Croatia will be keen to continue their perfect winning streak in the World Cup with a last-16 victory over Denmark
Wow. What a finish. What a day of finishes, in fact. After the high-octane thrills of Uruguay versus Portugal and the seven-goal thriller of France against Argentina, the second day of the round of 16 didn’t quite serve up the same calibre of football – but delivered two grandstanding finishes worthy of the ages. Croatia avoided the shock knockout, unlike Spain against Russia – and it will be the host nation who they meet in the quarter-finals. Until then however, thank you for joining us – and have a good week!
With the final penalty before sudden death, Ivan Rakitic drills it into the bottom-left corner as Kasper Schmeichel goes the wrong way. His teammates race off their line to swamp him; Zlatko Dalic is out of his technical area and into the stands to celebrate with the fans. Denmark have lost in the harshest manner, having gone within an inch of an upset. Christian Eriksen looks distraught; the rest of the team look shattered. Full-time at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, it finishes Croatia 1-1 Denmark AET (3-2).
RAKITIC SCORES! CROATIA WIN 3-2 ON PENALTIES AFTER EXTRA TIME!
NICOLAI JORGENSEN MISSES! Subasic gets it with his legs as he drills down the middle! 2-2.
PIVARIC MISSES! Schmeichel goes right and gets a hand to it! 2-2.
SCHONE MISSES! Subasic leaps right and punches it away! 2-2.
MODRIC SCORES! He drills it down the middle. 2-2.
KROHN-DEHLI SCORES! He sticks it into the bottom-left corner! 2-1 to Denmark.
KRAMARIC SCORES! He rolls it into the bottom-left corner!
KJAER SCORES! He bangs it into the top-right corner!
BADELJ MISSES! Schmeichel saves with his legs!
ERIKSEN MISSES! Subasic pushes it onto the right post!
Denmark will go first, and Eriksen will be the man to get us underway…
It rests now on spot-kicks. Schmeichel and Subasic carry the hopes of their nations in Nizhny Novgorod Stadium; the pair will be competing in their first ever penalty shoot-outs at a World Cup.
For the second game in a row at the 2018 World Cup, the result will be decided by a penalty shoot-out. A Luka Modric penalty four minutes from time could have changed the trajectory of this game; instead, the Croatian captain’s miss means that it remains an all-square affair. After extra-time, it is Croatia 1-1 Denmark.
120+1 Mins: END OF EXTRA-TIME: CROATIA 1-1 DENMARK
120 Mins: One more added minute incoming in extra-time.
119 Mins: Modric goes for goal again, this time from distance, and once more his effort goes straight to Schmeichel.
118 Mins: This has been far from a vintage game from either side, but it has burst alive with a penalty shoot-out looming. What a moment in this match.
117 Mins: That is an awful penalty from Modric, slow and rolled low. If this game does go to penalties, how is that going to affect his mindset? How is that going to affect Schmeichel’s confidence? Croatia had the chance to win the game and they have blown it.
116 Mins: SCHMEICHEL SAVES! Modric puts it tamely to the keeper’s left and the Leicester City man reads it perfectly to dive and collect.
115 Mins: Mathias Jorgensen is also booked for that challenge, the textbook definition of a professional foul. Modric will take the penalty for Croatia.
114 Mins: PENALTY TO CROATIA! Rebic is released with a wonderful throughball on halfway, and sails between the two centre-backs. Schmeichel comes out and is foxed, with an open goal left to tap into – and then Mathias Jorgensen slides in underneath him to send him tumbling to the ground. What a momentous moment in this game.
113 Mins: Nicolai Jorgensen meets it at the far side of the box, turns and puts it into the side netting with a poor finish. The Danish man had acres of space there but couldn’t get the control he wanted.
112 Mins: The momentum still feels as if it is with Denmark right now, as Lovren puts a ball out under no pressure for a throw-in. Knudsen will go for another long throw again.
110 Mins: Mathias Jorgensen slips under Rebic and fouls him tio cut off a potential counter-attack. There’s no card; in fact, it has been a well-behaved game with the referee not having to book a single player yet.
108 Mins: Milan Badelj is the final change for Croatia now too, as he comes on for Mandzukic, who has never quite looked as lively as he did in the first half after that injury.
107 Mins: Sisto! Close from the substitute as he cuts inside off the left wing and sprays a shot just wide at the right post. He sent two Croatian defenders the wrong way too there; they look to be flagging at the back.
105 Mins: We’re back underway, for the final 15 minutes of injury time. Kovacic sees a shot blocked down one end, and at the other, Nicolai Jorgensen hurtles into the box before losing possession. Both must go tooth and nail at each other now if they want to avoid penalties.
