Minnows Iceland fall short of World Cup shock against Croatia

Minnows Iceland fall short of World Cup shock against Croatia

Minnows Iceland fall short of World Cup shock against Croatia

With qualification assured, coach Zlatko Dalic fielded the youngest Croatia team at a World Cup, making nine changes from the team that beat Argentina on Thursday.

Alfred Finnbogason and Birkir Bjarnason both went close before the interval but Milan Badelj stylishly slammed home for Croatia after the break.

Croatia looked more energetic at the start of the second spell and almost took the lead in the match in the 51st minute but Milan Badelj's rocket from outside the box crashed against the crossbar.

Sverrir Ingason then thumped a header that drove over the bar.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's 76th-minute penalty gave Iceland hope of mounting a comeback.

Iceland leaves the World Cup with just 1 point but can take some consolation in being the first team to score on Croatia.

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Ivan Perisic has scored three World Cup goals for Croatia - only Davor Suker (6) has scored more.

His side now face Denmark in the last 16 on Sunday, while Argentina will play France on Saturday.

75' Iceland get a penalty kick after the ball touches the hand of a Croatia defender deep in the box.

Iceland vs Croatia match of Group C will be telecast on Sony Ten 2/Sony Ten 2 HD (English), Sony Ten 3/Sony Ten 3 HD (Hindi) and Sony ESPN (Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu) TV channels.

They finish three behind Argentina, who can plan for France, and behind group winners Croatia, who take a flawless record to meet Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.

The coach said he will take some time off and was not ready to answer questions on his future.

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Iceland brought an encouraging effort to hold Argentina to a 1-1 draw on the opening day and just when everyone expected to see them capitalize on such success, the Scandinavians disappointed heavily to lose 2-0 to Nigeria on Friday afternoon.

Iceland will play Croatia in Group D play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday, June 26 at 11 a.m.

45+2: Croatia keeper Lovre Kalinic comes up with spectacular save, makes a superb dive to deny Gunnarsson's shot.

After a subdued first-half performance, Croatia resumed with a little more gumption and Badlej fired them ahead after 53 minutes, having crashed another shot off the 'bar moments earlier. Gylfi Sigurdsson unleashes it towards the goal.

After the game, the Iceland players stood around in numb devastation, but nonetheless watched as their fans roared their appreciation.

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