Croatia win over Denmark after a penalty shootout

Croatia revive after conceding a goal in the opening minutes to reach the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup after they won 3-2 on penalties to Denmark after both teams drew 1-1 in the Round of last 16 in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.

They should have secured the result five minutes before the end of extra time, but Luka Modric’s penalty could be thwarted by Kasper Schmeichel. However, the Croatian captain bravely became the executor on penalties when goalkeeper Danijel Subasic thwarted three Danish executions, to prepare for a  meeting with Russia in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Modric’s pass who brought Ante Rebic into the goalpost, before Mathias Jorgensen dropped it, giving Croatia a chance to lock in victory before the penalty shootout. But Schmeichel made a smart save to maintain a 1-1 position.

Two goals in four minutes of opening made early matches at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium an interesting draw. However, it did not continue when both teams chose to appear cautious to keep the chances of reaching the last eight of the World Cup.

Jorgensen took just 57 seconds to break the Croatian defense at the end of Jonas Knudsen’s long-range throw, steering the ball with his left foot as the ball bounced off teammate Thomas Delaney. Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic prepares to welcome Jorgensen’s kick but the ball is deflected into the net.

There was a comedic element for the equalizer in the fourth minute for Mario Mandzukic, when the early advantage of Denmark was soon eliminated. The kick that crossed the Danish defense was thrown out by Henrik Dalsgraad, but the ball hit his teammate Andreas Chrisstensten’s face, creating a pinball effect that knocked the ball into Manduzkic possession, which then put him into the net from close range.

Hopes for the impact of Christian Eriksen for Denmark and Modric for Croatia are high, but they can not do much.

Eriksen’s effort on the top of the crossbar before halftime, while on the other side of the pitch, Ivan Rakitic forced Schmeichel to rescue.

After the break, fewer chances despite Croatia raising the tempo before the end of match but they had trouble defeating the Danish defense.

In extra-time, the throwing ball into length that Knudsen sends is the most dangerous weapon, but the winner of the match remains determined through the penalty shootout.

Denmark became the first team to execute a penalty. Christian Eriksen advanced as executor. However, the ball resulted in his goal failed to meet the target because it hit the crossbar. After Denmark, it’s Croatia turn. Milan Badelj became the first kicker for his team. But he failed because of the heroic appearance of Kasper Schmeichel.

Then Simon Kjaer and Michael Krohn-Dehl successfully carry out their duties for Denmark. Meanwhile in the Croatian camp, Andrej Kramaric and Luka Modric do the same. In the fourth penalty, both team executors alike failed to perform their respective duties. Then, Denmark also failed in the fifth penalty because the ball shot by Nicolai Joergensen can be thwarted by Danijel Subasic.

Croatia was in the advantage. Ivan Rakitic then advanced as Croatia’s fifth executioner. Calmly, the Barcelona midfielder execute the ball to the right of Schmeichel. Score 3-2 for Croatia to win over Denmark.

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