Iceland 1 - 2 Croatia | 26 Jun 2018

27 June, 2018, 06:42 | Author: Isabel Grant
  • Argentina v  s Nigeria

Croatia have now also won three straight group games at a World Cup for the first time in the country's history.

Croatia progress and will face Group C runners-up Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday. Croatia enters the round of 16 with tons of confidence as the victor of Group D over pre-tourney favorites Argentina.

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.

A revamped but businesslike Croatia topped their World Cup group as Ivan Perisic's 90th-minute goal helped them maintain their flawless record with a 2-1 win on Tuesday that also ended Iceland's qualification hopes.

The Iceland defender Sverrir Ingason almost scored twice just moments later, heading just over and then again off the crossbar.

Zlatko Dalic's side enhanced their status as one of the form teams in the World Cup, as goals from Milan Badelj and Ivan Perisic proved enough to dispatch a unsafe Iceland side.

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Iceland continued to show plenty of endeavour, alongside some compact defending, as the half wore on and they were nearly awarded before the interval when Birkir Bjarnason lashed towards goal from a knockdown at a corner, but the winger was thwarted by the legs of Croatia stopper Lovre Kalinic.

Croatia showed none of that lethargy to start the second half, however, and it was in the 53rd minute when Badelj broke through.

Hallgrimsson cut his teeth in worldwide management as assistant to Swede Lars Lagerback, who steered Iceland to the Euro 2016 finals, where they beat England in the last 16 but fell to host nation France at the quarter-final stage. We left everything behind on the pitch, there's no percentage left in the batteries in the dying minutes.

Croatia and Iceland split the two games in qualifying.

Alfred Finnbogason missed wide in the 40th minute after his own takeaway, Emil Hallfredsson skied it over the crossbar from 33 yards four minutes later and seconds from the half-time whistle, Aron Gunnarsson's attempt from 20 yards was batted away by goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.

And while Iceland returned to the 4-5-1 that worked against Argentina, they failed to challenge through much of the first half, with Croatia retaining 75 percent possession over the first 30 minutes. Everton's Sigurdsson got his redemption after his miss in the match day two encounter with Nigeria, emphatically thundering home on 76 minutes.

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