Iceland 1-1 Croatia: Ivan Perisic scores in stoppage time to down Iceland

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ROSTOV-ON-DON, RUSSIA - JUNE 26: Emil Hallfredsson of Iceland is challenged by Milan Badelj of Croatia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Iceland and Croatia at Rostov Arena on June 26, 2018 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (June 26, 2018) – World Cup debutants Iceland are out of the World Cup. Milan Badelj scored early in the second half for Croatia. A late penalty kick goal by Gylfi Sigurdsson tied the match, but it was not enough for Iceland. Ivan Perisic scored in stoppage time to win the match.

Iceland 1-1 Croatia: Ivan Perisic scores in stoppage time to down Iceland

The first half was played evenly by the two sides. Both looked to create chances off set pieces with Iceland remaining resolute defensively.

Croatia opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. They were possessing the ball well in the final third. An errant clearance was collected and a cross was sent it. It was deflected and found Badelj who hit it the first time, smashing it into the back of the net.

The Croatians managed the result up a goal, who likely didn’t even need a win to finish top of the group. Iceland came out of their defensive shape to try and create a goal off the counter. Birkir Bjarnason got an excellent chance in the middle of the box in the 73rd minute.

Iceland would get their chance in the 75th minute when Dejan Lovren committed a handball in the box. Sigurdsson stepped up and scored to tie the match. With Argentina scoring against Nigeria in their game, Iceland needed a win to advance out of the group. They made several attacking adjustments and three numbers forward.

At the stroke of the 90th minute, Croatia was able to spring a counter attack off a turnover. Ivan Perisic ran onto goal and beat Hannes Halldórsson to win the match.

Three takeaways:

Croatia manages result: Croatia did a good job saving their legs and rotating the squad. Neither Luca Modric nor Rakatic played the full 90 minutes. They managed the score well given the lead they had in the group.

Iceland misses chances, but should still feel accomplished: Given the population and elemental limitations, just making a World Cup was a massive and historic accomplishment for Iceland. They didn’t get it done in this tournament after the opening match against Argentina. Chances were missed. But the ride was fantastic and they should be proud.

Croatia wins group: Croatia and Uruguay are the only two teams to win every group stage game so far in this tournament. They were clinical against Argentina and managed the game and their opponents well in the other two. Given how other powers have strugged so far, Croatia will at worst be a tough out for a giant in the knockout rounds.

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