Croatia beat Denmark on penalties to set up World Cup quarter-final with Russia

Croatia beat Denmark on penalties to set up World Cup quarter-final with Russia

Jul 03 2018

ARKNews: Croatia set up a World Cup quarter-final against hosts Russia as penalty shootout heroics from goalkeeper Danijel Subasic as well as a winning spot-kick from Ivan Rakitic booked their place in the last eight.
Croatia ran out winners after the scores remained at 1-1 following normal time and extra-time in Nizhny Novgorod.
The game had started explosively with two goals in the opening four minutes, the first when Martin Jorgensen bundled the ball home, before Mario Mandzukic mishit a shot into the corner to equalize.
The teams remained locked at 1-1 during normal time and throughout extra-time, although it looked as if Croatia would snatch the win when they were awarded a penalty four minutes from the end, but Kasper Schmeichel saved from Luka Modric.
It was the first time in World Cup history that each team had found the net at such an early stage of the game, a statistic which suggested that we might have been in store for a free-scoring classic.
The second half took much the same shape as the first. Both sides were content to play at a canter and with Croatia’s early verve now absent. Coach Zlatko Dalic brought Mateo Kovacic on and Real Madrid man upped the tempo considerably, earning a standing ovation from the crowd for one particularly impressive backheel.
It soon became apparent that this match was prophesied to go to extra time and it was only then that Denmark began looking the more likely to conjure an opening. Knudsen long throws were causing huge problems a Croatian backline running on fumes.
Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, whose father Peter was cheering on from the stands, was unable to repel the final penalty from Barcelona’s Rakitic, despite saving two previous efforts in the shootout as well as the one from Modric in the dying minutes of extra time.
Croatia 'keeper Danijel Subasic’s contribution to the shootout was immense, saving efforts from Christian Eriksen, Lasse Schone and Nicolai Jorgensen – the latter of which allowed Rakitic the opportunity for the winning penalty.

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