MX23RW : Sunday, August 1 11:06:14| >> :600:1907360:1907360:
Jul 1, 2018 at 7pm UK at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
Attendance: 40,851
Croatia win 3-2 on penalties

Live Commentary: Croatia 1-1 Denmark (3-2 on pens) - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Croatia's win over Denmark, as the 1998 semi-finalists held their nerve in a match that went the distance.

Croatia beat Denmark 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra time to set up a World Cup quarter-final against Russia.

Mathias Jorgensen and Mario Mandzukic shared a goal apiece in an explosive opening four minutes, but neither side truly threatened the score in the remainder of normal time.

A late Luka Modric penalty in extra time was saved by Kasper Schmeichel who, despite his heroics in the shootout, could not get his side over the line as the Vatreni progressed through.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the World Cup last-16 tie between Croatia and Denmark at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. The Vatreni were one of just three sides to claim maximum points from the first round, while their opponents - ranked eight places higher in the FIFA rankings - did just about enough to scrape through in Group C.

If any further incentive was required for these sides heading into this finely-poised match, then the result from the day's early kickoff will provide it. Tournament hosts Russia have pulled off an almighty upset by knocking out 2010 winners Spain on penalties in Moscow. La Roja dominated possession but had to rely on an own goal for their only goal of the match, which was cancelled out from the penalty spot, and the home side went on to win.

Incredibly, one of Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Croatia or Denmark will now compete in the final of the World Cup. Never has the tournament been as wide open as this, and the two sides we will see up close in Nizhny Novgorod tonight will no doubt fancy their chances against Russia in next week's quarter-final. Before looking at the draw in some more depth, let us check out some confirmed team news...


STARTING XI: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, Strinic; Brozovic, Rakitic; Rebic, Modric, Perisic; Mandzukic

SUBS: Livakovic, Corluka, Kovacic, Kramaric, Kalinic, Jedvaj, Bradaric, Caleta-Car, Badelj, Pjaca, Pivaric

As expected, Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has made wholesale changes on the back of the 2-1 win against Iceland in the final Group D match. Only Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic retained their places in the side for that clash five days ago, and both men are once again used here in a likely 4-2-3-1 formation. Mario Mandzukic is among those to return to lead the line, while Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic and Ante Rebic are restored in midfield.

Mandzukic's stats do not make impressive reading on the face of it, with just nine goals and three assists in 38 Serie A and Champions League outings for Juventus last season, but his role for both club and country cannot be played down. He is the perfect forward to bring others into play, which is always handy when you have Perisic, Rakitic and Modric aiming to cause havoc from midfield.

Brozovic's name is not as well recognised as some of his peers, but his promotion into the side has certainly allowed Modric and Rakitic to thrive, taking away some of the defensive responsibilities. Domagoj Vida of Besiktas and Liverpool ace Dejan Lovren have looked solid at the back, meanwhile, while Sime Vrsaljko is one of the big up-and-coming full-backs on the continent. This is, in many ways, a finely balanced side.


STARTING XI: Schmeichel; Dalsgaard, Kjaer, Jorgensen, Knudsen; Braithwaite, Eriksen, Christensen, Delaney, Poulsen; Cornelius

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

Looking at the Denmark side, it is a little surprising to see Andreas Cornelius selected to lead the line. The Cardiff City flop did not really get a look-in against France last time out, but Age Hareide has gone with the Atalanta striker over Nicolai Jorgensen, presumably because of his heading ability. That could be where Jonas Knudsen comes into the mix - the Ipswich Town man is known for his long throws.

It is also interesting to see Hareide go with Andreas Christensen in central midfield for a second match running, meaning that Simon Kjaer and Mathias Jorgensen will continue to link up at the back. William Kvist misses out on a place on the starting lineup, despite suggestions in the build up to the match that he has recovered from a punctured lung and two broken ribs sustained against Peru a fortnight ago.

