Belfast Telegraph

Croatia rack up maximum points after Perisic's last-gasp winner

Iceland 1-2 Croatia

Ivan Perisic
Ivan Perisic

By Carl Markham

Ivan Perisic ended Iceland's World Cup dream with a 90th-minute winner as Croatia racked up a third successive victory in Group D.

Iceland's hopes of an improbable place in the knockouts were raised when Gylfi Sigurdsson exorcised the demons of his penalty miss against Nigeria with a spot-kick equaliser on 75 minutes.

But Perisic fired home right at the end, after Milan Badelj's second-half opener, to make it 2-1 and kill off any chance of Iceland progressing.

Croatia were well below their best but were ruthlessly efficient.

With Croatia already qualified, Zlatko Dalic made nine changes with only Luka Modric and Perisic retaining their places.

Iceland bided their time, coming alive in the final 15 minutes of the first half.

Hordur Magnusson's near-post flick drifted wide before he headed wide from another corner, while Sigurdsson's free-kick was comfortably saved by Lovre Kalinic.

Badelj hit the bar with a long-range strike early in the second half, but the 29-year-old made no mistake moments later when the ball was cut back to him near the penalty spot.

Croatia rested Modric with 25 minutes to go as Iceland pushed forward, and the pressure told in the 75th minute when Dejan Lovren handled Sigurdsson's cross and the midfielder netted the penalty.

But Perisic produced the decisive moment to set up a last-16 meeting with Denmark.

Belfast Telegraph


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