Croatia through to quarters

by Leon Thompson July 2, 2018, 1:23
Croatia through to quarters

Rakitic made the comments about Eriksen ahead of World Cup last-16 tie between Croatia and Denmark on Sunday evening.

This is called gutting it out.

It took less than five minutes for this match to explode in to life after Denmark opened proceedings with barely a minute on the clock; Mathias Jorgensen the recipient of some wayward defending which saw his effort squeeze past Danijel Subasic. Two goals was all they could muster in their three group games, one each against Australia and Peru but in Christian Eriksen they possess a talent unmatched in Danish football since the days of Michael Laudrup.

Croatia won a penalty in the second period of extra time when Ante Rebic was brought down by Jorgensen when clean through, but Kasper Schmeichel saved the spot-kick from Modric and the match went to penalties soon afterwards. Mathias Jorgensen shoots the ball towards the Croatian goalkeeper who fails to stop the ball. He's saved the penalty kick from Modric, who looked exhausted as he stepped up to the 12-yard mark.

It was the sort of cruel miss that leaves you empty, shattered. Had we gone home after the group matches, it would have been a scandal.

Asked about Eriksen, Modric said: "I don't like to compare players, particularly to compare others with myself".

Krohn-Dehli put Denmark 2-1 up - and then Modric stepped up again and this time fired the ball past Schmeichel, who was close to stopping it before Schone's unconvincing kick was saved by Subasic to give Croatia the advantage.

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The tiebreaker then went down to 'fair play points, ' with Japan holding the edge with two fewer yellow cards. A goalless draw and a penalty shootout would not be a great shock.

Subs: Livakovic, Corluka, Kovacic, Kramaric, Jedvaj, Bradaric, Caleta-Car, Badelj, Pjaca, Pivaric, Lovre Kalinic.

Ivan Strinic - 5 - Much like his full-back teammate, Strinic looked to get forward whenever possible, stretching the pitch while providing an effective outlet from the left.

CROATIA SCORE! Rakitic sends Schmeichel the wrong way from the spot and Croatia are into the quarter finals of the World Cup! Denmark take the lead.

Having four hugely gifted central midfielders means making choices because, absent a diamond, you're only going to play three. "And they have Christian Eriksen, who is one of the best playmakers in Europe and the world".

- Luka Modric is all set to become Croatia's joint most capped player in major tournaments with 18 appearances along with Darijo Srna.

And do you know what, the Russians did not seem to mind at all.

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