Croatia and Denmark were level at the end of regulation time after two goals were scored inside the first four minutes. Goals from Mathias Jorgensen and Mario Mandzukic provided a frantic start to the match.
Croatia’s failure to defend a long throw was pounced on by Jorgensen, whose effort on goal was deflected onto the post by Danijel Subasic before it found its way over the line. Jorgensen’s goal — 57 seconds — was the quickest in a World Cup fixture since 2014.
The moments after scoring a goal are when a team is at its most vulnerable to conceding and Croatia, through Mandzukic, reminded Denmark of this. The Juventus forward made the most of a lucky ricochet off a static Andreas Christensen in the box, bundling the ball home to restore parity in the fourth minute.
The early goals didn’t alter the tempo of the match and both teams continued to flood players forward.
In the 27th minute, Martin Brathwaite had a great chance to put Denmark back in the lead, after running onto a through-ball, but Subasic came off his line to make a save.
Two minutes later, Croatia threatened to hit back, with Ivan Rakitic attempting a long-range effort which Kasper Schmeichel saved comfortably. The ball was recycled back and Ivan Perisic had two bites at the cherry: his first was a miskick but the ball dropped kindly for him but under pressure from Schmeichel, Perisic lashed over.
The match was evenly-contested with Denmark holding its own against a Croatian side high on talent and experience.
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