Yussuf Poulsen does return to the starting fold, though, after missing the goalless draw with France through suspension, taking the place of Lasse Schone. Martin Braithwaite was expected to be one of those to make way, but he has done enough to retain his spot in the side. Jorgensen, Pione Sisto and Thomas Delaney are all at risk of missing the last eight if they pick up a yellow, which is also the case for the likes of Rakitic, Brozovic and Mandzukic.

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has selected the same side that saw off Argentina 3-0 in the group stage, meaning that Marcelo Brozovic will sit alongside Ivan Rakitic in a 4-2-3-1 formation, giving Luka Modric a licence to pull the strings from a more advanced position. Denmark have made what I would consider a couple of surprising selection decisions, including the use of Andreas Cornelius through the middle.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic reacts during the match against Argentina on June 21, 2018© Reuters

Croatia, ranked 20th in the FIFA rankings, are competing in the knockout round of the World Cup for just the second time. The only time that they made it out of the group stage was back in 1998 when famously finishing third behind France and Brazil - what they would give for a repeat of that exactly two decades on. One look at the draw suggests that they will never have a better chance to do so.

The Vatreni were one of just three sides, along with Uruguay and Belgium to claim maximum points from the group stage. In the view of many, no other team has been as consistent as the Croats so far in Russia, while in Luka Modric they have arguably the tournament's star man to date. It makes a mockery of those who suggested that they would flop massively due to off-field problems in the run up to the competition.

There was also disruption late in their qualifying campaign as Dalic was appointed just three days before a key game against Ukraine, but they came through unscathed and then overcome Greece 4-1 in the playoffs. Fan relations reached a low point with allegations of corruption against the nation's football federation, which saw star man Modric cop plenty of abuse for failing to condemn the actions of some.

Croatia have not let that put them off, though, with a 2-0 win against Nigeria being followed up by a 3-0 thumping of Argentina. That was enough to send Dalic's men through to the last 16 with a game to spare, but even after making nine changes a 2-1 win against Iceland - who still had plenty to play for - was carved out, highlighting the depth now available to Dalic. Three wins from three and plenty of momentum now on their side.

The Nigeria game proved to be a nice match for Croatia to ease their way into the competition, with an own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a Luka Modric penalty earning a 2-0 win. There was little pressure on them for the 2-1 triumph against Iceland, but the 3-0 victory over Argentina deserves huge praise, as they controlled the match and then took their opponents apart in a rampant second-half showing.

The Vatreni ended up finishing five points better off than Argentina, who somehow claimed second place, and their reward is this favourable run to the final. A reminder that one of Russia, Denmark, Croatia, Colombia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland or England will take part in the July 15 showdown. It was at this very ground that they produced that memorable display against the South Americans, so Dalic will be hoping for a repeat tonight.

Luka Modric has started all four games for Croatia in Russia and is now level with Darijo Srna for the most caps at a major international tournament, representing the Vatreni a combined 18 times at the World Cup and European Championship. The stats do not make for impressive reading on the face of it, with his only assist coming against Turkey back in 2008, but he has turned it on in Russia with two goals and a number of key passes.

Croatia have now won four matches in a row when accounting for their 2-1 friendly victory over Senegal prior to the tournament getting started, while Peru and Brazil are the only teams to beat them in 11 outings since November. The Vatreni have a good record against fellow European nations at the World Cup, too, winning five of their previous six fixtures, with a semi-final loss to France 20 years ago the only blemish.

This is the first time that Croatia have won three successive matches at the World Cup, and they are now dreaming of replicating their heroes of 1998 in going all the way as Russia awaits the winner of this match. Six of their last seven goals in the finals have come in the second half of matches, while five of the last six shots that they have hit on target have found the net.

Croatia have won their last four matches, three of them in the group phase, to leave supporters feeling very excited. The Vatreni boast a good record against European sides at the World Cup, but their 3-0 victory over Germany in the 1998 quarter-finals is their last triumph in the knockout stage of a major competition.

 Croatia's Ante Rebic celebrates with teammates after scoring their first goal in the game against Argentina on June 21, 2018© Reuters

Only four nations are ranked higher than Denmark of those to still be standing in Russia, yet not many have given the Scandinavians much hope of coming through this tie. Only three times before have they made it past the first round of the World Cup, with their best ever finish coming in 1998 - just like Croatia - when reaching the quarter-finals. That will very much be their target this time around.

