Marcos Rojo scored a late goal to break Nigeria hearts and send a gallant Super Eagles out of the 2018 World Cup.
Victor Moses slotted in a second-half penalty to cancel Lionel Messi's first-half strike, and the Nigerians defended resolutely for long periods of the match.
However, if the Croatia game was a display that left a sour taste in the mouth of Nigerians, this was one that left supporters swelling with pride.
This wasn't just for the way the team played, but the potential they have to be even better, especially with a few additions and a little more experience for some of the young players.
Here are three takeaways from the display:
Rohr has his best formation, but not all the parts
It is very clear, and has been for a while, that with the personnel at his disposal, Rohr is best-served by playing with three at the back, with two pacy, powerful forwards with the nous to trouble opposing defenders.
Most of the parts are in place, bar one or two, especially upfront.
After impressing in two games, against Iceland and Argentina, Ahmed Musa has claimed one of those spots. The other is still up for grabs.
Kelechi Iheanacho and Odion Ighalo are early frontrunners for the second spot, but for the moment they must look over their shoulders at the competition. Both failed to score at this tournament, and they had chances.
Now they must begin to field worried looks over their backs at the likes of Olarenwaju Kayode, Junior Ajayi and Victor Osimhen. Elsewhere, at wing-back, Rohr has to decide between Brian Idowu and Tyronne Ebuehi.
Etebo owns the midfield now
"Oleku, tell me something that he cannot do", is a line borrowed from a hit song by a popular Nigerian musician, and it fits Etebo to a T.
Whether as a holding midfielder, as an attacking midfielder, or as a winger, he can do it all.
Etebo was phenomenal in all three games for Nigeria, and will now definitely be the first name on the team sheet going forward.
His tackling was inch-perfect, his distribution was impeccable and his ability to take on players and get past them was absolutely spot on.
His partnership with Wilfred Ndidi is just beginning to bloom and could be the start of one of the great partnerships for the Super Eagles.
With Kelechi Nwakali still waiting in the wings, the future of Nigeria's midfield looks in very safe hands.
Rohr got his tactics and subs spot on...until he didn't
Argentina were there for the taking, really, and Rohr had them on the ropes with his tactical plan.
Lionel Messi and co. were frustrated for extended periods during the game and regularly played the ball out to touch when they could not find outlets.
It was a fine piece of organisational discipline from the German and his wards, and he got his first substitution spot on as well.
The ineffective Kelechi Iheanacho was hooked at half time for Odion Ighalo, whose presence and footwork added to the trouble Musa was creating for the Argentina defence.
However, then he lost the plot.
With players tiring, Jorge Sampaoli took off left-back Nicolas Tagliafico for Sergio Aguero.
That should have been Rohr's cue to throw in John Ogu, a big midfielder who can also play as a centre-back, or Joel Obi, a terrier who would have had the speed to chase down the ball that a tired Victor Moses could not reach.
Instead, he left it until after Argentina had scored to bring on Alex Iwobi.
That was a game-management failure by the German, and it cost him dearly.