[LIVE] Iceland vs. Croatia (FIFA World Cup 2018)

This is the 40th match in the FIFA World Cup 2018 holding in Moscow, Russia.

Date & Time of Match:
Tuesday, June 26
Iceland and Croatia in the Group D at 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET

___SCORE: Iceland 1-2 Croatia____

LIVE COMMENTARY:

 

90′ + 4′ FULL-TIME: ICELAND 1-2 CROATIA
90′ + 3′ Iceland are still going for it here, they haven’t given up on scoring another goal and are trying everything. However, time is really running out.
90′ + 1′ There will be a minimum of four minutes added time.

90′ Badelj won the ball back in midfield, looked up and spotted Perisic making a good run behind the Iceland defence and he picked him out perfectly.
90′ GOALLL! CROATIA LEAD 2-1! Perisic with a late goal to surely win it for Croatia. They worked it well, with Perisic powering the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle, giving the keeper no chance. Excellent finish.
90′ Third and final Iceland substitution, with Birkir Bjarnason replaced by Arnór Ingvi Traustason.

90′ Assist Milan Badelj
90′ Goal Ivan Perišić
90′ Substitution Birkir Bjarnason Arnór Ingvi Traustason
88′ Argentina now lead against Nigeria! Iceland just need to find one goal to win this game and they can qualify for the next round.
86′ Not long left to play now, can Iceland nick a late winner and possibly clinch the runner-ups spot in Group D? They need a goal.
85′ Another Iceland substitution, with Alfred Finnbogason replaced up front by Albert Gudmundsson.
84′ Sævarsson is the latest player to be shown a yellow card, after bringing Perisic down around 30 yards out from goal.
83′ Tin Jedvaj is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Gudmundsson. Free-kick to Iceland deep inside the Croatia half, with Sigurdsson standing over it… Well punched away by Kalinic.
82′ Final Croatia change, Mateo Kovačić is replaced by Ivan Rakitić.
80′ Fantastic support in the Rostov Arena by the Iceland supporters, they are really getting behind their side, urging them forward. An Argentina goal in St Petersburg, will put them through, or if they can score two more goals against Croatia, that would also do it.
78′ Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson attempted just three shots in his last game against Nigeria, with his first two shots landing on target in the first six minutes, and his other shot missing the target from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute.
76′ GOALLL! Iceland are level, it’s 1-1! Gylfi Sigurðsson powers the ball straight into the back of the net, giving Kalinic no chance. The Everton man picked up the ball straight away, despite missing a penalty for Iceland in the previous game against Nigeria.
74′ ICELAND PENALTY! The referee has awarded Iceland a penalty after the ball strikes Lovren’s arm, following a cross into the box by Bjarnason. Sigurdsson to take…

72′ What a chance! Iceland with a huge opportunity to get back into this game. Finnbogason breaks down the right, beating the offside trap and sprints towards the penalty area, with plenty of team-mates racing to get up there in support of him. The striker plays a great low ball across the penalty area to Bjarnason at the far post, he has a tap-in if he gets it right. However, it’s a tired effort and he fires it wide.
71′ Here is the first Iceland change of the evening, with Ragnar Sigurðsson coming off and he has been replaced by Björn Bergmann Sigurðarson.
69′ First we have another Croatia change, with Marko Pjaca coming off and he has been replaced by Liverpool defender, Dejan Lovren.
69′ It looks like Iceland are now going to make a change or two of their own. They are still in this game, they look a threat going forward but Croatia are defending well in numbers.
67′ Decent effort. Sigurdsson works his way into the area, but is forced slightly wide after getting past Pivaric, he then fires high over the crossbar.
65′ Croatia make the first substitution of the game, with Luka Modrić coming off the pitch and he has been replaced by Filip Bradarić.
64′ Finnbogason slides in late on Kalinic, trying to get on the end of a deep pass into the penalty area. However the Croatia keeper got there first and the Iceland striker clattered into him.
63′ Croatia have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four World Cup games, as many as they had in their previous 12 in the competition.
61′ It’s now 1-1 in the other game in Group D between Nigeria and Argentina, so as it stands Nigeria will be the other team going through to the knockout stages with Croatia.
59′ Emil Hallfreðsson is shown a yellow card after a late challenge on Pjaca.
56′ CROSSBAR! Even closer from Iceland now. It’s Ingason once again, this time from a corner, smacking the ball against the bar and over. So close. This is a really positive response from Iceland.
55′ CLOSE! Almost an immediate response from Iceland. Ingason came up from the back for another long throw-in, he gets his head to the ball and it needs pushing over the bar by Kalinic.
53′ GOALLL! Croatia lead 1-0! Badelj who went close just moments ago, now gets the ball in the back of the net. Modric moves the ball out to the left, it’s crossed into the middle where Badelj takes it on the bounce and fires it on the half-volley, powering it into the back of the net and leaving Halldorsson with no chance.