There’s still nothing to split the pair after 105 minutes in Nizhny Novgorod – and the 15 minutes of extra-time very much read as a brief excerpt of the game. Denmark started strongly, before allowing Croatia a foothold to get back in. Neither have found the target often and both look to still have a lick of danger about them here and there. At half-time in extra-time, it’s Croatia 1-1 Denmark.
EXTRA-TIME HALF-TIME: CROATIA 1-1 DENMARK
105 Mins: Back-to-back corners come to nothing for Croatia, seen away by Denmark’s stern set-piece defending, and then Modric pushes a pass wide and out for a goal-kick. One added minute in the first half of extra-time.
103 Mins: This has been a poor showing from Croatia on the whole, especially since half-time – but out of nowhere, Kramaric squeezes off a tight shot that forces Schmeichel to tip it over his crossbar.
102 Mins: A belated offside call cuts off a Croatian attack and another chance runs away from them. Time is running out in the first period of extra-time.
99 Mins: Schone! The Danish still can’t finish as the substiute skews a chance wide to the left on the volley.
98 Mins: Michael Krohn-Dehli now arrives for Denmark, replacing Delaney who has turned in an impressive showing for the Danes. A victory for Age Hareide’s side would still be a big upset in this World Cup, given Croatia’s array of talent and general form so far.
98 Mins: Croatia’s midfield is looking bereft right now. Modric and Rakitic, so dangerous against Argentina, appear to be short on ideas in extra-time.
97 Mins: Andrej Kramaric is the third change of the game for Croatia, as he replaces Perisic.
96 Mins: Eriksen whips it in and Subasic punches it back the same way for a throw-in. From that, Eriksen lofts a cross in for Kjaer; it drifts over his captain’s head and goes out for a goal-kick.
95 Mins: Knudsen earns a corner as he very nearly is bowled over in the Croatian box. Denmark have started extra time with far more zip than they have showed at any other point in this game.
93 Mins: Another deep throw-in from Knudsen ends up in the hands of Subasic after a nervy moment in the box and Croatia counter down the left wing.
92 Mins: Poulsen knocks a header down off a cross towards Subasic, who deals with the danger. A moment later, Schone accidentally catches Mandzukic with a trailing arm and the latter needs treatment.
91 Mins: We’re back underway, with both teams playing in the direction they did in the first half. Will either be able to find the breakthrough they need?
For the second time today, the World Cup is heading to extra-time as Croatia and Denmark finish tied with a goal apiece. Neither side has been able to breach the other since the opening efforts from Mathias Jorgensen and Mario Mandzukic; they’re going to have another half-hour to try before it comes down to penalties. After regular time, it is Croatia 1-1 Denmark.
END OF 90 MINUTES: CROATIA 1-1 DENMARK
90+3 Mins: Braithwaite! Now the Dane blasts a volley close, out at the left post after the ball fell to him from a deflected corner.
90+2 Mins: Rakitic! My word, that was close. The Croatian launches a low, 27-yard effort from the centre of the field that skims past the left post. That could be his side’s last chance of regular time.
90 Mins: Lovren clears with a volley off the ground after he slips. Three added minutes for either side to find a winner before injury time.
89 Mins: Denmark win a throw-in level with the Croatian box and Knudsen jogs over to put a trademark long ball into the box…
87 Mins: Modric sees a shot deflected out to Rakitic who heads back in from distance, only for the ball to skip to Schmeichel. Denmark counter fast and down the other end, Schone hooks an effort wide at the left post with a rather messy finish from a Poulsen pass.
86 Mins: Pivaric sees a shot deflected for a corner on the back of some frantic Danish defending, after Rebic pushed a square ball into the midst of a congested box. Croatia are throwing bodies forward and making a lot of half-chances all of a sudden.
84 Mins: Perisic! He gets a glancing header to a short cross and tips it just over Schmeichel’s outstretched hands and the crossbar.
82 Mins: Kjaer dinks a little throughball in tantalisingly for Nicolai Jorgensen but the ball runs to Subasic before he can get there.
81 Mins: Josip Pivaric is the second man to be brought on for Croatia to replace Strinic. Both sides have made a pair of switches each so far.
80 Mins: 10 minutes and injury time left for one of these sides to find a winner. 10 minutes or so for one of them to write their name in history without the added pressure of extra time.
78 Mins: Now Rebic tries from distance; his effort is on-target, but alas, it sails straight into Schmeichel’s arms.
77 Mins: Wide from Modric! So wide you could drive a bus through it, in fact. The Real Madrid man – who has not been at his best in this match, it must be said – hits a deflected effort 22 yards out on the right and puts it closer to the corner flag than the post.
