Croatia advance to quarter-finals after penalty shootout

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
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02 July, 2018

This side of the draw is now wide open that Spain are out, meaning that one of Russia, Denmark, Croatia, Sweden, Switzerland, England or Colombia will be in this year's World Cup final.

Ivan Rakitic - 7 - Formed a commanding tripartite in the middle of the field alongside Modric and Brozovic as the trio dominated and dictated play for large spells of the match.

But Modric struck his kick at a good height for a keeper and Schmeichel, diving to this left, managed to hold the ball.

Thomas Delaney - 6 - Struggled to leave a lasting impression in the first half alongside Christensen in the midfield, but looked more assured and composed in the second half as Denmark grew into the match.

Extra-time could be on the cards today. The game has limped on after such a rapid start, but neither of these sides have done enough to hit the front just yet.

Rebic was causing plenty of problems for Denmark, and when Mathias Jorgensen fouled him on the edge of the area with 10 minutes gone, Ivan Perisic struck at goal but saw the ball deflect over.

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

We're back for the second half, will we see as explosive a start as we did in the first? Coming to Russia, Croatia won one and lost one practice game before the main tournament got underway.

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Croatia (4-2-3-1): 23. Danijel Subasic (gk), 2.

After some comical defending at both ends and goals from Mathias Jorgensen and Mandzukic, the match became a tense affair with neither side giving much away.

5 - Hesitated with making subs, and his introduction of Mateo Kovacic didn't do anything for the team.

It wouldn't have done if not for Kasper Schmeichel.

Up next, we have another all-European encounter, as Croatia take on Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod. "I remember my mum screaming in the house when we scored", central defender Dejan Lovren recalled Croatia's 2-1 win over the Netherlands in 1998 that secured third place.

Wow. Wow. Wow. The 2018 World Cup keeps delivering classics and we are in for another cracking one after the grueling Spain vs Russian Federation epic show which saw the 2010 World Cup winners dumped out by the host nation.

DF Ivan Strinic, 6 - Played a bit more offensively than usual and was decent at that, but struggled all game with trying to contain Denmark's key man, Yussuf Poulsen.


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