Denmark nearly defied expectations to reach the World Cup quarter-finals but, after conceding a penalty with the score at 1-1, Luka Modric hit it straight to the keeper from the spot with two minutes of extra-time. Agonisingly, Denmark then lost a penalty shoot-out 3-2.

Denmark had their chances in normal time when they briefly led from the first minute through Mathias Joergensen’s opening goal, only to see Croatia hold their nerve in the shoot-out.

Croatia responded just immediately with Mario Mandzukic pouncing from a loose ball inside the penalty box after just two minutes.

The early goals led to a bit of a stand-off with Croatia showing little intent to create chances but Denmark tried in vain through Counter attack.

The second half presented very little from both sides as they held on to 90 minutes with scores still level at 1-1.

Extra-time was uneventful, until the final two minutes culminating in Modric’s penalty, which were electric. Modric could have won it for Croatia but Kasper Schmeichel saved the spot kick giving the Danish a life line.

In the penalty shootout Croatia scored theirs through Andrej Kramaric, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic while Schmeichel saved kicks from Milan Badelj and Josip Pivaric.

Meanwhile Croatia keeper Danijel Subasic was the hero of the day saving three kicks

Croatia will play Russia who earned a place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a penalty-shootout victory over Spain in Sunday’s clash in Moscow.

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