Hopes were high in the Danish ranks heading into the tournament after being handed a pretty favourable draw on the face of it, but after missing out on the last World Cup and Euro 2016, they are unknown quantities of sorts. The Danish Dynamite finished second to Poland in qualifying before brushing aside Republic of Ireland with a Christian Eriksen-inspired 5-1 win in a Dublin playoff, setting up this latest generation with a chance to really achieve something.

Despite the criticism that came with the tournament's only goalless draw to date against France, Denmark did exactly what was required to make it through. The 1-0 win of Peru in their opener really was massive in the grand scheme of things, followed up by a 1-1 draw against Australia in Samara. The Danes did have to ride their luck somewhat in the final round of fixtures, though, relying on Peru to do them a favour against the Aussies.

Hareide's men are now unbeaten in 18 matches since losing 1-0 to Montenegro in October 2016, winning exactly half of those, yet questions have been asked of the style of play. They are now aiming to make it four matches unbeaten at the World Cup for the first time in their history, with a second ever quarter-final place their reward if they do so. Just like opponents Croatia, Denmark have yet to concede from open play in Russia this summer.

DID YOU KNOW? Denmark beat Nigeria 4-1 before losing 3-2 to Brazil when making it to the quarter-finals of France 98. In fact, their four knockout matches have produced a total of 19 goals, scoring seven and scoring 12 at an average of 4.75 per game. This latest crop of Danes, though, is all about keeping out the opposition and seemingly nicking the odd goal.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS! The five previous meetings between these two sides have produced two wins apiece and a draw, but the most recent encounter was 14 years ago as Croatia came out on top 2-1 in a pre-Euro 2004 friendly in Copenhagen. The only fixture in a major competition was at Euro 96; Denmark losing that one 3-0, with Davor Suker netting twice.

With kickoff at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium now less than five minutes away, let us check out some pre-match thoughts from both camps.

Zlatko Dalic: "Outwardly I must be calm, my experience as a coach has taught me that. For the past six months I've been trying to find the solutions to reach the basic objective and emerge from the group. That was a huge deal of pressure I put on myself. But then I said to myself this is not enough, because without me or with me this team is worth much more. This is not the final destination. However, I'm proud of what we've achieved over the past month."

Age Hareide: "I think you will see a different Denmark from what you have seen so far. We need to play differently to progress. We need to defend, but we also need to attack more than we've done in previous matches. There is always tension. Most of our players have not played the World Cup before. But this game will be different. We will release energy because we need to win. We will take a positive approach."

This is a match that has been billed Luka Modric vs. Christian Eriksen. Eriksen run further than any other player in the group phase, covering 36km in total, and he has now scored 13 goals and set up five more in his last 16 outings for Croatia. Modric, by comparison, scored a couple of goals in Group D and has consistently turned it on, leaving many to back him as the strongest contender for the Golden Ball.

Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates with Sime Vrsaljko after scoring their second goal against Argentina on June 21, 2018© Reuters

KICKOFF! Denmark get us up and running in Nizhny Novgorod in the fourth of the 2018 World Cup last-16 ties. Russia, shock winners against Spain a little earlier, await the winners of this match in less than a week's time.


Mathias Jorgensen nets his first ever goal for Denmark with exactly one minute on the clock of this last-16 tie. It was as scrappy as you like; the Huddersfield Town defender putting his foot through the ball six yards out, with Danijel Subasic somehow letting it squirm through his body on the line.


The World Cup that just keeps on giving may well hand us another classic here. It's another sloppy goal, with an attempted clearance striking the face of Christensen and giving Mario Mandzukic a chance to smash home from close range. The Juventus man buried the opportunity for his first international goal in a year.

In my pre-match prediction I had this one down to finish 0-0. Neither side conceded a goal from open play in the group stage and it was expected to be tight and tense through. Nothing of the sort - five minutes on the clock and it is one apiece.

