Croatia beat Denmark on penalties to reach World Cup quarter-finals

Christian Eriksen reacts during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between Denmark and France at Luzhniki Stadium

Hareide believes the form of Tottenham midfielder Eriksen will decide the round of 16 World Cup game.

In-form Croatia will be hot favourites against Denmark, who have looked lacklustre in the group stages, when the two sides clash in the Round of 16 of the World Cup on Sunday.

The following 116 minutes though largely failed to live up to the first four, fireworks giving way to a damp squib of an encounter as the game edged inexorably towards extra time and penalties. We must be proud of that.

The match has been billed as a one-on-one battle between Modric and Eriksen, the star midfielders of their respective sides who have each impressed in Russian Federation.

Every time the ball went out on the touchline in the opposing half, up he came with his bionic appendage. "I also think that Croatia is aware, so there is no doubt that it respects us", Kjaer said at a press conference. "We are full of self-confidence".

It has been a long wait for both these sides to enter the knockout phase with Denmark last qualifying from their group in 2002 while Croatia did the same last in 1998. Croatia hit back immediately, though, when Mario Mandzukic squeezed home a finish at the near post after some awful defending from the Danes.

"We have the highest possible respect for the Danish team".

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Mandzukic went off and Milan Badelj came on for Croatia, but Denmark remained the team with the greater assurance and Jorgensen sent a tough chance wide after yet another Knudsen throw. "What awaits us is a very hard match".

With the exception of a winter-tour squad consisting of home-based players only, the Danes have not lost since a 1-0 defeat to Montenegro in October 2016.

These sides have met each other five times.

- Luka Modric is all set to become Croatia's joint most capped player in major tournaments with 18 appearances along with Darijo Srna. "We are not just PlayStation players twiddling the joystick".

"Irrespective of what comes next, these are the best days of my career, whatever the result tomorrow", he said.

Ivan Rakitic - 7 - Formed a commanding tripartite in the middle of the field alongside Modric and Brozovic as the trio dominated and dictated play for large spells of the match. I am sure they will create some chances, but most of their build-up play is under the "hopeful" category, unless they can get Christian Eriksen on the ball.

"What will decide the game will be how the teams perform as teams".

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