Sport

Croatia Eliminate Iceland to Complete Perfect Group Stage Run, Win Group D

Croatia Eliminate Iceland to Complete Perfect Group Stage Run, Win Group D

They began their campaign brightly with a 1-1 draw against Lionel Messi's Argentina but that would be their only point as they finished bottom of Group D.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said Iceland showed "good character, discipline, and fight" but that even though his side were already through to the last 16, "only a win was satisfactory" for him.

Iceland vs Croatia Live Score FIFA World Cup 2018 Live Streaming.

Argentina's 2-1 win over Nigeria means they advance with Croatia from Group D. Croatia will now meet Denmark in the Round of 16 on Sunday 1 July in Nizhny Novgorod, the same venue where they beat Argentina.

A potential 2-1 win for the European team, combined with a 2-0 victory for the Argentines, will see both teams equal in every criteria.

Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson was philosophical.

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He was one of nine players drafted into the Croatia XI after Thursday's win against Argentina, but one wouldn't have suspected there were so many alterations based on the sustained quality of their play. "We have our own style of play and we are going to stick to it while being watchful on their long balls and set pieces", Dalic said.

As expected, Croatia controlled midfield and Iceland were perfectly happy with the scenario, looking to hit their opponents on the break.

It's around this time, on the eve of the knockout stages, that theories are being formulated for who will impress moving on at the World Cup, and though England have garnered attention, it's Croatia who are the real lurkers in Russian Federation.

Croatia had their first clear chance when Badelj's missile crashed onto the bar six minutes into the second half.

Five minutes before the break, Alfred Finnbogason played a one-two with Sigurdsson, but his shot from just inside the box went wide. Everton's Sigurdsson got his redemption after his miss in the match day two encounter with Nigeria, emphatically thundering home on 76 minutes.

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


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