75 Mins: Strinic goes to ground as Poulsen grapples with him for the ball on halfway and wins a free-kick, prompting a furious reaction from the Danish man.
74 Mins: Denmark are looking the better of the two sides since the break, in contrast to the opening 45 minutes. They still can’t find a breakthrough though as Eriksen tucks an effort wide to the left from the edge of the box.
72 Mins: Nicolai Jorgensen! A golden chance for Denmark as the substitute meets a Poulsen pass in space and puts it straight to Subasic. A poor finish for what could have been a match-winning moment.
71 Mins: Now it is Croatia’s turn to introduce a fresh face as they seek a winner; Mateo Kovacic replaces Brozovic.
68 Mins: Rebic goes looking for a foul off Knudsen deep in opposition territory near the corner flag; instead, he gives away a free-kick for handball as he goes to ground.
66 Mins: Denmark feel they need a change and make one; Nicolai Jorgensen comes on for Cornelius, who has been a rather loose link in their attack so far, unable to make the most of Poulsen’s efforts to supply him.
65 Mins: Denmark manage to deal with the set-piece and the flurry of half-chances that follow, before Schmeichel punches it away from the final third.
64 Mins: Corner to Croatia now as Perisic forces Kjaer to concede on the left wing.
63 Mins: A Danish break slips them into the box through Braithwaite, who sees his cross deflected to Delaney; he can’t pick out a shot though and takes it out of play wide instead for a goal-kick.
61 Mins: Poulsen! Again, the Dane is picked out with a long ball and he exchanges a one-two with Eriksen for a golden oppertunity – yet he opts to push it wide again to Cornelius who botches the touch and Croatia clamp down on him.
59 Mins: Now Croatia offer a response too, with Perisic spearing a cross into the box from the left wing for Rakitic that just skips away before he can cut it back in for Brozovic. Better from both sides.
56 Mins: A double chance for Denmark now though! Poulsen threads a lovely short pass in from the right wing that Eriksen can’t quite turn in – but Braithwaite gets a brilliant second bite after it falls at his feet. Naturally, he puts it in the opposite direction of Subasic and out for a goal-kick.
54 Mins: There’s a sense of tedium setting in between the two sides right now. Much has been made of Croatia’s dismantling of Argentina in the group stages but they were rather less exciting against both Nigeria and Iceland. And the less said about Denmark’s draw with France, the better…
52 Mins: Kundsen and Lovren engage in a foot race for a Braithwaite throughball down the left, which sees the former foul the latter and concede a free-kick.
50 Mins: Modric blasts a long ball forward for Mandzukic, who appears to have recovered from his knock, only for the linesman to flag them for offside. Down the other end, Cornelius rises to meet Knudsen’s tight cross off the left wing with his head, but Subasic claims instead on the edge of his goal.
48 Mins: A worrying stat for Denmark: six of Croatia’s seven goals in the group stages came in the second-half. Will their defence hold firm?
46 Mins: Croatia get us back underway at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, with a change for Denmark at the break…
There isn’t really anything either coach can do to change their side’s momentum as it stands; both teams have settled after a furious opening but either could roar back to full-throttle with the flick of a switch. Croatia may have to sweat on the fitness of Mario Mandzukic however; though the forward returned to the pitch after treatment for his knock, he still looked to be in some discomfort.
A crackpot opening five minutes saw a goal apiece for Croatia and Denmark at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium but since that initial glut, neither side has been able to find the breakthrough. Luka Modric’s men have mustered twice as many chances as their opponents so far and look the more likely of the pair to break the deadlock – but with this game balanced on a knife-edge, it is still anybody’s match to win. At half-time, it’s Croatia 1-1 Denmark.
HALF-TIME: CROATIA 1-1 DENMARK
45 Mins: Mandzukic is down in the centre circle clutching his ankle with a pained expression as an additional minute of injury time is announced.
44 Mins: Rakitic! Dalsgaard fails to deal with a square pass shuttled in off the left wing and the Croatian’s shot forces Schmeichel to dive to his right to stop it.
42 Mins: Eriksen strikes from 20 yards out on the right after Poulsen serves him a cut-back pass and his shot skims off the top-left corner of the crossbar to spill out for a goal-kick.
40 Mins: Down the other end, Poulsen slips a wonderful ball in that Vida misses and falls across the path of Cornelius; the striker fails to make contact though and Subasic claims it.
39 Mins: Close from Lovren! The defender’s header, rising up to meet Modric’s inch-perfect cross from the set-piece, drifts just wide at the right post.
