez gives away a foul. 

89' The game looks all but over now. Croatia's young guns have failed to keep up their intensity from the first half and Romero has rarely been tested in this second half, but Argentina are still in search of a goal to see them off with Tevez looking full of energy.

88' There's a rare sight, as Vargic replaces Kalinic in the Croatian goal. The 24-year-old has had a solid international debut for Croatia tonight, with a number of strong saves. 

86' Wonderful skill from Badelj in the centre of the park to beat his man and find space, but after a promising attack, Romero pounces on Antolic's low cross.

84' Argentina still pushing for a goal to kill this game off, but it hasn't quite come for them. Double change for Croatia - Mitrovic and Rog replacing Leskovic and Cop. 

82' Tomecak wins a throw-in after Lamela puts it out of play on the stretch. Meanwhile, Mitrovic is ready to come on as Croatia's attack comes to nothing.

80' How is it not 3-1?! Messi again, as he's set up by Lamela in space and he moves forward a few yards before trying to curl one inside the near post after outwitting a defender with a quick change of feet, but his shot hits the outside of the post and goes wide. Should have done better with that one.

79' Corner to Argentina after Leskovic struggles to deal with the danger and Messi takes it short to Perez, who returns the ball to him but Croatia manage to intercept a flick in towards the six-yard box and force them back. 

78' Cop almost finds himself in possession a few yards from goal, but he's beaten to a lofted ball into the area by Vergini. 

76' Tevez races goalwards after getting to a through ball, but is flagged offside and Di Maria is replaced by Spurs' Erik Lamela whilst Jonathan Silva replaces Ansaldi. 

75' Just quarter of an hour left of this one at Upton Park, and the score remains 2-1 to Argentina thanks to a deflected goal from Sergio Aguero and a penalty from captain Lionel Messi. 

74' Di Maria's cross from the resulting corner is poor and though he races onto an equally poor clearance and reinvigorates the move, his clever backheel in the box is blocked by a Croatian body. 

73' Croatia looking to mount some late pressure after those changes, but Mascherano does well to dispossess Halilovic and despite a well-timed sliding tackle, Messi feeds his team-mate on the edge of the box but his rising effort is tipped around the post by Kalinic.

70' Tevez comes so close to marking his international return with a goal after Di Maria picks him out with a through ball but Kalinic's foot manages to deflect it wide, despite no corner being given. Sub from Martino, as Pereyra replaces Banega and for Croatia, Tomecak enters the field of play for Milic.

69' Di Maria struggles to get the ball from beneath his feet as Jedvaj pounces to clear. The United man has failed to really stamp his mark on tonight's game. 

67' Tevez rises for a header from Ansaldi's cross, but the keeper makes a comfortable save and up the other end, Badelj can't find the target with a chipped effort from a tight angle.

65' Sub for Croatia, as their goalscorer Sharbini is replaced by Jajalo. 

65' Argentina applying plenty of pressure despite having reversed the lead in less than 10 second-half minutes. Messi feeds Di Maria with a ball ahead of the winger, but he can't bring it under control and Croatia win a goal-kick.

63'  Croatia's side look to be a bit stung after losing surrendering a one goal lead so soon, but there's still 25 minutes left of this clash yet. Could we see the Vatreni find a way back into this one?

61' Tevez is readied, and he replaces Aguero to make his first international appearance in three years.

60' Tevez looks ready to be introduced, much to the delight of the home supporters. But, on the pitch, Croatia's Sharbini tries to net his second with a flamboyant outside of the foot effort towards the far corner which Romero collects.

59' Good finish from the Argentine captain, who deserves his goal for all of his efforts tonight, but it was Aguero who made that with a smart run, prompting the keeper to rush to his feet. The Manchester City man has a goal and technically, an assist, despite a poor performance overall.

57' GOAL! 2-1, Messi steps up and sends the spot-kick the opposite way to Kalinic. 

55' Brief lull in the game, with Argentina struggling to find the right pass through Croatia's back-line, that is until Messi feeds Aguero and he's brought down by Kalinic. Penalty to Argentina!

52' Jedvaj cuts across fantastically to dispossess Zabaleta who is surging towards the near post and they clear the corner well, with Halilovic bursting forward but Mascherano muscles him off the ball.

