m3n4.net
m3n4.net September 24, 2018


Dramatic penalty shootout seals quarter final place for Croatia

02 July 2018, 02:15 | Tracey Rhodes

Luka Modric hails "world class" Christian Eriksen ahead of last-16 tie

Christian Eriksen reacts during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between Denmark and France at Luzhniki Stadium

Croatia won all three of their group stage matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Denmark also made it through their group unbeaten and the two will now meet in a knockout match on Sunday.

Perisic fired in another threatening ball as Croatia carried the lion's share of the attacking threat, but Denmark came forward and star man Christian Eriksen's strike cannoned to safety.

Schmeichel guessed right to thwart Pivaric with a diving stop, Jorgensen's penalty down the middle then blocked by Subasic after he had failed to fool the keeper with a stop-start run-up. "He saved three penalties in a shootout". If you knew who he was, it most likely was because you were either Danish, an Ipswich Town supporter or someone who had read about how the Denmark squad had chipped in to rent a private jet so he could fly home to see his newborn baby.

Wow. Wow. Wow. The 2018 World Cup keeps delivering classics and we are in for another cracking one after the grueling Spain vs Russian Federation epic show which saw the 2010 World Cup winners dumped out by the host nation.

Denmark (4-3-3): 1. Kasper Schmeichel (gk), 14. The Denmark goalkeeper, who also saved a pair of penalties in the shootout, dived to his left to smother Modric's attempt in the 116th minute.

Substitute Pione Sisto spun and curled a shot narrowly wide, before Ivan Rakitic struck the winning penalty.

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It was a fantastic save from El Hadary, who at the age of 45, makes his finals debut in Volgograd. Saudi Arabia were thumped 5-0 by Russian Federation and then lost 1-0 to an unconvincing Uruguay.

After surviving the shootout, Subasic had to survive the celebration.

"It will be a tough match, like any other game so far".

Age Hareide's Denmark side are extremely disciplined and hard to break down, pretty much the polar opposite of the disheveled Argentina side that Croatia made mincemeat of last week.

Players make their way to the field and it's time national anthem at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

However, it wasn't too long - three minutes to be exact - when Croatia produced an equaliser through Mario Mandzukic. It struck early, leading directly to the opener and it struck late, sending fear through the Croatian defensive ranks towards the end of the 90 minutes and throughout extra time.

The Croats earned the penalty when Ante Rebic was set free on a counterattack and skipped past Schmeichel, only to be fouled from behind by Mathias Jorgensen - the scorer of Denmark's goal. "That's just the brutality of football".

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As a result, Senegal now sits atop Group H , tied with Japan , while Colombia and Poland are tied with zero points. Grzegorz Krychowiak pulled one back with four minutes of regulation time remaining, setting up a nervy finish.

The World Cup has had a first-time victor in 1958 (Brazil), 1978 (Argentina) and 1998 (France).

Kasper Schmeichel has been backed to keep Denmark's World Cup hopes alive today at the expense of highly-fancied Croatia.

"We must not relax".

"It will bring together the whole country if we move on against Croatia", Eriksen said.

"The whole world will watch".

Denmark have proved to be a tough nut to crack this World Cup and we expect goals to come hard by in this one. "It is going to be a big game".

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