Croatia Beat Iceland To Secure First Place In Group D

Hope Soto
June 27, 2018

"In a tournament setting, when you play intensive games it's imperative to have strength in depth, and today we proved we have it", said man of the match Badelj as Croatia look to at least emulate the squad who finished third in the 1998 World Cup.

The Croatians, who outclassed Argentina with a 3-0 win, are through already and will top the group with a win or a draw against Iceland at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-On-Don.

A revamped but businesslike Croatia topped their World Cup Group D as Ivan Perisic's last-gasp goal helped them maintain their flawless record with a 2-1 win that also ended valiant Iceland's tournament on Tuesday.

Hallgrimsson is expecting a tough game, but the challenge will be to get more out of a goal-shy attack in a team that has drawn two and lost four of its last six games, while creative spark Gylfi Sigurdsson struggled with a knee injury. "Denmark awaits but we have shown our quality and we can do a lot", said Kovacic. "We have our own style of play and we are going to stick to it while being watchful on their long balls and set pieces", Dalic said.

As expected, Croatia bossed the midfield and Iceland was perfectly happy with the scenario, looking to hit their opponents on the break.

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It started to press higher, putting Croatia on the backfoot. Rakitic came close with a free-kick and Kramaric shot just wide from inside the box before Perisic scored the victor in the 90th minute with a left-foot shot past the Iceland keeper.

Milan Badelj hit a sweet half-volley for his side early in the second half, and Ivan Perisic struck in a 90th-minute victor for Croatia after Gylfi Sigurdsson had pulled Iceland level from the penalty spot.

Unlike in their first two matches against Argentina and Nigeria where they were more solid at the back, it was Iceland who were on the front foot and had the best of the chances against the Croats.

Iceland reacted swiftly. Sverrir Ingason forced Kalinic into another spectacular save seconds before his header shaved the top of the bar.

On 73 minutes Bjarnason fluffed a close-range opportunity but Iceland's lifeline arrived a minute later when Dejan Lovren handled a cross by Sigurdsson in the penalty area.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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