epa06828815 Luka Modric (C) of Croatia and Marcos Acuna (R) of Argentina in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, 21 June 2018.

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jun 21, 2018. 22:30


Matchday 8 of the 2018 World Cup began with a 1-1 draw between Denmark and Australia, saw France book a place in the last 16, and finished off with Croatia doing the same by claiming an emphatic win over Argentina.

The opening game saw Australia just about keep themselves alive in the tournament as they fought back from a goal down to hold the Danes at the Cosmos Arena in Samara.

Tottenham Hotspur star Christian Eriksen put the European side ahead early on, but the ‘Socceroos’ hit back through another penalty from skipper Mile Jedinak to pick up their first point in Group C.

The late afternoon action brought a 1-0 win for France over Peru in Yekaterinburg, thanks to a goal from Kylian Mbappe. The result took Didier Deschamps’ side to the top of the pool and secured a place in the last 16.

‘Les Bleus’ put in an improved showing compared to their opening win over Australia, but still needed a fine defensive performance in the second half to hold off the spirited ‘Los Incas’, who have been mathematically eliminated after back-to-back losses.

Thursday concluded with arguably the most stunning scoreline of the tournament so far, as Croatia crushed Argentina 3-0 in a Group D clash in Nizhny Novgorod, advancing into the last 16 and leaving the South American heavyweights in deep trouble.

‘The Blazers’ – whose goals all arrived in the second half from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic – are top of the pool with six points and safely into the next round, while ‘La Albiceleste’ have just one point to their name and are clinging to life in a tournament they entered as one of the favourites to win.

Matchday 8, Thursday 21 June – Results

Group C – Denmark 1-1 Australia

Group C – France 1-0 Peru

Group D – Argentina 0-3 Croatia


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