wnol.info July 21 2018

Lovren's Croatia qualify for World Cup quarter-finals

July 21 2018, 07:59 | Van Peters

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

In the second straight shootout of the tournament, the Croats advanced to the quarterfinals on Sunday with a 3-2 victory over Denmark on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

There was an element of comedy to the fourth-minute equaliser for Mario Mandzukic as Denmark's early advantage quickly disappeared. Mario Mandzukic will lead Croatia's attack.

"Kasper did all he could to ensure we won the match, both in extra time and the penalty shootout", he said.

Danijel Subasic saved penalties from Christian Eriksen, Lasse Schone and Nicolai Jorgensen.

It wasn't until late on in extra time, and then the subsequent penalty shootout, that the game was given a dramatic conclusion, with Croatia setting up a quarter final meeting with Russian Federation.

After the interval, the chances were even more sparse although Croatia did up the tempo towards the end of regulation time only to run into a resolute Denmark defense.

Denmark: Schmeichel, Knudsen, Kjaer, Mathias Zanka Jorgensen, Dalsgaard, Christensen, Delaney, Eriksen, Poulsen, Cornelius, Braithwaite.

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The Tottenham man is a dual threat player, capable of both scoring and creating and the player most likely to conjure a trick to unlock the Croatian rearguard. A long throw-in fell for Mathias Jorgensen by the far post, and he squeezed his left-footed chance through traffic for the first worldwide goal of his career to cement a dream start for the Danes.

Mateo Kovacic (for Brozovic 70) - 5 - Looked to bring more energy to the match after Croatia lost their way in the second half, but failed to really control the ball in the middle of the park. But Denmark, unbeaten in 18 games coming into the game, provided tough opposition.

Croatia are expected to make wholesale changes to their starting line up for their World Cup Round of 16 tie against Denmark.

Croatia's plan at the moment seems to be the following: Hold possession, get the ball into the wide areas, cross in for Mandzukic.

Croatia have not gone past the World Cup group stage since 1998, when they were semi-finalists in France and only edged out by the hosts. The stage is now set for the 32-year old to deliver World Cup glory for the Croatians.

'We know they have very skilful players and are very flexible but you will see a different Denmark.

He also praised his fellow goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel for his role with the Danish team.

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