By far, this was one of the most intense games in the World Cup despite Croatia’s dominance in previous fixtures.
Both sides played at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Sunday evening in order to progress to the quarters and face Russia.
With the Caliber of midfielders shining in the tournament for the home side, Christian Eriksen’s Denmark needed to out-do the Croatian team.
Though strong, one weakness Croatia has is handling long throw-ins as Iceland converted a chance against them in a previous match.
The Danes learned from Croatia’s earlier slip up from the first minute of the game as a long throw in cost the home team a goal.
Mathias Jorgensen’s goal in the first minute came after a small squabble in the Croatia box with the long throw in.
Danijel Subasic couldn’t save the ball going into the net as the Danish fans went wild.
Only a few minutes later, the Blazers managed to equalise as Mario Mandzukic blasted a ball pinged to him in the box from the right flank.
Sime Vrsaljko did well for Croatia at right back pushing up front for the counters.
A VAR appeal was made 20 minutes in the game against Denmark as it looked like Mandzukic went down due to a tackle from Henrik Dalsgaard; but the referee dismissed it.
The whole 90 minutes remained level with great efforts from both sides.
What was interesting was the form of the teams’ keepers as they kept the game going by the cusp as it looked like it was going to end.
The match ended up being 120 minutes with Croatia messing up a vital chance.
The home side got a penalty in the 114th minute after Ante Rebic was tackled in the dane box from a great run.
Up came Vatreni captain Luka Modric to take the penalty.
It seemed like the game was over but Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel managed to save the ball and take the game into penalty shootouts.
It was the second game that went onto penalties but the intensity was so high.
Both keepers made solid saves as Eriksen, Badelj, Schone, Piveric and Jorgensen failed to score.
When the last Dane didn’t convert, it was up to Barca man Ivan Rakitic to win the match for his country.
He stepped up and drove the ball into the low left, taking Croatia to the quarterfinals.
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