51' Corner for Argentina, which Messi takes short. He plays a ball to Ansaldi on the edge of the box who tries an audacious chip into a teammate inside the area, but it doesn't quite come off. He'll be gutted about that previous goal, which looks to have gone down as Aguero's despite the forward having known little about it.

49' Lovely switch of play and Ansaldi brings it down, pushes forward and shoots from 25-yards but his effort took a huge deflection off of Aguero's arm before finding the top corner. Still, we're all level at Upton Park.

49' GOAL! 1-1, Ansaldi's shot from range finds the back of the net. 

48' Meanwhile at the break, Alen Halilovic replaced Mateo Kovacic as Carlos Tevez warms up in-front of the delighted West Ham fans.

47' Plenty of intent from the Argentines already in East London, but Croatia have kept their cool. Fortunately for Martino, Mascherano comes across to prevent a three on one attack.

46' We're back underway at Upton Park. 

20:45. In tonight's other friendlies, Brazil beat Turkey 0-4 whilst Mexico and Netherlands are 1-1 after Carlos Vela marked his return with a wonderful goal early on but Wesley Sneijder levelled the scores with a powerful curling effort from range. Belgium and Iceland is also 1-1.

20:44. The players are back out onto the turf and we'll be resuming play any minute. Can the inexperienced underdogs maintain their lead against the might of Argentina?

20:40. An entertaining first 45 minutes of football for an international friendly, but though Messi has shown some promising glimpses, beating a number of men, and Aguero tested the keeper with a rasping drive from range, Croatia are still in the lead. We'll have more action with you as we bring you live commentary from the second-half in just a few minutes.

Argentina 1-1 Croatia Live

20:35. Croatia go into the first-half with the lead after Anas Sharbini took advantage of lacklustre defending in the 11th minute, curling a lovely finish past Sergio Romero after Mateo Kovacic beat Cristian Ansaldi and fed him in the box. Argentina started slowly and the youthful Croats were more than a match for them. Messi and co. have turned up the heat in search of an equaliser but they've been wasteful so far, Aguero has had four of their seven shots and despite troubling Kalinic once or twice, has failed to capitalise. 0-1 to Niko Kovac's men at the break, but Gerardo Martino will be looking to make changes to please the following South Americans at Upton Park.

HT: Argentina 0-1 Croatia. 

45+1' Argentina play it out from the back, as Perez is fouled by Badelj, but they can't make anything count from the final attack of the half.

44' Higuain, Gaitan and Pastore look on from the bench as their side struggle to break through a far from solid, but dependable Croatian back-line. For their inexperience, they've dealt well as one minute of added time is announced, but can they keep it up in the second 45?

43' Great play on the edge of the box from Messi and his teammates but after losing the ball, Banega gives away a silly foul in trying to win it back. 

42' Closing in on half-time as Kovac's side retain their lead, soaking up plenty of Argentine pressure.

40' Messi is at his best tonight, beating four or five players but again none of his team-mates can quite keep up with him. Banega tries to find the top corner with a finessed effort from range, but it curls wide.

39' Sharbini tries to ignite another attack from the flank, but the first touch is just lacking for Croatia. The ball is quickly up the other end and Ansaldi tries a teasing cross goalwards, but it's eventually dealt with after a poor initial attempt at a clearance.

38' Free-kick for Argentina from the right-side, approximately 25-yards out. Messi lines it up and his curled effort rises over the wall, but Kalinic catches.

36' Messi comes so close for Argentina! He evades a number of challenges before Ansaldi holds it up for him and returns possession to his feet inside the area, but the diminuitive attacker's shot hits the side netting from close-range.

35' Another poor cross from Di Maria, as his delivery flashes past Kalinic's far post instead of finding Aguero.

34' Rain beginning to fall in London, but this friendly has been quite an entertaining one so far. Sharbini's goal separates the sides, but Argentina certainy look capable of equalising before the break.

33' Croatia defending in numbers here, trying desperately to get out of their own half, but Argentina keep coming at them. Mascherano's loose ball gives them the opportunity to break, but Cop slips as he brings it under his control racing through the defence. 