38 Mins: Rebic wins a free-kick off Dalsgaard out deep on the left wing and Croatia have a free-kick around 25 yards out from goal.
36 Mins: The fire has slightly dulled for the moment with neither side threading together any dangerous moves. The fans in the crowd are in fine voice though; mostly neutrals from Russia with a scattering of Argentinians.
34 Mins: Cornelius slips into the Croatia box, looking to pick up an Eriksen chip; the Tottenham man skews it wide though and it sails out for a goal-kick.
32 Mins: Eriksen whips a cross in from the right wing on the back of a corner; Subasic has no trouble in leaping to claim it.
31 Mins: All 30 of Denmark’s goals at the World Cup have been scored from inside the box.
29 Mins: Rakitic goes for goal from distance and forces Schmeichel to parry his shot wide. Rebic returns it from the wing and shoots himself, with the keeper putting it into the path of Perisic. Faced with a near-open goal though, he can only blast it well over the crossbar.
27 Mins: Braithwaite! Cornelius and Eriksen combine with a lovely one-two to release the Middlesbrough man into the box. Subasic cuts low to get underneath him however and sweeps the ball up to snuff out the Danish chances.
25 Mins: The frantic opening of this match has given way to a more cagey spell between the two sides, with Denmark looking to slow the Croatian attack.
23 Mins: Vrsaljko atones for conceding the set-piece by clearing it with an almsot casual ease.
22 Mins: Denmark power down the other end now and win themselves a corner after Cornelius has an effort to cross deflected by Vrsaljko.
20 Mins: Mandzukic goes down with Knudsen in the Danish box! The referee waves away shouts for a penalty but there certainly seemed to be some contact off the ball between the two. Spot-kicks have been given for less at this World Cup so far.
18 Mins: The tempo is yet to abate in Nizhny Novgorod. Braithwaite is slipped through a gap on the right flank by Eriksen, yet he is shut down in quick order by Strinic and Croatia counter briskly downfield.
17 Mins: This is the fourth time in World Cup history that two goals have been scored inside the first four minutes, and only the second time both sides have scored within four minutes.
15 Mins: Kjaer’s diving header stops another Rebic cross from picking out Rakitic in the middle of the Danish box. There’s an air of desperation about both sides in clearing their lines so far in the opening quarter-hour.
13 Mins: Rebic pops another cross from close to the right edge of the Danish box again after getting the better of Jorgensen, but this time Perisic can’t meet it and Poulsen clears downfield.
13 Mins: Delaney clears the set-piece with little difficulty and Denmark come away from their lines before ceding possesion on halfway to Lovren.
12 Mins: Perisic turns it in from the right with a lot of power behind his effort; it takes a deflection off the defensive wall and flies out for a corner.
11 Mins: Jorgensen fouls Rebic on the very edge of the Danish box and Croatia find themselves in a rather favourable position from which to put a free-kick towards goal.
6 Mins: Nobody in Nizhny Novgorod has had time to catch their breath yet. Mandzukic’s chance came after Rebic confused two defenders at the back to sneak into the 18-yard area on the right and cross in. The clearance hit Christensen right on the kisser and fell to the Croat forward who didn’t waste his chance. 1-1 inside 300 seconds. Absolutely barmy, this World Cup!
4 Mins: EQUALISER FOR CROATIA! 1-1! Mario Mandzukic is the man to level things up as, at the left post, he sticks a botched clearance from Denmark that bounces off Christensen’s head to fall at his feet in behind Schmeichel at the left post. Two goals in the first five minutes!
2 Mins: That was the worst possible start for Croatia, but they’ve not been shy in finding goals so far in this tournament. They’ll have to deliver a response as soon as they can though.
1 Min: Delaney was looking to put the shot in himself but was unable to turn towards goal. Jorgensen was able to snaffle it and push it through the legs of a defender; what a start for the Danish.
1 Min: GOAL FOR DENMARK! 1-0! Mathias Jorgensen gives his nation the best possible start in this game as Croatia fail to deal with Knudsen’s long throw-in. It falls to Thomas Delaney who scuffs it left into the path of the centre-back, who finishes by clipping it in off the near-post beneath Subasic. Disaster for Croatia; delirium for Denmark.
1 Min: Denmark have an early throw-in after pressing Croatia back from the kick-off. Knudsen will look to put it directly into the box…
1 Min: Denmark’s Eriksen get us underway in this round of 16 tie!
The anthems have concluded and we’re moments away from kick-off. The referee is Nestor Pitana of Argentina.The teams are out at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium for the national anthems.
