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Fans react to blistering start in Croatia v Denmark

Luka Modric hails

Group D victor Croatia will be favourites against Group C runner-up Denmark when the two teams clash in FIFA World Cup 2018 pre-quarterfinal.

A dramatic start with two goals in the first four minutes promised a full-blooded contest to decide who would meet Russian Federation in Sochi on Saturday after the hosts beat Spain on penalties in Sunday's early game.

Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic was his team's hero, saving penalties from Simon Kjaer, Lasse Schone and Nicolai Jorgensen to inflict a heartbreaking defeat on Denmark. Rakitic and Modric have been fantastic, but Rebic is also one to watch.

97' - Substitution: Croatia's Andrej Kramaric replaces Ivan Perisic. Christian Eriksen crosses it in the middle but the goalkeeper makes a comfortable save.

44 minute: Croatia's Rakitic goes unmarked in the box and fires a bullet towards the Danish goal but the goalkeeper saves it.

Luka Modric admits he faces a "world-class" adversary in Christian Eriksen on Sunday but says it is time for Croatia's so-called "golden generation" to prove its quality.

Croatia thrashed La Albicelste 3-0, and if they produce a similar performance against Age Hareide's side, the Danes stand little chance. Their tally of two goals is the lowest of the 16 teams left in the competition, while only three sides of the 32 that started Russian Federation 2018 had fewer shots on goal in the group phase.

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The Danes looked the likelier of the two sides to get a goal in the first half of extra time, but they were let down by their decision-making in the final third.

Croatia's captain and veteran playmaker Luka Modric played in that game, however, and was leading the team again on Sunday. Denmark have scored the opener within the opening two minutes.

It was important, however, to remember the work of an entire team and the many staff behind them, he said. It was already the weaker side of the bracket, but now England are the only heavyweight between Croatia and the final.

Denmark must be exhausted of hearing about Croatia's success thus far.

This evening, Croatia and Denmark have reached the knockout stages of a World Cup after long absences and both will feel confident of going even further today.

Striker Yussuf Poulsen returned for Denmark after suspension. In an astonishing start to the match, both teams scored within four minutes via their first attacks.

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