Fans react to blistering start in Croatia v Denmark

Ivan Rakitic of Croatia celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Argentina and Croatia at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on June

Ivan Rakitic of Croatia celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Argentina and Croatia at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on June

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.

Jorgensen's goal, his first for his country, was the fastest in Denmark's World Cup history, while Mandzukic's was the second earliest for Croatia, after Darjio Srna scored in the opening minute in 2006.

A late penalty miss in extra-time from Luka Modric confirmed a penalty shootout for both sides, which Croatia ultimately won.

"We need to play a game of ball control". What a start to this match! Could this be the first penalty shoot-out of the tournament? The cross, though, sails wide right of the post after Dejan Lovren's header.

"It will be a stern test for us", Modric said.

Chance for Croatia! Rakitic fires in a shot from distance, for Schmeichel to make a save, only for the rebound to fall to Rebic.

Zlatko Dalic's side will undoubtedly dominate possession in Nizhny Novgorod, and Denmark's defence will have to be well organised to keep Croatia out. He was played clean through by Modric. Modric to take, the cross is hit with real power, finding Lovren who can't get his flick-on on target.

90' (+4) - Second half ends.

Brathwaite clears, but the ball finds it's way to Modric again, with his shot deflected out for another corner.

Ten minutes from the end, Josip Pivaric came on for Ivan Strinic as Croatia made a change at left-back, and he was quickly into the action with a cross that Perisic headed over.

Hareide pointed out that Croatia is a team that can defend and attack well with a flexible group of players who are able to adapt to different situations. In goal is Leicester City star Kasper Schmeichel.

After 20 minutes, Mandzukic went down under a challenge in the area after a cross from the left, but the referee waved play on and a VAR check confirmed the decision.

Here we go then, the second half of extra time begins.

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic does not look comfortable and walks out of the pitch.

Martin Braithwaite - 5 - The winger was energetic in the final third but largely failed to provide the killer ball for his side, with Poulsen the more threatening winger of the pair.

Denmark, of course, have their own superstar in Tottenham's Christian Eriksson.

Knudsen's long throw-in falls to Thomas Delaney.

And Yussuf Poulsen is also back having completed a one-game suspension.

45' - Substitution: Denmark's Lasse Schöne replaces Andreas Christensen.

66' - Substitution: Denmark's Nicolai Jørgensen replaces Andreas Cornelius. Subs - Krohn-Dehli 5, Schone 7, Jorgensen 5, Sisto 6.

For Denmark, the creative spark will come from Christian Eriksen, who is allowed pretty much a free role in midfield.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.