It has been a frugal tournament for Denmark in front of goal so far; they have only found the back of the net twice, thanks to Eriksen and Yussuf Poulsen, against Australia and Peru respectively. They have however only conceded the once, to a penalty from the Socceroos’ Mile Jedinak; keeper Kasper Schmeichel has saved the other 12 shots on target sent his way.
10 mins until KO: It has been a frugal tournament for Denmark in front of goal so far; they have only found the back of the net twice, thanks to Eriksen and Yussuf Poulsen, against Australia and Peru respectively. They have however only conceded the once, to a penalty from the Socceroos’ Mile Jedinak; keeper Kasper Schmeichel has saved the other 12 shots on target sent his way.
Croatia meanwhile went one further that year, knocking out Romania and Germany to set-up a semi-final showdown with eventual winners. They came third after defeating Netherlands 2-1 – but in their four subsequent appearances at the World Cup, this is the only other time they have progressed out of the group stages.
Two decades on from their best-ever finish at a World Cup, can Denmark repeat their heroics of France 1998 to reach the quarter-finals for the second time in their history? They lost 3-2 to eventual finalists Brazil after finishing second in Group C behind France, much like in this tournament. Will lightning strike twice to take them to the last eight?
Subs: Jonas Lossl, Lukas Lerager, Nicolai Jorgensen, Jannik Vestergaard, Viktor Fischer, Frederik Ronnow, Pione Sisto, Jens Stryger Larsen, Lasse Schone, Kasper Dolberg, Michael Krohn-Dehli, William Kvist
DENMARK (4-1-4-1): Kasper Schmeichel; Henrik Dalsgaard, Simon Kjaer, Jonas Knudsen, Zanka; Andreas Christensen; Martin Braithwaite, Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen, Yussuf Poulsen; Andreas Cornelius
Subs: Filip Bradaric, Marko Pjaca, Andrej Kramaric, Lovre Kalinic, Vedran Corluka, Dominik Livakovic, Tin Jedvaj, Mateo Kovacic, Josip Pivaric, Duje Caleta-Car, Milan Badelj
CROATIA (4-2-3-1): Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida; Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Rakitic; Ivan Perisic, Luka Modric, Ante Rebic; Mario Mandzukic
As for Denmark, most of their hopes rest on Christian Eriksen, the only Danish player to have registered more than a single shot on target for the side. He lines up in midfield with Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen behind him in the anchor position.
Team news now and Croatia name their strongest starting XI once more after resting several key names against Iceland in their final group game. Real Madrid’s Luka Modric skippers the side; his domestic rival, Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic partners him in midfield behind Mario Mandzukic.
The winner of this tie will of course meet Stanislav Cherchesov’s side after they recorded arguably their most famous win in their history with a 4-3 penalty shootout victory against Spain after holding the 2010 world champions to a 1-1 stalemate after extra-time. Despite the result, both Croatia and Denmark will be fancied against the home nation – but which of them will get there?
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Zlatko Dalic’s Vatreni cruised through Group D with three wins from three, dismantling 2014 finalists Argentina 3-0 along the way – but in the cauldron of knockout football, can Age Hareide’s Danish Dynamite follow in the footsteps of hosts Russia to spring a second upset of the day?
30 mins until KO: Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia as Croatia and Denmark meet in the round of 16 at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
||Croatia vs Denmark
||Sunday, July 1
||7pm BST / 2pm ET
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Croatia rotated heavily for their final group match against Iceland but have reverted back to their strongest starting XI for the first of their knockout matches. Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is notably recalled.
Denmark have suffered a blow in that William Kvist is not deemed fit enough to start after breaking two ribs against Peru in the opening game. Meanwhile, Yussuf Poulsen is fit.
Confirmed Croatia XI: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Brozovic, Modric, Rakitic; Rebic, Mandzukic, Perisic
Subs: Kalinic, Livakovic, Pivaric, Corluka, Jedvaj, Caleta-Car, Badelj, Kovacic, Bradaric, Kramaric, Pjaca
Confirmed Denmark XI: Schmeichel; Dalsgaard, Kjaer, Jorgensen, Knudsen; Christensen; Poulsen, Eriksen, Delaney, Braithwaite; Cornelius.
Subs: Ronnow, Lossl, Vestergaard, Larsen, Schone, Kvist, Lerager, Zanka, Krohn-Dehli, Sisto, Fischer, Dolberg
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The anthems have concluded and we’re moments away from kick-off. The referee is Nestor Pitana of Argentina.
Mandzukic goes down with Knudsen in the Danish box! The referee waves away shouts for a penalty but there certainly seemed to be some contact off the ball between the two. Spot-kicks have been given for less at this World Cup so far.