World Cup 2018 Schmeichel's heroics not enough as Croatia beat Denmark

by Steven Clarke July 2, 2018, 0:30
World Cup 2018 Schmeichel's heroics not enough as Croatia beat Denmark

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has labelled Denmark's Christian Eriksen a "world-class player" ahead of Sunday's World Cup last-16 clash in Nizhny Novgorod.

90 minutes:Attempts fail as the match heads into extra time.

First a Denmark long throw caused chaos in the Croatia box and Mathias Jørgensen tucked home after less than a minute!

Mathias Jorgensen - 5 - Opened his Denmark account in fine fashion after netting in the first minute, and went on to have an impressive game were it not for conceding a penalty in the last five minutes of the match, which was ultimately saved by Schmeichel.

Given Croatia's likely dominance in possession, Denmark will have to rely on their defensive solidity and ability to be clinical on the counter-attack.

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.

After 20 minutes, Mandzukic went down under a challenge in the area after a cross from the left, but the referee waved play on and a VAR check confirmed the decision. Denmark is 80-1 to win the entire 2018 World Cup after opening at 100-1, while Croatia is 12-1 after opening at 60-1. Christian Eriksen crosses it in the middle but the goalkeeper makes a comfortable save.

That means the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Dejan Lovren and Mario Mandzukic should feature. Ball takes the deflection and Croatia now win the corner.

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

42 minute: Eriksen picks up a pass in the Croatian box but fails to find a teammate with his chip shot. Denmark will make life hard for them but in the end, Croatia's quality will show and they'll break them down. Denmark take the lead. Some good play from Modric in the 77th minute set Rebic free but his shot was saved by Schmeichel.

29' - Two great chances for Croatia (first a shot by Ivan Rakitic and then one by Ivan Perisic) are defended well by Denmark.

"We need to play a game of ball control".

Extra time ends goal-less as Modric misses the penalty. Denmark come into the match undefeated in 18 games and could spring a surprise.

Denmark introduced the pace of Pione Sisto in place of Braithwaite as the second period of the extra 30 minutes began, and he whipped an effort past the far post soon afterwards.

Croatia bounced back nearly immediately and in the 4th minuted leveled when Mandzukic finished off from a lucky rebound off a Danish defender.

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