Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Croatia beat Denmark to reach World Cup quarter-finals

Croatia beat Denmark to reach World Cup quarter-finals

That broke the record for the fastest time in which both teams have scored at a World Cup match - by all of seven seconds.

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. They found the equaliser nearly straight away, with a spot of luck, as a Danish clearance ricocheted off Andreas Christensen and at the feet of Mario Mandzukic.

Croatia have reached the knockout stages of the World Cup for only the second time after 1998.

Modric scored a peach of a goal from distance against Argentina and along with FC Barcelona's Rakitic, has been pulling the strings brilliantly for his national team.

Rebic has Knudsen on a plate on the right edge for Croatia! I am sure they will create some chances, but most of their build-up play is under the "hopeful" category, unless they can get Christian Eriksen on the ball.

That means the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Dejan Lovren and Mario Mandzukic should feature.

Croatia were nearly ahead with five minutes remaining until the break when Modric's flighted free-kick was flicked narrowly wide by Dejan Lovren.

But if they can frustrate Croatia and afford them only futile possession, they could yet cause an upset, especially with Eriksen in the side. Schmeichel has saved Denmark! Denmark will make life hard for them but in the end, Croatia's quality will show and they'll break them down.

The second of the three all-European ties in the Round of 16 at Russian Federation 2018 is happening for the first time.

Having qualified from the group stage with such distinction, Croatia now face the obdurate, well-organised Danes for a place in the quarter-final. Rebic is brought down by Jorgensen as he rounded the goalkeeper. He's the most important player for Denmark. Modric looked paler than ever, like he had seen all three ghosts of Christmas in one go.

81' - Substitution: Croatia's Josip Pivaric replaces an injured Ivan Strinic.

But it was Schmeichel, the son of former Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, that sent it to extra time with his penalty save on Modric's attempt.

Knudsen was still causing problems with his long throws, two more of which led to scrambles in the Croatia area before the defender smashed a low cross straight at Lovren. Ivan Perisic takes and it hits the wall.

105' - Substitution: Denmark's Pione Sisto replaces Martin Braithwaite.

"It will be a tough match, like any other game so far". In goal is Leicester City star Kasper Schmeichel.

Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel saves the injury time penalty kick by Croatia's Luka Modric.

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