Modric blushes spared as Croatia edge Denmark on penalties

The anticipated influence of Christian Eriksen for the Danes and Croatia's Modric held out hopes of more mouth-watering action but their craft was only evident in patches. "We must not be arrogant", Dalic said. "It will lift the national spirit in the country". But despite managerial turmoil, the Vatreni achieved a brilliant turnaround and were one of the three sides that went unbeaten in the group stages.

Hareide pointed out that Croatia is a team that can defend and attack well with a flexible group of players who are able to adapt to different situations. We must be very careful.

That did not stop one reporter trying again, even though he admitted mid-question that he had seen a social media post from Schmeichel Jnr in which he expressed his frustration about the comparisons.

"We need to play a game of ball control". I think they will be too quick, too clever and too good for Denmark. "What awaits us is a very hard match".

It was important, however, to remember the work of an entire team and the many staff behind them, he said.

Dalic is expected to recall all the big-name players who were rested for Tuesday's 2-1 win against Iceland.

Ivan Rakitic's long-range effort was pushed out by Schmeichel, and when the ball came back into the area Perisic fired over as the keeper rushed out to narrow the angle.

More news: Russian Federation 2018, Group F: Mexico vs Sweden match highlights

Denmark - Schmeichel 8, Knudsen 7, Jorgensen 6, Kjaer 5, Dalsgaard 6, Delaney 5, Christensen 5, Braithwaite 6, Eriksen 6, Poulsen 7, Cornelius 5.

Croatia will next face host Russian Federation in the quarterfinals this weekend in Sochi.

2' GOAL! Croatia 0-1 Denmark: Incredible!

Croatia and Denmark meet tonight in what will be the fourth knockout tie of the World Cup.

The Danes have not lost in their last 18 Federation Internationale de Football Association sanctioned matches and will be looking to their playmaker, Christian Eriksen, to open up Croatia, who have conceded just one goal so far in Russia. "Relationships and tactics get better", he explained. But Croatia have just enough artillery in their skill set to cross Denmark's hurdle but they might have to grind it out to achieve the desired result. And you felt at times that - with the threat (real or imagined) of Eriksen - they might have been better off with someone permanently holding, whether one of the three or possibly a specialist like Badelj.

By contrast, Denmark have disappointed, scraping through Group C despite three ordinary performances, and it would be a huge surprise were they to make it past the last eight.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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