32' Ansaldi concedes a corner which Antolic again takes, but Croatia give away a costless-kick due to a handball. Martino's side try a quick one, but Di Maria loses the ball after Messi's over-hit pass.

31' Messi at the heart of everything for tonight's "host" team as yet another through ball is cut out, but at the other end - Ansaldi is given a talking to for a late challenge on Milic. 

30' You wouldn't think this was just a friendly as the pace of the game begins to pick up. Milic can't get to a Kovacic ball out wide, and that's just how Croatia have been in these last 10 minutes. They've been slightly subdued as Argentina look for an equaliser. 

28' Another chance for Aguero, but from 10-yards he can't convert. He's flagged offside, to save his embarrassment, but he's usually nestling that in the bottom corner after good work again from Messi. 

27' Magic from Messi, but Aguero isn't quite on the same wavelength. The Barca man dances through a few challenges and tries to feed the forward with a neat ball inside the box, but Aguero was making a run the opposite way.

25' Again, good pressure from Croatia as Cop forces a corner from Vergini. Antolic delivers, but it's headed away before Zabaleta sends it forward. Messi connects and tries to find Di Maria, who wins a throw-in.

24' Messi certainly had a case for a spot-kick but Marriner denied him. He tries to feed Di Maria down the left, but the ball races away out of play from the Manchester United winger before he can't get on the end of it.

23' Argentina stepping their foot on the gas now, and they really should have scored. Messi goes down appealing for a penalty after a neat one-two with Banega and a failed clearance falls to Aguero, but his first-time shot drifts wide. 

22' Trademark from Aguero that, picking up the ball in the final third and nearly making something out of nothing. He cuts inside on his right and unleashes a fierce towards the far post but it's well palmed away by Kalinic. Moments later, Di Maria tries his luck from distance after Banega set him up outside the box but his 25-yard curling effort is saved by the Croatian keeper, even if he made it look harder than it was. 

21' Kovac's side really are playing the ball about well, with some fantastic touch and go passing and high-pressing forces Fazio into conceding a throw-in, but Romero comes out to collect a wayward pass.

20' Croatia play themselves out of danger magnificently with quick one-touch passing and they launch a brilliant counter until Argentina repeat the feat through Messi down the left, and he picks out Aguero centrally but he can't beat Croatia's final man.

18' Meanwhile in Istanbul, where Brazil take on Turkey, it's 4-0 to the former as Neymar nets his second of the night. 

17' Lovely deep cross from Di Maria, who finds Aguero near the penalty spot and he tries a cute flick towards goal but it's central enough for Kalinic to grasp without much stress.

16' Messi finds space down the left and nicks a ball into Zabaleta, who can't find his man inside the area. Good overlapping by the Manchester City right-back mind, who wins a throw-in out of Leovac deep into Croatia's half.

15' The Argentine supporters share a bit of a joke, pretending to lose the ball after it flies into their section of the crowd, but on the pitch, there's not been too much for them to enjoy so far. They've been on the back foot despite arguably sharing more of the possession, but they've had less hunger than Kovac's side so far, as Enzo Perez falls to the ground from a firm Badelj tackle.

14' Almost an immediate response after Messi wins a corner from a promising dribble inside the area, and the corner is crossed in towards Fazio at the far-post but it's scrambled away and Di Maria's cross at the second attempt is poor and goes out of play for a goal-kick. 

12' Lovely finish that, sending the travelling Croatians into raptures. Argentina's back-line is left exposed after Ansaldi loses his man, Kovacic, who then rolls the ball ino the path of Sharbini who curls an effort past Romero into the bottom right from 10-yards. 

11' GOAL! 0-1 to Croatia. 

10' Argentina enjoy a nice spell of possession after Messi wins a costless-kick after Leskovic checks him, but Croatia are doing well to quell their outstanding threat in the final third so far. 

9' Di Maria gets a second opportunity and this time he opts for a short one, which goes haywire and leaves Croatia two-on-two up top but Mascherano's tenacious defending ensures the break-away comes to nothing. 

8' Jedvaj concedes a corner, which Di Maria whips into the box but it's nodded out for another corner by Cop. 