53′ Goal Milan Badelj
51′ OFF THE CROSSBAR! Great strike by Badelj which takes a slight deflection off Ragnar Sigurdsson as it strikes the crossbar and goes out for a corner. Wonderful strike.
50′ Croatia have already guaranteed their place in the World Cup knockout stages, just their second appearance. They’ve never finished top in the group stage, finishing in second place when qualifying in 1998.
48′ Iceland have started the second half well, just as they finished the first half, showing attacking intent. Hallfredsson wins a corner off Jedvaj, but Sigurdsson’s delivery is cleared to safety.



46′ The second half is underway!
Croatia started the game well, dominating possession with Modric constantly on the ball in midfield and dictating play. However, they have faded as they game went on, losing concentration and playing sloppy passes, perhaps all those Croatia changes have had a negative effect as they are struggling to get going here. It’s still all to play for in Group D.
It’s goalless at the break, but Iceland have had a couple of chances to break the deadlock, they are just lacking a clinical finish in the final third. The best opportunities coming towards the end of the half, with Gunnarsson and Finnbogason going close with long range efforts.



45′ + 3′ HALF-TIME: ICELAND 0-0 CROATIA
45′ + 2′ SAVE! Gunnarsson fires a curling effort towards goal after excellent build-up play by Iceland. Kalinic makes a superb diving save to deny the Iceland skipper, tipping the ball around the post and out for a corner.

45′ There will be a minimum of two minutes of added time played.
42′ The Iceland supporters are making plenty of noise in the stadium, they are really getting behind their side and it’s working at the moment. They are well on top, just lacking a clinical final pass.
40′ GREAT CHANCE! Iceland go close to opening the scoring, as Finnbogason fires an effort towards goal from 30 yards out, which whistles narrowly past the Croatia goal, rippling the side netting. Best opportunity of the game so far.
38′ Not long left to play in this first half, can either side break the deadlock before the break? Iceland certainly look the more likely of the two sides at the moment.
36′ Iceland’s only previous victory against Croatia came in the qualifying stages for this tournament, drawing one and losing four otherwise.
34′ Good effort! A well worked Iceland corner almost leads to a chance at goal. Magnusson peels off at the far post, chests the ball down to Bjarnason who has his shot blocked.

33′ Croatia have taken their eye off the ball in the past 10 minutes or so, sloppy in possession and Iceland are really taking advantage, they look the stronger team and are seeing plenty of the ball in the Croatia half.
31′ CHANCE ICELAND! Iceland with a free-kick in a good shooting position, Gylfi Sigurdsson fired it towards goal and it almost sneaked into the bottom corner. However, Kalinic read the effort well and managed to gather the ball.
30′ We’re midway through the first half now and Iceland are the team on top at the moment. It’s a very good little spell after having to chase the ball for much of the opening 15 minutes of the game. Can they make it count.
28′ Another chance for Magnusson! Iceland had a corner, it was whipped towards the defender who rose above his marker and powered a header towards goal, but he couldn’t keep it down and it flies over the crossbar.

27′ Iceland chance! Gunnarsson with a trademark long throw-in, deep inside the Croatia penalty area and it causes a few problems. Magnusson manages to flick the ball on at the near post and two teammates at the far post almost get to it. Luckily for Croatia, the ball drifts out of play.
25′ The two goalkeepers have barely touched the ball so far tonight, there hasn’t been much quality in the final third by either side.

23′ Iceland are looking to become the first World Cup debutants to make the knockout stages of a World Cup tournament since Slovakia in 2010.
21′ In the other game in Group D, Argentina have just taken the lead against Nigeria, with Lionel Messi scoring for his side. As it stands the two-time winners are going through, but an Iceland goal would change all that.

