2018 World Cup
Result: Croatia 1 (3) - (2) 1 Denmark
Date: 01 July 2018
Venue: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
Croatia advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup after defeating Denmark 3-2 on penalties in their round of 16 encounter on Sunday evening.
The Danes opened the scoring almost immediately after the kick-off, with Mathias Jørgensen netting within 58 seconds with a close-range strike from a corner, 0-1.
It didn’t take long for the Croats to equalise, though, as Mario Mandžukić drew his side level almost immediately after the restart to net from close range and against the run of play, 1-1.
Croatia settled better after 20 minutes, dictating play with prolonged spells of possession through Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
Ivan Perisic should have sent the Vatreni ahead in the 28th minute after pouncing on a loose ball inside the box but he skied his effort over the bar.
Dejan Lovren almost got the second goal for the Croats seven minutes before the break with a glancing header that sailed just wide of the upright.
The Danes finished the half the strongest but they too could not get ahead as the first stanza ended level at 1-1.
Croatia were passing the ball around nicely in the opening stages of the second half but the Scandinavians were a threat on the transition.
Denmark were having a good attacking spell towards the 65th minute but they were unlucky in front of goal.
However, neither side could find a winning goal in the closing stages of the second half, forcing the clash into extra-time.
The Danes looked the likelier of the two sides to get a goal in the first half of extra time, but they were let down by their decision-making in the final third.
With five minutes remaining in the extra-time, Croatia were awarded a penalty for a challenge on Ante Rebic but Luka Modric could not net the winner from the spot as Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel pulled off the save.
The match ultimately went to a shoot-out, where Croatia goalkeeper Subasic stood out with three saves to ensure his side advanced to the quarter-finals, where they will face host nation Russia.