6' Antolic gives away a costless-kick 35-yards out, and Argentina take it short but Di Maria is dispossessed by a smart sliding tackle and just as Milic looks to be through one-on-one against Romero after a neat pass through the channels - the offside flag is raised.

5' Brilliant from Messi, dribbling through a number of defenders on the edge of the box with ease before picking out Perez but his shot on the spin flies harmlessly wide of the post.

4' Croatia's young guns looking bright so far as they latch onto a poor pass and laucn a counter-attack, but Vrsaljko can't quite get on the end of a through ball down the flank. 

3' Almost dangerous for Argentina as Romero lookes Antolic's cross fly across goal, but Fazio is on hand to hook it away. 

2' Fast-paced start to the game here at Upton Park, as both sides look to gain an immediate hold of the game. It's Croatia putting on a lot of the pressure so far, as Badelj's effort takes a nick off of Banega and out for a corner.

1' Andre Marriner leads the teams out of the tunnel, and all eyes are on Messi instantly. The national anthems are played, and we're underway as La Albiceleste's Messi and Aguero get the ball rolling on the centre-circle, shooting from right to left.

19:43. We're just minutes away from kick-off at Upton Park. Stay tuned for live match commentary of Argetina - Croatia. 

19:39. Messi, Aguero and co. training on the pitch. (Picture: Daily Mail) 

19:36. Kovac is adamant that tonight's line-up is far from a second-string side. He told a press conference: "The national leagues are very demanding, and our priority is Italy. We want to be fully prepared for that match. This will not be Croatia's reserve team, most of these players have already been a part of national team.''

Argentina Croatia Text Commentary

19:32. Kovac admits that their next match is their priority, but insists he is still taking the match against Argentina seriously. "National teams have to be financed through friendlies as well, and we will approach Argentina very seriously, especially since they are bringing their best players. We are not afraid, Argentina represent a challenge for our players, to see who can cope with that kind of opponent. If there is not enough motivation in them, they are in the wrong business."

19:28. Martino insists Tevez deserves his place in the squad. "He has probably been one of the three best players in the past two Italian league seasons, so he deserves a place in the squad,'' said Martino of the Juve striker who has eight goals in ten games this season.

Argentina Live

19:24. Martino continued: “It is a great chance for Carlos [Tevez] to make the most of this opportunity but also for me as a coach to be with him. He’s back. I need to see him in ­training but I want to give as many minutes to as many players as possible. I followed what happened in the months leading up to the World Cup [with Tevez]. I have my own approach and philosophy but the reaction has been great.”

19:21.  Speaking to press before tonight's game, Martino has said: "I want to give as many minutes to as many players as possible," ahead of clashes versus Croatia this evening and Portugal at Old Trafford next week. Seven of his players are Premier League representees, with Mascherano and Tevez having plied their trade in England, and Martino was asked if Messi might ever follow them. "The Premier League is huge and Leo has got all the qualities required in such a big competition," said Martino. "But it is difficult to find a player so close to Barcelona and it is up to Leo to make that decision."

Croatia Live

19:18. "Unreal experience – playing against Messi was one of my best experiences ever," said right-back Sam Westley. Team-mate Matthias Fanimo added: "Easily without doubt the best day of my life. What an experience. Don't think anything is topping that."

19:15. Messi and co. surprised West Ham's youth players in Romford earlier this week. After arriving late for training at the Hammers' Rush Green academy, they agreed to a game with the club's under-21 team and many of them took to Twitter to express their excitement. 

International Friendlies Live Commentary 

19:12. "Against Messi or Tevez nobody can do it alone, you need help from a second, third teammate," said Kovac. "We have to prepare and play as a team, that is the only way we have a chance. I am sure we will defend more than we attack, and if they stretch us then it is going to be difficult" concluded Croatia’s boss.

19:09. "Regardless who the opponent is, regardless if it is a qualifier or a friendly, the key is how thy approach it. I want the guys to give 100%," said Croatian manager Kovac, suggesting the back four could be busy throughout tonight's 90 minutes.

Argentina - Croatia Live

19:06. Four players – Kalinić, Lešković, Leovac, Antolić - will be making their Croatia debuts tonight, whilst three other players – Jedvaj, Sharbini, Čop - have only one cap each.

