The Underdogs, the David to so many Goliaths. Croatia has taken us all by Surprise and has perhaps been the most consistent team in the World Cup. With the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic Croatia have cashed in on its “golden generation” of Footballers. So let’s take a look at their 2018 FIFA World Cup Journey.

Group Stage

The Croatians were drawn alongside Argentina, Nigeria, and Iceland in Group D.

CRO VS NGA, 17th June 2018, Croatia win 2-0 ( 32′ Etebo OG, 71′ Modric (p) )

The Croatians comfortably won their opening game against Nigeria with an own goal from Nigerian Midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo and Luka Modric’s Penalty.

Complete Match Report  CRO VS NGA Post-Match

CRO VS ARG, 21st June 2018, Croatia win 3-0 (53′ Rebic, 80′ Modric, 90+1′ Rakitic)

This was the moment we should’ve seen it coming! The Croatians put in a dominant display against Lionel Messi’s Argentina and played such attractive football. Ante Rebic opened the scoring, Luka Modric added a second with an amazing strike and Rakitic wrapped the scoring up for the Croats.

Complete Match Report  CRO VS ARG Post-Match

CRO VS ISL, 26th June 2018, Croatia win 2-1 (53′ Badelj,  76′ Sigurdsson, 90′ Perisic)

The Croatians had already qualified to the Round of 16, and Coach Zlatko Dalić fielded a second-string XI. Despite the changes, Croatia came out on top yet again with goals from Milan Baldelj and Ivan Perisic.

 

Round of 16

CRO VS DEN, 1st July 2018, Croatia win 1-1 ( 1′ Jorgensen, 4′ Mandzukic ) [3-2 on Penalties]

The first of the many thrillers for the Croats! Jorgensen and Mandzukic canceled each other’s goals out in the opening 5 minutes, before Kasper Schmeichel and Danijel Subašić could showcase their excellent glove work in the penalty shootout.

Complete Match Report  CRO VS DEN Post-Match

 

Quarter-Finals

CRO VS RUS, 7th July 2018, Croatia win 2-2 ( 31′ Cheryshev, 39′ Kramaric, 100′ Vida, 115′ Fernandes) [4-3 on Penalties]

They knocked out the hosts Russia in a nail-biting encounter. Dennis Cheryshev and Andrej Kramaric’s first-half goals took the game to extra time. Domagoj Vida opened the scoring in Extra Time and Mario Fernandes followed suit to take the game to Penalties.

Complete Match Report  CRO VS RUS Post-Match

 

Semi-Finals

CRO VS ENG, 11th July 2018, Croatians win 2-1 ( 5′ Trippier, 68′ Ivan Perisic, 109′ Mario Mandzukic)

Hands down, Croatia’s best performance in the 2018 World Cup. Despite Trippier’s peach of a Free-Kick in the 5th minute, Croatia strived hard and equalized through Perisic. For the third consecutive knockout game, Croatia were going into Extra Time. Mario Mandzukic’s close-range goal took the Croatians to their first ever World Cup Final.

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