Denmark's goal came via a Knudsen long throw, which I did say may cause Croatia some problems. The ball was not cleared and it fell nicely to Jorgensen to tuck home. Two minutes later and Mandzukic buried his chance following Vrsaljko's burst into the box.

The match has finally been given a chance to settle! Drama aplenty throughout this World Cup, and already we have a couple of goals from the fourth of the last-16 ties. A reminder that Denmark barely registered a shot in their last outing!

Mandzukic is fouled right on the edge of the opposition box, leaving Rakitic and Perisic to ponder which of them has more chance of getting it up and over the wall. The latter took it, skimming the top of the wall on its way wide of the target.

Croatia boast so many impressive midfield talents so it is no real surprise to see them start to take control of the match. Denmark would have loved to have been able to sit back on their early opener, but they committed the cardinal sin of conceding immediately after scoring.

That Jorgensen goal was actually timed at 57 seconds, making it the World Cup's quickest since Clint Dempsey scored against Ghana after 29 seconds. For only the second time in the competition's history, meanwhile, both teams have netted inside the first four minutes.

Croatia having so much joy down the right-hand side now, which is where their opening goal came from. Denmark not really been able to put an attacking move together since taking the lead inside the first minute of this intriguing tie.

Keep up at this rate and the Vatreni should find themselves a second goal. Each of their key men are drifting towards the right-hand side, where Knudsen is being given the runaround. The Danes having to stand firm in the opening quarter of the game.

PENALTY APPEAL! Mario Mandzukic is furious after being dragged to the floor by Jonas Knudsen. The striker had a case, and VAR was consulted, but in the end it was decided that there was not enough contact on him.

Full credit to Croatia - they hit back instantly after falling behind early on and have been on top since that point. Denmark's full-backs are being asked to work overtime and it will surely only be a matter of time before the Vatreni find a second.

Worryingly for Croatia, Eriksen is now growing into the game. The creative midfielder, boasting 13 goals and five assists in his last 16 matches for Denmark, managed to get a shot away from 20 yards which deflected behind for a corner.

SAVE! The match has slowed down quite a lot over the past five minutes or so. Croatia are still the side in control of things, attempting 133 passes to their opponents' 99. Denmark starting to liven up, though, and Braithwaite's shot has just been stopped by Subasic down low.

SAVE! That was a decent opportunity for Braithwaite, who was slipped through and had just Subasic to beat, but he could not keep his composure - or indeed his balance - and scuffed the shot into the ground. Up the other end, Schmeichel keeps out Rakitic's long-range shot and Rebic's attempt from a tight angle.

Both teams relying on their goalkeeper over the past few minutes, then, with Schmeichel pulling off a couple of saves that you would expect him to make. Perisic maybe should have done better from the follow-up, sending the ball over the crossbar.

Kjaer collides with his goalkeeper and has clearly come out second best, but he appears to be OK to continue. Denmark taking every chance they get to slow the match down, whereas Croatia are desperate to speed things up.

This last-16 tie has not quite taken off after that explosive start, but it is still gripping enough. Denmark are offering far less than Croatia in an attacking sense, which was always likely to be the case tonight.

CLOSE! A nice delivery into the middle of the box, where Dejan Lovren gets between two opposition men and flicks the ball inches wide of the far post. Denmark get the ball forward quickly, but Cornelius could not control it in the box.

The first half is just starting to peter out a little in Nizhny Novgorod. Hard to say which of the two managers will be happier at half time, though Dalic's Croatia do look the more likely to win this match.

SHOT! The ball appeared to drop nicely for Eriksen to strike first time on the edge of the box. He instead opted to exchange passes with Poulsen, before sending a whipped shot over the bar. Replays show, in fact, that it skipped the frame of the goal on its way.

SAVE! Rakitic is picked out in space 16 yards from goal, only to send his low shot right pretty much right at Schmeichel. That was a good chance for the midfielder, who has popped up in some dangerous positions in the final third.


Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic picked up a calf injury in the final minute of the first half, which will require some treatment over the next 15 minutes. At the interval in Nizhny Novgorod, we are all square at 1-1 - both goals coming inside the first four minutes.