19:03. Tévez not in the first XI for Argentina. No one provided Messi with more assists than the former Manchester City and Manchester United man has in the national side, with six. 

19:00. The main news then, Lionel Messi starts. He scored his first international goal when tonight's teams last met, and Niko Kovac, who played in that game and now coaches his country, will be hoping his inexperienced side put in a good performance with his main men back in Zagreb.

18:58. Tonight's team-sheet:

18:57. Croatia Bench: Ivan Vargic, Matej Mitrovic, Alen Halilovic, Nikola Kalinic, Ivan Tomecak, Mato Jajalo, Ivan Strinic, Marko Rog. 

18:55. Argentina Bench: Willy Caballero, Nahuel Guzman, Lucas Biglia, Nicolas Otamendi, Gonzalo Higuain, Facundo Roncaglia, Martin Demichelis, Roberto Pereyra, Erik Lamela, Nicolas Gaitan, Javier Pastore, Carlos Tevez, Jonathan Silva.

18:52. Croatia XI: Kalinić, Vrsaljko, Jedvaj, Lešković, Leovac, Antolić, Badelj, Milić, Kovačić, Sharbini, Čop.

18:48. Argentina XI: Romero, Zabaleta, Fazio, Vergini, Ansaldi, Banega, Mascherano, Enzo Pérez, Messi, Agüero, Di María

18:45. We're an hour away from Argentina - Croatia live kick-off now, what are your predictions for tonight's game? Leave them in the comment box on the right-hand side of the page. We'll have tonight's team news with you in a matter of minutes.

18:43. Tevez scored an incredible solo goal for Juventus against Parma recently, in a 7-0 win. Here it is: 

18:40. Tevez and Messi share a laugh on the Upton Park pitch in training a few days ago.Tevez became a cult hero at West Ham for keeping the club in the Premier League during his controversial spell in 2006-07. It will be his first game back at Upton Park since appearing for Manchester City in a 0-0 draw in November 2012. (Picture: West Ham Twitter)Tevez shared a laugh on the West Ham pitch ahead of their game against Croatia on Wednesday night 

18:37. Tonight's host stadium will be home of West Ham United, and will welcome back former Hammers Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez. The 35, 016- seater stadium known as both Upton Park and the Boleyn Ground has been home of the club since 1904 and has hosted international games on previous occasions, including England's 3-1 loss to Australia on 12 February. In February 2014, West Ham announced the sale of the ground to the development company, the Galliard Group once the move to the Olympic Stadium has been completed. The developer has plans for new homes, retail outlets and leisure facilities on the site which is hoped to be available by 2018. 

18:34. Argentina have met Croatia three times previously, with both teams winning once and another clash finishing level. Their last meeting came in March 2006, where Lionel Messi scored his first ever international goal, combining well with Carlos Tevez but the Argentines fell to a late Dario Simic goal to lose 3-2. You can see the highlights from that game here:  

18:32.  Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini has also been called to the Argentina squad, after World Cup defenders Ezequiel Garay and Federico Fernandez dropped out through injury. His first cap came in that 7-0 victory in Asia last month and he is now likely to make his second tonight. In other news, Marcos Rojo has been ruled out for this game following a dislocation of his shoulder playing for Manchester United so the uncapped Sporting Lisbon defender Jonathan Silva takes his place.

18:30.  In addition to Tevez, Manchester City keeper Willy Caballero and Tottenham defender Federico Fazio are surprise inclusions in the squad. Caballero is yet to represent his country at senior level and Fazio has just two caps and were not favourable selections under Sabella. Spurs attacker Erik Lamela joins them, just a few weeks after his outstanding rabona goal against Asteras Tripoli in the Europa League for Spurs. You can see that goal here: 

18:27. Martino, in contrast, has named a very strong side for the upcoming friendlies: Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Willy Caballero (Manchester City), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres). Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia), Cristian Ansaldi (Atletico Madrid), Facundo Roncaglia (Fiorentina), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Tottenham), Federico Fernandez (Swansea), Ezequiel Garay (Zenit). Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Angel Di Maria (Manchester United), Erik Lamela (Tottenham), Javier Pastore (PSG), Enzo Perez (Benfica), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica) Attackers: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Carlos Tevez (Juventus), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City).

