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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 10 April, 2020


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Evening! And welcome to our live coverage of today’s second last-16 clash, as unbeaten Croatia take on Ireland-slayers Denmark.

I think we’re just about recovered from today’s earlier clash. Have you not heard? Well, brace yourself — Russia have beaten Spain!

Do not adjust your sets, the hosts have actually knocked the 2010 winners out on penalties 4-3 and are now into the quarter-finals. Get the full picture by reading our match report here.

Kick-off between Croatia and Denmark is just 40 minutes away in Nizhny Novgorod at 7pm.

We’ve seen so many upsets at this summer’s World Cup, but who’s going to come out on top tonight in this all-European battle?

Poll Results:

Croatia (282)
Denmark (44)

Let’s get some team news…

So, today’s teams will line out as…

Croatia: Subasic, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Rakitic, Brozovic, Rebic, Modric, Perisic, Mandzukic.

Subs: Livakovic, Corluka, Kovacic, Kramaric, Jedvaj, Bradaric, Caleta-Car, Badelj, Pjaca, Pivaric, Lovre Kalinic.

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

Subs: Lossl, Krohn-Dehli, Vestergaard, Kvist, Nicolai Jorgensen, Dolberg, Fischer, Larsen, Lerager, Schone,
Sisto, Ronnow.

The teams are out, the national anthems are done and dusted and we’re just about ready to get underway.


GOOOOOOOOAAAAL!!! We have a goal in the opening minute, can you believe it? What a start for Denmark as Mathias Joergensen scuffs the ball into the back of the net following a period of utter panic from Croatia. They failed to clear a long throw-in towards the back post with Joergensen first to the ball to fire his side ahead.


GOOOOOOAAAL!!! Another goal, it’s two in the space of four minutes! Croatia level with what is effectively their first attack of this quarter-final. Once again it’s absolutely calamitous defending inside the box. Denmark fail to clear and Mario Mandzukic is on hand to smack the ball into the bottom left corner with a poacher’s finish. Amazing!


Ivan Perisic with a free-kick which slams off the wall and away for a corner. This game has begun at a relentless pace  — will it be a similar goal fest to yesterday’s dramatic 4-3 between Argentina and France?



No goal in almost 15 minutes now, this game needs to pick up the slack. There was a minor shout for a penalty as Mario Mandzukic went over inside the area. He demanded the decision go to VAR, but the referee waved play on and no spot-kick was given. The Juventus striker ain’t a happy camper.


Save! Danijel Subasic is called into action. Christian Eriksen links up brilliantly with Andreas Cornelius inside the box, with the striker forcing a low save from Subasic at his near post to keep it all square. A good break from Denmark, who are posing a serious threat with the Tottenham man pulling strings in the final third.


Close! Croatia rack up three shots in quick succession but none of them can beat Kasper Schmeichel. The Leicester goalkeeper did well to parry a long-range effort from Rakitic, before two efforts in quick succession went astray from Perisic. He really should have done a lot better, but the Inter winger blasts his half-volley into Row Z.


Shot! Christian Eriksen lets fly from a tricky angle. The playmaker seemed almost to try and lob goalkeeper Subasic, and he very nearly did — Eriksen’s shot curled just narrowly wide of the top corner with some serious bend behind it. That would have been very cheeky.


Close! And the other end Croatia break down the right flank. The ball is sped towards Ivan Rakitic, who has a go with oceans of space around him inside the box. His shot drags inches wide of the bottom corner — close but no cigar, as it were. End-to-end at the minute.


There will be just one minute of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.


Well, what did we make of that? A barnstorming opening four minutes with two of the quickest goals in World Cup history. Since then Croatia have maintained the upper hand but Denmark have always been a threat any time Christian Eriksen gets the ball at his feet — predictably.

More action coming up shortly!



Very nip-and-tuck second period after five minutes. Many have said Croatia have the potential to go all the way at this year’s World Cup, but they are playing below themselves this evening. All that intrepid excitement and incisive attack which was on display during their 3-0 win over Argentina is lacking today. Denmark more than holding their own.