Neither side had conceded a goal from open play heading into this match, but a frenetic start to proceedings saw both teams net inside the opening four minutes for just the second time in a World Cup fixture. Mathias Jorgensen's opener was timed at just 97 seconds, making it the fastest since Clint Dempsey's strike against Ghana four years ago, and it came via a Jonas Knudsen long throw.

Brought into the side for exactly that reason, Knudsen's delivery proved difficult to deal with and Jorgensen was there to tuck the ball through the body of Danijel Subasic from six yards out. Croatia were level a few minutes later, though, as an attempted clearance in the box struck makeshift midfielder Andreas Christensen clean in the face, gifting Mario Mandzukic the chance to scuff the ball into the back of the net.

Following that thrilling start it was Croatia who were quicker to find their rhythm, coming close to a second through an Ivan Rakitic shot that Kasper Schmeichel had to slap away. Ante Rebic worked an angle to shoot from the follow-up, and after Schmeichel pulled off another stop Ivan Perisic could only blast the rebound over the crossbar.

Dejan Lovren also glanced a header wide from a good position after getting between two opposition men, while Rakitic's next shot from distance was hit too close to Schmeichel. Denmark's only other chance in the first half fell to Martin Braithwaite, who did not make clean contact with the ball when played through by Christian Eriksen. All to play for in the second half of this match...

CROATIA SUBS: Livakovic, Corluka, Kovacic, Kramaric, Kalinic, Jedvaj, Bradaric, Caleta-Car, Badelj, Pjaca, Pivaric

DENMARK SUBS: Krohn-Dehli, Vestergaard, Kvist, Jorgensen, Dolberg, Fischer, Lossl, Larsen, Lerager, Schone, Ronnow, Sisto

Denmark manager Age Hareide on November 14, 2017© Reuters

RESTART! Denmark boss Age Hareide has made a change at the interval, bringing on Lasse Schone for makeshift midfielder Andreas Christensen. Some fresh legs in the middle for the Scandinavians, who are having to do plenty of running.

No real change to the flow of the game in this second half - Croatia are still being allowed to boss things, but the tempo does need increasing slightly. Perisic gets a cross into the middle from the right, which goes straight out of play.

Knudsen is not just in the side for his long throws, it seems, as the full-back has just got high up the field and hung a ball into the middle. It was far too close to Subasic, though, and the keeper was able to gather in front of Cornelius.

Denmark are looking a lot better in this second half; they are not just sitting back now and occasionally breaking, but pegging the Croatia widemen inside their own final third. Zlatko Dalic may well respond with his first change shortly.

For the first time all evening, Denmark are now matching the Croats in terms of possession. The biggest fer for the neutral is that the two sides will continue to cancel each other out and the chances will be kept to a minimum.

Poulsen attempts to pick out Eriksen, only for Vida to get there first. Braithwaite was first to the rebound, but his shot was pretty dreadful, miscuing the ball into the stands from six yards out. Denmark are now edging things in Nizhny Novgorod.

Nearly an hour played in this last-16 tie and things have been stale for a while now. Denmark all of a sudden are the side in control, so Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic will surely be tempted to turn to his bench in the next five or 10 minutes.

Mandzukic cuts a frustrated figure as Perisic's cross from the left curls straight out of play. It is just not happening for the Vatreni at the moment; in truth it is not really happening for Denmark in an attacking sense, either.

One of the quietest openings to a second half you are ever likely to see. Nothing really to write home about over the past 17 minutes or so. In complete contrast to the first half, Denmark are the side looking the more composed.

Rebic works a good angle to get an angled ball into the box, which Schmeichel elects to punch rather than collect. On this occasion it came to nothing, but that was a surprising decision from the Denmark and Leicester City goalkeeper.

DENMARK SUB! Nicolai Jorgensen replaces Andreas Cornelius in a like-for-like change up top. Hareide will be the happier of the two managers at this point, as his side have contained Croatia and now look the brighter.

A reminder that the winner of this game will face Russia for a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup. That game will take place at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi next Saturday. A huge incentive for both of these teams.

