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Croatia reserves win 2-1, send Iceland home

Croatia reserves win 2-1, send Iceland home
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-27 06:36:46-04

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) -- A Croatian side filled with reserves has ended Iceland’s first World Cup run with a 2-1 win in Rostov-on-Don.

Milan Badelj crashed a volley against the bar, and moments later scored for Croatia in the 53rd minute, sprinting into the area unmarked to fire a bouncing shot past goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson after a breakdown on the Iceland back line.

Iceland equalized with a penalty kick from Gylfi Sigurdsson in the 76th minute after substitute Dejan Lovren handled the ball in the box. And Iceland had several prime chances to even things or take the lead. And a 2-1 win would have seen the Nordic nation advance instead of Argentina despite the South Americans’ win over Nigeria by the same margin.

But Ivan Perisic punished another Iceland defensive error in the 90th to send Iceland home.

The Croatians had already qualified with two wins and brought made nine changes to their lineup from the previous mat. They’ll play Denmark to start the knockout stage.