Iceland sunk by late Croatian goal

by Steven Clarke June 27, 2018, 2:38
Iceland sunk by late Croatian goal

Soccer: World Cup, Argentina vs Croatia, preliminary round, Group D, 2nd match day in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

Iceland can still qualify for the round of 16 but they have to beat Croatia and have Argentina beat Nigeria by only one goal.

But Iceland got one back on a penalty kick in the 76th minute, as Croatia conceded for the first time in Russian Federation 2018.

Never before had Croatia won their final group-stage game at the World Cup, having lost in 1998, 2002 and 2014 and drawn in 2006.

A revamped but businesslike Croatia topped their World Cup Group D as Ivan Perisic's last-gasp goal helped them maintain their flawless record with a 2-1 win that also ended valiant Iceland's tournament on Tuesday.

Iceland could have finished second in the group with a victory because Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 at the same time.

World Cup debutants Iceland proved they can compete against the top teams and will depart Russian Federation with their heads held high even if they failed to win a single game, Hallgrimsson said after the match.

"We have not played many games like this against a strong team like Croatia and created as many chances as we did", Hallgrimsson told reporters.

Croatia had their first clear chance when Milan Badelj's missile crashed onto the bar six minutes into the second half.

It's around this time, on the eve of the knockout stages, that theories are being formulated for who will impress moving on at the World Cup, and though England have garnered attention, it's Croatia who are the real lurkers in Russian Federation.

With Five minuets remaining in the half, Iceland had another go at Kalinic's goal as Alfred Finnbogason's effort from distance sailed inches wide of the upright. The midfielder was more accurate two minutes later as he thundered a volley into the back of the net to open the scoring.

Iceland faced a huge task as Nigeria nearly simultaneously equalised against Argentina, but they reacted swiftly.

Moments later Ingason, who plays for Rostov, went even closer but his header hit the crossbar.

Iceland equalised with a penalty shot taken by Gylfi Sigurdsson in the 76th minute after substitute Dejan Lovren carelessly handled the ball.

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