Croatia have just not got going in this second half, and Denmark deserve huge credit for that. Zlatko Dalic looks as though he is finally about to make a change, which the Vatreni could have done with a good 10 minutes ago.

CROATIA SUB! Mateo Kovacic is introduced for the final 18 minutes - plus extra time, if needed - in place of Marcelo Brozovic. A change in the engine room, then, but will it bring a change of fortunes for Croatia?

SAVE! The first chance of the second half falls to substitute Nicolai Jorgensen, who is picked out in the middle but can only pick out Danijel Subasic with his subsequent shot. Christian Eriksen was close by and wanted it laid off.

Eriksen, rather frustratingly, has sent a shot wide from a good position on the edge of the box. Just 14 minutes left for one of these sides to find a moment of inspiration from somewhere, or else extra time and potentially penalties await.

SAVE! Modric, like Eriksen before him, blasts the ball wide of target from range. If ever a match was destined to go the full distance, it is this one. Perisic the latest to get a shot away, which Schmeichel gathers down low.

CROATIA SUB! Henrik Dalsgaard does well to get to the ball ahead of Ivan Strinic and even wins his side a throw in the process. The Croatia full-back appeared to hurt his calf, and he has now made way for Josip Pivaric.

Two subs made by either side now, with the added bonus of an additional change if we do go to extra time. That, on the basis of what we have seen in this second half, looks to be a certainty. Neither side doing enough to win this contest.

Kovacic, who has only been on the field for 13 minutes or so, is in some pain after landing awkwardly on his shoulder. The physio is on the pitch and it remains to be seen whether the Real Madrid man will be OK to continue.

CLOSE! Ivan Perisic gets to a left-sided cross first, but can only glance his header over the crossbar. Near enough the closest Croatia have come to finding a way through in this quiet second period in Nizhny Novgorod.

Brilliant play from Rebic, who turns his man inside out on the right before getting a cross into the middle. Perisic was among those waiting, but neither Croatia player could make proper contact with the shot and the chance went begging.

Schone's shot had Subasic a little panicked, but it ended a fair way wide of the target in the end. The game is starting to become stretched, with both teams looking to snatch a dramatic late winner to set up a quarter-final against Russia.

We have played two of the three added-on minutes in Nizhny Novgorod and there is still no real sign of the game's third goal. An additional period of 30 minutes now looks inevitable, so buckle yourselves in.


Ivan Rakitic's shot skimmed a couple of yards wide of the target - the 19th shot of the game, five of which have been on target - to mark the end of normal time. Both teams have probed away in the second half, but neither truly did enough to win it, so extra time will follow.

KICKOFF! We are back under way at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. No further changes have been made during the five-minute break, so it is as you were. Fingers crossed for an improved final 30 minutes!

Schone's strike takes a deflection but Jorgensen could not quite get on the end of it. Still, a chance for Knudsen to get a long throw into the box, which Croatia are able to deal with once again.

Denmark starting to look dangerous now when they commit bodies forward. Eriksen's chipped cross is not quite met by a player in white and red, while from the next attack - this time down the left flank - Knudsen's cutback is blocked.

CROATIA SUB! This has not been a vintage performance from Croatia, particularly having been hyped so massive on the back of their 100% record in the group stage. Dalic has now brought on Andrej Kramaric for Ivan Perisic.

DENMARK SUB! Thomas Delaney looks shattered as he makes his way off the field to be replaced by the vastly experienced Michael Krohn-Dehli. Jorgen's knockdown is into the path of Schone, whose shot is not a million miles away.

Croatia dominated the first half, but pretty much every since it is Denmark who have looked the more controlled in possession. Following such a bright start, this has been far from a classic in Nizhny Novgorod.

Just so little happening at the moment, which has been the case for a while. The ball must have spent the past few minutes being knocked around in midfield, before a long ball forward was met by Kramaric, whose cross was helped over the bar.

Croatia win themselves a couple of corner kicks, neither of which they can cause any damage from. The Vatreni are back on top in terms of possession, without really doing much when on the ball. Seconds left of this first half.


