By Chux Odoh
Croatia maintained their hundred percent winning streak in the 2018 World Cup in Russia after they defeated Denmark in a heart-wrenching penalty shootout.
The game had finished 1 – 1 after 90 minutes with both teams scoring two quick goals in first four minutes of the game. Mathias Joergensen got the first goal of the game inside the first opening seconds of the match after the Croatian defence, defended poorly off a throw-in to allow the Danish defender space to fire in a low shot.
The celebrations for the Danes was shortlived as just in the 4th minute, Mario Mandzukic scored the equaliser to get the Croatians back into the game. This is only the second time two goals will be scored in the first 5 minutes of a world cup match, the first time being in 2014 in the game between Argentina and Nigeria.
The rest of the game during normal time saw both teams battle to score but none could find the back of the net as the game progressed into extra time.
Croatia was however handed a chance to bury the game in the closing minutes of extra time. Mathias Jorgensen tackled Ante Rebic from behind in the box to prevent a goal scoring chance prompting the referee to point to the spot!
But Luka Modric couldn’t find the back of the next as Danish and Leicester City goalkeeper Casper Schmeichel pulled off a very convincing safe as he wrapped up Modric’s shot.
The game finally moved to penalties as both teams failed to score in regulation time. Croatia’s goalkeeper Danijel Subasic was the hero tonight as he saved 3 penalties better than Denmark’s Casper Schmeichel who saved 2. Croatia, therefore, advances to the quarterfinals, winning 3 – 2 on penalties.