Federation Internationale de Football Association 2018: Croatia Eliminates Iceland With 2-1 Win

Lynette Rowe
June 30, 2018

Get live updates of Croatia vs Iceland FIFA World Cup 2018 Group D match here.

Iceland have been eliminated from the World Cup after a 2-1 defeat against Croatia in their final Group D game.

It means they have already qualified top of the group but it is a different story for Iceland, who need a win as a minimum before different permutations come into play.

Whilst Iceland's abrasive, defensive-minded approach to the game should not be underestimated, Croatia will be brimming with the belief that they can secure a clean sweep as they target the knock out stages of the tournament.

Midway through the opening period the Nordic side, who had beaten Croatia in qualifying for Russian Federation, took control, threatening from set-pieces and interceptions.

Iceland's titanic task could be eased if Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic sticks to his promise of rotating his team to keep his squad fresh, his side having sealed their place in the next round by beating Nigeria 2-0 and Argentina 3-0.

"We did everything we could, if you do that you can t be disapointed, we can look each other in the eye and can carry our heads high", said Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson afterwards.

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Milan Badelj put Croatia 1-0 in the first half.

The Three Lions sealed progress to the last 16 with a match to spare after following up their last-gasp 2-1 win against Tunisia by annihilating Panama 6-1 in Nizhny Novgorod. Finnbogason side-footed into the side-netting from 18 yards, Bjarnason could only drive against the legs of keeper Lovre Kalinic and Aron Gunnarsson was denied by a one-handed save on the stroke of half-time.

Gylfi Sigurdsson had rekindled some momentary hopes for Iceland when he converted a penalty in the 76th minute.

Iceland reacted swiftly. Sverrir Ingason forced Kalinic into another spectacular save seconds before his header shaved the top of the bar.

GOALS: Badelj 53′, Sigurdsson 71′ (P) Perisic 90′. "If we think someone is better than us it'll be impossible to beat them".

Unlike many teams, their outfield eleven boasts genuine balance across spine and a core of highly technical players in their midfield - driven by Modric, Rakitic and Kovacic - that are more than capable of changing a game with a moment of magic. But I think the players who have played the first two gamers could be demotivated, because they could be anxious about getting injured or being suspended.

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