Croatia clinch top spot, Iceland out
Posted: 26 June 2018 Time: 20:53
Ivan Perisic netted late to give Croatia a 2-1 victory over Iceland on Tuesday to secure their 100% record in Russia and top spot in Group D.
The Vatreni held the lion’s share of possession in the areas opening 15 minutes but they were unable to threaten the Iceland goal.
The tiny nation, meanwhile, were a real threat on set-pieces after half an hour, with Emil Hallfredsson heading wide after 27 minutes.
The match was evenly poised in the final 10 minutes of the first half, but chances were few and far between for both nations.
As a result, the first stanza ended goalless, although Iceland had the slight upper hand.
However, Milan Badelj broke the deadlock for Croatia eight minutes into the second stanza with a half-volley inside the box.
Zlatko Dalic’s charges were playing with much-improved intensity in the second stanza, with the Icelandic nation chasing shadows.
Gylfi Sigurdsson eventually got Iceland back into the game 15 minutes before time by converting a penalty after a handball inside the area.
Heimir Hallgrimsson’s men were pressurising the Croatians in the final five minutes as they went in search of another goal.
However, Ivan Perisic got the winner for Croatia in the last minute with a superb left-footed strike at the near post to give the Vatreni a third straight victory.
Iceland XI: Halldorsson, Saevarsson, Ingason, R. Sigurdsson, J. Gudmundsson, Bjarnason, G. Sigurdsson, Finnbogason, Gunnarsson, Magnússon, Hallfredsson
Croatia XI: L. Kalinić, Perišić, Ćorluka, Kovačić, Kramarić, Modrić, Jedvaj, Car, Badelj, Pjaca, Pivarić