We witnessed one of the best matches in the World Cup so far. Regardless the result, we experienced once again a fearless Iceland side who were defeated by a surprised Croatia side. Croatia defeated the Icelanders 2-1 but really had to work hard for it. It was a 3-horse race in Group D as Nigeria, Iceland and Argentina were racing to finish second and qualify. In the end, it was Croatia and Argentina who qualified.
Kalinic, Jedvaj, Corluka, Caleta-Car, Pivaric, Modric, Badelj, Kovacic. Pjaca, Perisic, Kramaric
Dalic rested most of the starting line-up and played his other players as his side had already qualified. The first half ended in a 0-0 draw which was a rather entertaining one. For a shock, Iceland started off the game with high end attacking and fearless on the counter. Croatia had 60% of possession but were caught out due to Iceland’s physicality. Iceland also had the most chances and really tested Kalinic who was great in goal. Perisic was Croatia’s most dangerous player who created few chances and trying his luck on goal.
The second half started off with Iceland starting off with attacking might but were caught out by the Croatian defence. The first breakthrough came when Badlej scored a volley off a brilliant Modric pass. Iceland reacted with continuing to attack and equalised by scoring a penalty when Lovern is penalised due to a handball. It was anybody’s game as Iceland and Croatia were both attacking. Croatia broke through when Perisic, took advantage of Iceland’s situation and counter attacked. The game ended 2-1 and Iceland got knocked out of the World Cup.
Lovre Kalinic: 7/10
Was great in goal, denied Iceland plenty of times. Made some great acrobatic saves.
Tin Jedvaj: 6/10
Was started for the first time and didn’t cause any slip ups.
Vedan Corluka: 6/10
Was solid in defense and really impressed. Provided experience to the youngsters.
Duje Caleta-Car: 6/10
The youngster was impressed when he got his chance. Was intelligent and tried his best to match Iceland’s physicality.
Josip Pivaric: 6/10
Was slightly caught out due to Iceland’s wing play but kept his head in the game.
Luka Modric: 7/10
Like always, he was himself. Made the game tick, created chances and also assisted the winner.
Milan Badelj: 6/10
Scored the first goal which was a beautiful half volley. Was confident and was good in controlling the game.
Mateo Kovacic: 7/10
Was solid in midfield. Was desperate to prove himself to worthy suitors as he expressed his desire to leave Real Madrid.
Marko Pjaca: 6/10
Was the anchor to Perisic to go forward and attack.
Ivan Perisic: 8/10
Was the talisman of the team, led the attack right from the start and scored the winner.
Andrej Kramaric: 6/10
Was the target man that Croatia need as Mandzukic was rested. Was in the box waiting for Perisic to deliver a cross but didn’t get a clear chance.
Filip Bradaric: 6/10
Wasn’t much involved in the game.
Dejan Lovern: 7/10
Was solid in defence and tried his best to counter the Iceland physicality.
Ivan Rakitic: N/A