19′ Perisic gets his first chance to run at Saevarsson down the left wing, the winger drills a low ball into the box which is cut out by Iceland and Croatia have the first corner of the game. However, Iceland defend the set piece well and manage to clear the danger.
18′ Bjarnason is now back on the pitch for Iceland, he looks to have overcome the knock and he is once again involved in the action.
16′ No chances for either side yet, we haven’t had any shots at goals. Croatia still look the more likely to score as they are controlling possession, but the pace of the game is slow at the moment.
14′ The first yellow card of the game is shown to Marko Pjaca, for the aerial clash with Bjarnason. The Iceland midfielder will need further treatment off the pitch to stop the blood pouring from his nose. It doesn’t look good for the Aston Villa man.
13′ We have a break in play here, as Bjarnason is down receiving medical treatment following a clash with Pjaca.
12′ Iceland look happy to let Croatia have most of the possession, it’s all in front of them at the moment and in the middle of the pitch so not really troubling the Icelanders. However, as soon as they get near their final third, they are increasing the pressure and once they win the ball back they are trying to break quickly on the counter attack.

10′ Iceland and Croatia met in World Cup 2018 qualifying – both sides winning their home fixtures (Croatia 2-0 and Iceland 1-0).
8′ Half chance for Iceland. They shift the ball out to the right through Hallfredsson over to Sigurdsson, who drifts past Pivaric. The Everton midfielder drills a good low cross into the box which Finnbogason almost gets on the end of, but Corluka manages to deal with it and clear the danger.
6′ It will be interesting to see how Iceland approach the game tonight, they know they need to beat Croatia but how long will they wait to try and break the deadlock. Any gaps left at the back whilst venturing forward could be punished by this strong, attacking opposition.
4′ Croatia have settled nicely into the game, they are dominating possession at the moment with Modric seeing plenty of touches on the ball and controlling the midfield.
2′ The large number of Croatian changes could play into the hands of Iceland tonight, as many of these players haven’t had many minutes in the World Cup so far. However, these players may also be hoping to impress their manager in search of a starting spot in the knockout game.
1′ We’re underway!

 



Meanwhile Dalic Zlatko has made nine changes to his Croatia side for this final group game, from the team that beat Argentina 3-0 only two players keep their place, they are Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic.
Iceland have made three changes as they look to bounce back from their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Nigeria for tonight’s must-win game with Croatia. Johann Gudmundsson is the most notable change, he replaces Rurik Gislason in midfield. Meanwhile Kari Arnason and Emil Hallfredsson feature, replacing Sverrir Ingason, and Jon Bodvarsson.
CROATIA SUBS: Ivan Rakitic, Domagoj Vida, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Strinic, marcelo Brozovic, Dejan Lovren, Danijel Subasic, Ante Rebic, Dominik Livakovic, Filip Bradaric, Sime Vrasaljko
CROATIA (4-2-3-1): Lovre Kalinic (GK); Tin Jedvaj, Vedran Corluka, Duje Caleta-Car, Josip Pivaric; Luka Modric (C), Milan Badelj; Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic, Marko Pjaca; Andrej Kramaric.

ICELAND SUBS: Samuel Kari Fridjonsson, Kari Arnason, Frederik Schram, Ari Freyr Skulason, Bjorn Sigurdarson, Rurik Gislason, Albert Gudmundsson, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Runar Alex Runarsson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Jon Dadi Bodvrsson
ICELAND (4-2-3-1): Hannes Thor Halldorsson (GK); Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson; Emil Hallfredsson, Aron Gunnarsson (C); Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Birkir Bjarnason; Alfred Finnbogason.
Lets start with how the two teams will line-up this evening, starting with Iceland…
For Croatia, they will need just a point to top the group, but they will want to make it three wins out of three. However, they may opt to rest several players in order for them to be fresh for their round of 16 game, after already clinching qualification to the next round.
The Icelanders must beat Croatia, who are already through to the knockout rounds – in their final group game to give themselves the chance of qualification and currently have a better goal difference than Argentina.
Hello and welcome to live text commentary of the Group D match between Iceland and Croatia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

GOAL

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