Croatia followed Russia route to make to the quarterfinals
Vatreni could have done it in normal time, they could have done it in extra-time, but they took it the penalties. Croatia followed Russia route to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Croatia gave equal opportunity to Denmark to win the lottery, but they ran out of luck. In the end, Vatreni win the game 3-2 on penalties to book a place in quarterfinals where they’ll play host Russia.
Earlier in the day, Russia won 4-3 against Spain on penalties. The host sends 2010 FIFA World Cup champion home winning on penalties, then Croatia twisted their game as well to make it more dramatic.
If you go with the scoreline, the match only got life in first five minutes and then in last five minutes. In between, it became dull because of the chances missed. Croatian captain Luka Modric could have won the match in normal fashion when Ante Rebic earned a penalty in extra-time second-half, but Real Madrid man missed from the spot as Kasper Schmeichel made a very good save.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 1, 2018
It was a great start of the match as Denmark had the ball in the net within first 55 seconds thanks to Martin Jorgensen. But, Denmark 1-0 lead didn’t survive four minutes. Mario Mandzukic replied for Croatia with his first shot on target as well to make it 1-1. And, here ends the great euphoria which took place in first five minutes of the game.
Both sides tries to calm down themselves after their initial goals and with this match also started to vanish despite having some quality players on the field. It didn’t come alive in second-half either. Then it goes to extra-time and Modric through pass for Rebic become the noted high of the midfielder whom his compatriot Ivan Rakitic describes as someone from another planet.
A minute before Modric definitely seems to be someone from another planet like Messi or Ronaldo, but a minute later he proved that he is just a human who make mistakes too. He missed the penalty from spot after Rebic was brought down. Kasper Schmeichel made a great save reminding his great father to be proud of his son.
Modric missed a great chance to take Croatia one step closer to emulating their 1998 journey with normal play. It all come to penalty. The penalty shootout also proved to be entertaining one as both sides missed their first penalty.
Christian Eriksen missed for Denmark, then Badelj misses for Croatia. Both goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Daniel Subasic were pumping their fist high becoming hero for their country. Then Denmark captain Kjaer scored his to bring Subasic down-to-earth, but Andrej Kramaric made it 1-1 and they were back on square terms.
Krohn Delhi also made it 2-1 for Denmark, but Luka Modric didn’t make the mistake this time from the spot to make it 2-2. Then Schones failed to convert for Denamek and handed Croatia a chance to take lead, but Pivaric made a blunder for Croatia too.
At that time, Subasic must have sensed that if Croatia deserve to go further, his country needs his heroics one more time. He made a great save from Nicolai Jorgensen’s penalty to allow Barcelona man Ivan Rakitic to win the match for Croatia.
Ivan Rakitic calmly slotted the ball in lower left corner to send Schmeichel to the right. It was the victory moment for the talented and experienced Croatian side. Their gems were not up to the mark today, but they’ll definitely comeback against Russia in quarterfinals. Otherwise, taking note of Vatreni’s today performances, Russia will fancy their chances to make it to the semifinals as well.