Russia 2018: Subasic the hero as Croatia advance

Russia 2018: Subasic the hero as Croatia advance

Danijel Subasic proved to be the hero, as Croatia defeated Denmark 3-2 on penalties to book a place in the last eight at Nizhny Novgorod.

Subasic became the second goalkeeper to save three spot kicks at the World Cup, after Portugal’s Ricardo back in 2006, as he kept out three penalties against the Danes.

After Russia also sealed their place in the quarter finals via penalty shootout win over Spain, Croatia joined them in similar fashion thanks to the heroics of Subasic and Ivan Rakitic.

Luka Modric missed a penalty earlier in the game, as he was denied by a wonderful Kasper Schmeichel save four minutes to the end of extra time. But had his team mates, goalkeeper, Subasic and midfield partner, Rakitic, to thank for Croatia booking a quarter final place.

Subasic saved three penalties, while Rakitic converted the last spot kick, after two of this teammates, Josip Pivaric and Milan Badejl both missed their kicks.

A blistering start saw two goals scored in the first five minutes of the game, Mathias Jorgensen gave Denmark a 1-0 in the first minute, before Mario Mandzukic equalised for Croatia two minutes later.

However, it all went cold thereafter, as both sides took turns to dominate on the ball without creating anything of note.

Both team would go into the break on level terms, with nothing really to separate them.

The second half started slowly, unlike the first, but ended like the first, as both sides were unable to find the winner within 90miutes, with the match heading into extra time.

In extra time, both teams kept pushing for the winning goal, but it wasn’t until towards the end of the extra half an hour that a defense splitting Modric pass set Ante Rebic through on goal, only for him to be hacked down by Jorgensen, with referee, Nestor Pitana wasting no time to point to the spot.

Modric stepped up to the plate, but watched helplessly as Schmeichel easily saved his kick to ensure the game would be decided through a penalty shootout.

Christian Eriksen and Badejl both missed their kicks, with Modric making amends when he converted to bring Croatia level at 2-2.

Lasse Schone, Pivaric and Jorgensen all missed the next three spot kicks, before Rakitic stepped up to calmly convert and send Croatia through.

Croatia weren’t at their best but get the business done, and will face hosts, Russia in the quarter finals, their first since 1998.

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