Portugal Belgium Argentina Germany Brazil England were enormous guns of world cup 2018. But all they cannot reach the final. And Croatia made it happen. Unfortunately, they played a worse game of the world cup in the finale, but the journey was unbelievable for the underdogs. Two teams that stunned everyone in this world cup are Croatia and the host Russia. Even against Peter Drury said, “Hosts are happy again”. Russian stop Spain but also lost to Croatia in the quarter-final. But today we will look how Croatia made it into the final.
Croatia started their champion with a win the World Cup for the first time since 1998 with a comfortable victory over Nigeria. Nigeria’s Oghenekaro Etebo’s own goal and Luka Modric’s penalty did the damage, but Nigeria finished the game with more attempts than its opponents. The win in Kaliningrad put Croatia in a powerful position after Argentina held a surprising 1-1 draw by Iceland in its Group D opening.
By far, Croatia’s best performance at this World Cup was against two-time Argentine champions who were blown away by Zlatko Dalic ‘s side. Ante Rebic ‘s goals, Modric’s thunderbolt, and late Ivan Rakitic ‘s goal gave Croatia its first victory over a South American opponent in the history of the World Cup and inflicted the heaviest first-round World Cup defeat since 1958 on beleaguered Argentina.
The victory meant that Croatia sealed its way to the last 16 with a game to spare. “People will realize that they should respect Croatia,” Dejan Lovren said after the match. “If we’re like today, I believe we can go a long way through the whole tournament.”
Despite making nine changes with their progress already secured, Croatia won three World Cup wins for the first time with a narrow win over Iceland, scoring both shots on target. Milan Badelj gave the Croatians the lead in the second half, but his goal was canceled by Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson, who scored a penalty. Substitute Ivan Perisic scored the winning goal in the 90th minute to ensure that Croatia finished Group D with a colossal five points.
It wasn’t a masterpiece. After two quick-fire goals — only the second match in the history of the World Cup, where both teams scored within four minutes — extra time was needed to separate the two. As the 120th minute approached, the match was heading toward a penalty shootout before the brilliant Luka Modric pass set Ante Rebic through, with the pace forward winning a penalty. Modric stepped up to take it, only to see Kasper Schmeichel making a brilliant save. In the shootout, Modric redeemed himself, turning his spot-kick, but it was goaltender Danijel Subasic who was the hero, becoming only the second goaltender to save three penalties in the World Cup shootout to win his side win.
Croatia needed nerves to steal again to make its first semi-final spot since 1998, and boundless energy to counter Russia’s side with the support of a nation behind them in Sochi. Andrej Kramaric canceled Denis Cheryshev’s curled for Russia in the space of 90 minutes before Domagoj Vida looked to lead the winner in extra time. Mario Fernandes’ late equalizer took the penalty game, however, where Danijel Subasic was once again the hero, making one save, and seeing another wide as Croatia became the first side to win two penalty shootouts at the World Cup since Argentina in 1990.
Croatia lost 4-2 to France in the world cup final, Didier Deschamps’ side repeated the performance of France’98 on home soil by a margin that hardly seemed imaginable as Croatia stood toe-to-toe with the favorites for an hour. France was the first team to score four goals in the final of the World Cup since Brazil defeated Italy 4-1 in 1970.