Pione Sisto was brought on for the final seconds of that first period of extra time, giving Denmark some fresh legs in the final third. Croatia still have one more sub available to use, with a maximum of 15 minutes left to play here.

RESTART! Can either side find a way through in the final 15 minutes of extra time? A second penalty shootout of the day awaits, as Kramaric's long-range shot is blocked before it can reach the target.

CLOSE! The best moment of extra time so far, as Pione Sisto cuts inside from the left and sends a shot curling wide of the target. Mario Mandzukic has been replaced by Milan Badelj for the remainder of the match.

Not enough movement in behind at the moment. In Sisto, Denmark have a lively player with plenty of energy to burn, and he has already had one positive moment when picked out a few moments ago.

All eight changes have been made now, incidentally, so the 22 men on the field will see things through. A throw into the box is flicked on towards Nicolai Jorgensen, who send his acrobatic shot behind the goal from an angle.

PENALTY TO CROATIA! Huge, huge moment in this tie! Kramaric is played through on goal by a superb Modric pass from deep. Rebic rounds the keeper but is taken out by Jorgensen before he can roll it into the net.

PENALTY SAVED! Incredible!! Kasper Schmeichel guessed the right way and keeps out Luka Modric's tired penalty. This match really is destined to go the distance, and it is Denmark who have the wind in their sails after that save.

Modric clearly felt the tension when running up to take that penalty. Croatia, surely, would have been in the quarter-finals had the Real Madrid midfielder converted. Denmark now with their backs to the wall, looking to see things through.

SAVE! Luka Modric with a weak effort from range, which Schmeichel was always going to keep out down the middle. Penalties now just seconds away, and you have to fancy the Danes following that late twist in extra time.


The only real talking point from extra time was that penalty. Schmeichel gave Modric the eyes and won the battle, but Rebic will be kicking himself that he did not convert after rounding the keeper in the lead-up to the pen. Now it is all about who can hold their nerve...

CROATIA 0-0 DENMARK (CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN MISSES) Great save from Subasic, pushing Eriksen's pen against the post.

CROATIA 0-0 DENMARK (MILAN BADELJ MISSES) Schmeichel once again guesses the right way, this time denying Badelj from the spot.

CROATIA 0-1 DENMARK (SIMON KJAER SCORES) No mistake from Kjaer, who picks out the top corner of the net.

CROATIA 1-1 DENMARK (ANDREJ KRAMARIC SCORES) Kramaric sends Schmeichel the wrong way after waiting for the keeper to five to his left.

CROATIA 1-2 DENMARK (MICHAEL KROHN-DELHI SCORES) Krohn-Delhi uses all his experience, sending Subasic the wrong way to put his side ahead in the shootout.

CROATIA 2-2 DENMARK (LUKA MODRIC SCORES) Luka Modric goes down the middle and Schmeichel so nearly keeps it out with his leg - but doesn't!

CROATIA 2-2 DENMARK (LASSE SCHONE MISSES) Schone did not look comfortable running up and so it proved, as Subasic guessed the right way.

CROATIA 2-2 DENMARK (JOSIP PRIVARIC MISSES) Schmeichel is having the night of his life, once again guessing the right way as Privaric becomes the latest to see his penalty saved.

CROATIA 2-2 DENMARK (NICOLAI JORGENSEN MISSES) Jorgensen goes right down the middle, where Subasic was able to keep it out with his legs - poor pen!

CROATIA 3-2 DENMARK (IVAN RAKITIC SCORES) Rakitic sends the ball to Schmeichel's right to win the game for Croatia!!


What an incredible penalty shootout that turned out to be! Kasper Schmeichel produced yet more heroics, as did Danijel Subasic to be fair, but in the end it was Croatia who did just about enough to come out on top 3-2. Their reward is a quarter-final tie against Russia in Sochi next Saturday.

That concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from Nizhny Novgorod. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, and be sure to join us tomorrow for updates from two more last-16 ties. See you then!

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Denmark manager Age Hareide on November 14, 2017
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Hareide: 'Croatia the best team so far'

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States19201352
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Trophee des Champions
Taca da Liga
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX

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