Croatia were on their heels a number of times during Sunday’s Round of 16 match against Denmark, but they dug in and got the job done.
But it wasn’t easy.
Denmark missed a number of chances in the second half, when Croatia were playing a bit passive, clearly attempting to save energy for extra time. That strategy nearly paid off, when Ante Rebic drew a penalty after getting taken down in the box in the 114th minute.
Unfortunately for them, Luka Modric’s penalty attempt was poor, and it was saved by Kasper Schmeichel. It was Modric’s first miss on one since October 2008.
The match went to penalties, and Modric eventually redeemed himself, draining his shot, which was the third attempt for Croatia. But it was all about Danijel Subasic — who made three saves, including one on Mathias Jorgensen, in what was Denmark’s final attempt.
That set the stage for Ivan Rakitic, and he absolutely buried the attempt — getting Schmeichel to overcommit in the process. That gave Croatia the win, as they edged Denmark 3-2 in penalties.
A thrilling finish for sure. Croatia, with Spain eliminated, are now the favorite to come out of the right side of the bracket and make the World Cup Final.