Tie into penalty shootout

Midfield maestro confirms international retirement - Daily Nation

Midfield maestro confirms international retirement - Daily Nation

Croatia beat Denmark 3-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the quarter finals of the World Cup after a tight and tense match which finished 1-1 following 90 minutes of play in Nizhny Novgorod.

This is called gutting it out.

First, Mathias Jørgensen turned home in the second minute after Croatia failed to clear a long throw-in from Jonas Knudsen, the defender's shot creeping under Subasic to give Denmark the ideal start.

Mario Mandzukic - Though Mandzukic scored just 9 goals for Juventus last season, his work rate and physicality is extremely crucial to Croatia going forward.

From there, the match petered out, with Denmark nullifying Croatia in the second half.

Kasper Schmeichel - 8 - Constantly instructing his defensive line, Schmeichel was commanding between the sticks, quick off his line and produced some solid saves, including a last minute penalty save, as he also went on to produce a sensational performance during the penalty shoot-out. Rebic is brought down by Jorgensen as he rounded the goalkeeper. Referee Nestor Pitana pointed to the spot. Could this be the first penalty shoot-out of the tournament?

It was the sort of cruel miss that leaves you empty, shattered.

Here we go! The fourth round of 16 match is about to get underway, Denmark to kick off. Modric finds Perisic out on the left, he looks to cross but Poulsen blocks. But that's why superstars have teammates.

Neither team found a breakthrough and the match advanced to a penalty-kick shootout, were each side saved the first attempt before making their next two shots.

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Milan Badelj (for Mandzukic 107) - 5 - Took the place of Croatia's lone striker and adequately slotted into the middle of the park as Kramaric move up top. (In case you're wondering, Modric, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, had no compunction about taking - and converting - his penalty).

On a day when Spain was surprisingly knocked out of the World Cup by underdogs Russia, Croatia made sure it did not become another much-fancied team to falter - but only just. "The group stage will mean nothing if we do not verify that tomorrow".

71' - Substitution: Croatia's Mateo Kovacic replaces Marcelo Brozovic.

Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen thinks Croatia will start as favourites though.

Stay with us for Live Updates of this game.

Pione Sisto could be a key player for Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod.

Pione Sisto (for Braithwaite 105) - 6 - Injected pace and precision for the final 15 minutes, and immediately looked like Denmark's most risky player.

"It is a stern test for us, but it is high time that this generation hurdles this obstacle which we haven't hurdled since 1998". Whether he simply has a gift or whether it's something he was taught, it was remarkable that something so basic could prove to be so effective.

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