18:24. Captain Darijo Srna, fellow defenders Vedran Corluka and Dejan Lovren, star midfielders Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic and Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic will play no part against Argentina. They will all stay in Zagreb, rather than travel to London.

18:21. Kovac continued: "If Argentina isn't a motivation for every player, he is thinking wrongly. I'm sure we can get a good result, and most players have already been with us. I wouldn't call the reserve team."

18:18. Niko Kovac, who is likely to have one eye on the tie against Italy this weekend, meanwhile told the press his younger side should look at tonight's game as a good opportunity to push themselves into his plans: "Argentina is a challenge for the players who will travel. We will see who can stand Argentina, who can come closer to the national team," the Croatia boss said. 

18:12. Martino continued to promise that supporters will get a glimpse of Tevez and Messi in action either tonight, or against Portugal next week. "That will happen [Tevez and Messi will play together], it doesn't mean that will happen in the first minute, 10th minute or 70th minute of the game. That does not mean that he will be on the first 11 or on the bench. We will decide it eventually but this will happen sometime during next the two games, that we will have the opportunity to see them playing together."

18:09. Martino had only praise for Tevez, who missed out on playing for Argentina after a rift with previous coach Alejandro Sabella, who saw him as a troublemaker. "[Tevez] has been one of the best or one of the three best players of the Serie A during the last two seasons. Playing on the Juventus team that has won the championship repeatedly, that makes him worthy to be recalled," said the La Albiceleste boss of the striker, who scored 19 goals in 34 matches as Juventus won the Italian title last season.

18:06. "We have seen how him [Tevez] and [Lionel] Messi get along, playing with [Gonzalo] Higuain and with Sergio [Aguero], because they've been playing together [at Manchester City] for the last two years or so. And we have lost our sight about how he had played with Carlos [Tevez] in the past," Martino said.

18:03. Gerardo Martino, who took over in August, has called up Carlos Tevez to the international set-up. The 30-year-old has scored eight Serie A goals this season making him the joint-top goalscorer in the league, but has not played for his country since 2011. Still, Martino insists it was impossible to look past him.

Tevez returns to Upton Park tonight, having kept West Ham safe from relegation back in 2007.
Tevez returns to Upton Park tonight, having kept West Ham safe from relegation back in 2007.

18:00. The latest victory came against Azerbaijan, as the Vatreni earned an emphatic 6-0 win in October. Andrej Kramaric opened the scoring before two goals from Ivan Perisic and a penalty from Marcelo Brozovic ensured it was 4-0 going into the break. Luka Modric and an own goal from the away side's Rashad Farhad Sadygov, saw them take the three points. They sit top of Group H with nine points from three games, but face Italy this coming Sunday in a potentially decisive clash. You can see the highlights of Croatia 6-0 Azerbaijan here: 

17:57. Croatia, meanwhile, have had 2016 European Championships Qualifiers to contend with too, meaning they have played four games since the World Cup ended in July. They have won all four, without conceding a single goal.

17:54. Since the World Cup Final, in which they lost 0-1 to Germany via an extra-time Mario Gotze goal, Argentina have won two of their three games - including gaining revenge over Die Mannschaft with a 4-2 win. They have scored 11 goals in those three games, but did lose 2-0 to two Diego Tardelli goals against Brazil last month. 

17:51. Argentina are tonight's hosts, despite tonight's game being played at West Ham United's Upton Park. Their previous fixture was the 14th of October, as they thrashed Hong Kong 7-0. Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Nicolas Gaitan all bagged braces after Ever Banega had opened the scoring. Coach Gerardo Martino overhauled his line-up that fell to a 2-0 loss to Brazil just days before, and they outclassed their opponents in the Far East. Here are the highlights

 

17:48. Tonight's match sees World Cup runners-up, Argentina, fronted by Lionel Messi, come up against Croatia, who crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage after losing to Mexico in the final group game. The two take each other on in an international friendly

17:45. Good afternoon and welcome to VAVEL UK's live commentary of Argentina vs Croatia. Tonight's kickoff is at 19:45GMT in London, but stay right here as we'll have all the build up, team news and analysis before the start of the game.

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