National Teams

Subašić the hero against Denmark

Croatia survives
late penalty drama to
reach World Cup

Croatia survives late penalty drama to reach World Cup quarterfinals!
photo by: HNS
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Croatia faced Denmark in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 and managed to progress despite tough circumstances in Nizhny Novgorod. 

CROATIA - DENMARK 4:3 (1:1, 1:1 - 11m)
2018 FIFA World Cup, Round of 16.
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod.

Referee: N. Pitana (Argentina)

Goals: 0:1 - M. Jorgensen (1'), 1:1 - Mandžukić (4')

Penalties: Eriksen - Subašić saves, Badelj - Schmeichel saves, 1:2 - Kjaer, 2:2 - Kramarić, 2:3 - Krohn-Dehli, 3:3 - Modrić, Schöne - Subašić saves, Pivarić - Schmeichel saves, N. Jorgensen - Subašić saves, 4:3 - Rakitić

Cautions: M. Jorgensen (115')

Croatia: Subašić, Strinić (81' Pivarić), Vida, Lovren, Vrsaljko, Brozović (71' Kovačić), Rakitić, Perišić (97' Kramarić), Modrić, Rebić, Mandžukić (108' Badelj). Head coach: Z. Dalić.

Denmark: Schmeichel, Kjaer, Knudsen, Christensen (46' Schöne), M. Jorgensen, Dalsgaard, Delaney (98' Krohn-Dehli), Eriksen, Braithwaite (106' Sisto), Poulsen, Cornelius (66' N. Jorgensen). Head coach: A. Hareide.

foto: HNS

Croatia national football team secured 2018 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal berth, courtesy of a penalty shootout win over Denmark. The next challenge is scheduled for 7 July in Sochi against the host nation Russia.

The opening minutes in Nizhny Novgorod could not have been more exciting: M. Jorgensen beat Subašić from a scramble in the Croatian box with barely a minute gone, while Mandžukić equalized on four minutes, scoring from a rebound in the Danish box.

However, it was less eventful afterwards. Both team had a couple of opportunites in the first half, while in the second half the goalkeepers were called into action in the final 15 minutes. Still, neither team could find the winning move.

foto: HNS

During the extra-time, it was Denmark that created some chances, but it was Croatia with the first match-point. On 115 minutes, Modrić found Rebić, who was fouled in a clear goalscoring opportunity. Croatia captain took the spot kick, but Schmeichel saved his effort.

It all came down to the penalty shootout heroics. Croatia goalie Subašić saved three penalties (Eriksen, Schöne, N. Jorgensen), while Kramarić, Modrić, and finally Rakitić managed to score and mark the beginning of Croatia's celebrations. The World Cup dream lives on.



foto: HNS

Referees: Nestor Pitana (ARG), Henan Maidana (ARG), Juan Pablo Bellati (ARG)
Fourth referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
23Danijel Subašić1Kasper Schmeichel
7Ivan Rakitić4Simon Kjaer
10Luka Modrić5Jonas Knudsen
2Šime Vrsaljko6Andreas Christensen
6Dejan Lovren8Thomas Delaney
18Ante Rebić10Christian Eriksen
4Ivan Perišić
11Martin Braithwaite
3Ivan Strinić
13Mathias Jorgensen
17Mario Mandžukić
14Henrik Dalsgaard
21Domagoj Vida20Yussuf Yurary Poulsen
11Marcelo Brozović
21Andreas Cornelius
1Dominik Livaković16Jonas Lossl
12Lovre Kalinić22Frederik Ronnow
14Filip Bradarić2Michael Krohn-Dehli
9Andrej Kramarić
3Jannik Vestergaard
8Mateo Kovačić
7William Kvist
5Vedran Ćorluka9Nicolai Jorgensen
15Duje Ćaleta-Car12Kasper Dolberg
13Tin Jedvaj15VIktor Fischer
20Marko Pjaca17Jens Stryger Larsen
22Josip Pivarić
18Lukas Lerager
19Milan Badelj
419Lasse Schone
23Pione Sisto
Zlatko DalićAge Hareide

Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalić and team captain Luka Modrić held a press conference on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 encounter with Denmark.

Zlatko Dalić

"Denmark deserves maximum respect, with their quality confirmed by the fact they didn't lose for 18 consecutive matches. They are disciplined, organized, they keep they formation in all occasions and we're in for a tough match. However, everything depends on us. We have to stay careful, patient, and do not rush things, but we're still going to look for a goal, for a win, since there is no going back in the knockout stage. We simply have to avoid mistakes in possession, since Denmark knows how to punish them. Denmark is in my opinion better than Iceland, even though they have some similarities"

"We put the pressure on ourselves when we came to the World Cup to do something. Great performances in the group stage will mean nothing if we don't beat Denmark. I have confidence in my team, my players are confident, and it is nice that Croatia is recognized as one of the teams of the tournament so far. We are really a team, almost like a family, with the coaching staff doing their tasks and finding the best solutions. Everything is working fine and thanks to my players, I'm a proud man. Reaching the quarterfinals would be a great thing for us, for our families and for our country, but this World Cup will remain the highlight of my career, regardless of the outcome. And now we have to leave emotions aside and keep our composure"

Luka Modrić

"This match will be an important exam following our phenomenal performances in the group stage. We can be proud of them, but we must forget them now and play well against Denmark. This generation can go beyond the Round of 16, it's time for such an achievement, and I think we're capable of doing so. Croatia stands united, and if we present this on Sunday, we can overcome Denmark. Eriksen is a world-class player, but no individual can do anything alone. Denmark is a compact, tough team, but we remain confident. It doesn't matter who scores, the only thing that matters is Croatia's success"


foto: HNS