A good break from Denmark following a bursting run from Yussuf Poulsen down the right wing. The RB Leipzig forward crosses into the box, but Andreas Cornelius can’t manage to steer an effort on target to test Danijel Subasic, as he balloons his strike well wide as he loses his balance.



Thomas Delaney surges through midfield, taking on all comers before running out of steam and seeing his shot deflected back off his own leg and wide. It was a bit like Kylian Mbappe’s storming run against Argentina yesterday, but not as quick. Or effective. Or as good. Top marks for effort though.


Despite his name, Thomas Delaney’s links to Ireland are quite tenuous. His surname came from his great grandfather who moved to America during the famine. “I don’t think many Danish people realise that Delaney is an Irish name,” he said a few years back. There’s a good bit of background information on the talented midfielder (who just last month signed for Borussia Dortmund) in this piece.


This clash has really slowed down throughout the second half. If this pattern continues, we could definitely be set for another last-16 extra-time bonanza. With two goals in the opening four minutes, we might have expected this to be a thriller. It has not lived up to the billing…. yet.


A shot! Croatia wake up from their momentary lull thanks to some incisive dribbling from Ante Rebic. The winger cuts inside from the right, but his long-range effort curls just wide of the target.


Mateo Kovacic has gone down holding his shoulder. The Real Madrid midfielder is only on the pitch 10 minutes after being introduced off the bench, but took a heavy knock vying for possession. The 24-year-old has gone off to receive some temporary medical attention.


Lasse Schoene tries to spin the ball into the top corner with the outside of his boot. He makes a decent connection with his strike, but he’s just too far out to try and beat Subasic between the sticks. Just two minutes to go.


Chance! Late in the day Ivan Rakitic lets fly from just outside the box. It’s a fine strike from the Barcelona man and it very nearly beats Kasper Schmeichel and creeps into the bottom corner. Narrowly wide.


There will be three minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.


We’re heading for extra-time…



It’s been tight, and dull. But it’s going to get better. I can feel it.


A couple of chances in quick succession for Denmark as Jonas Knudsen and goalscorer Mathias Joergensen cause all sorts of problems down the left flank. Knudsen was fouled inside the box but chose not to go down — he may live to regret that decision as his cross into the box was easily beaten away.


Substitution for Croatia: Andrej Kramaric replaces Ivan Perisic.



Shot! Lasse Schoene cuts inside and flashes a chance just wide of the post. Good play from the Danish substitute.


Croatia pushing and pushing but really there’s been a serious lack of clinical edge in the final third. Mario Mandzukic has run himself into the ground, but has also been very isolated on his own up front with a lack of service.


Chance! Only on the pitch a matter of moments, Pione Sisto makes an immediate impact for Denmark. The Celta Vigo winger flashes a shot inches wide of the bottom corner.


Mathias Joergensen is shown a yellow card after sliding through the back of Ante Rebic after he rounded Kasper Schmeichel. Croatia have the chance to take the lead in extra-time, the drama!


There will be just one minute of stoppage time to come at the end of the second period of extra-time.


We’re heading to penalties…



Penalties: Croatia 0-0 Denmark

MISS! Eriksen misses for Denmark.


Penalties: Croatia 0-0 Denmark

MISS! Badelj misses for Croatia.


Penalties: Croatia 0-1 Denmark

GOAL! Kjaer scores for Denmark.


Penalties: Croatia 1-1 Denmark

GOAL! Kramaric scores for Croatia.


Penalties: Croatia 1-2 Denmark

GOAL! Krohn-Dehli scores for Denmark.


Penalties: Croatia 2-2 Denmark

GOAL! Modric scores for Croatia.


Penalties: Croatia 2-2 Denmark

MISS! Schoene misses for Denmark.


Penalties: Croatia 2-2 Denmark

MISS! Pivaric misses for Croatia.


Penalties: Croatia 2-2 Denmark

MISS! Joergensen misses for Denmark.


Penalties: Croatia 3-2 Denmark

GOAL! Rakitic scores and Croatia are through!

About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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