COPENHAGEN (REUTERS) – An opportunist second-half goal from Mario Pasalic gave Croatia a 1-0 away win in Denmark in their Nations League Group A1 on Friday (June 10) as playmaker Luka Modric came off the bench to turn the game around for the visitors.
It marked the first time the Danes, who made it to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, dropped points in the current competition but the Croatians deserved the victory after a solid defensive performance and some moments of Modric magic.
The best chances of the first half fell to Denmark’s Andreas Cornelius, who had a curling left-foot shot swatted away by the keeper and a goal ruled out three minutes later when fullback Joakim Maehle was deemed to have committed a foul in the build-up.
The introduction of Modric as a halftime substitute changed things for the better for the visitors, and the midfielder began dictating the play, forcing a fine save from Kasper Schmeichel just after the hour mark.
Danish defender Joachim Andersen was lucky to get away with a yellow card for a reckless challenge minutes later as he flew into a sliding tackle on Andrej Kramaric that could well have resulted in his dismissal.
Modric’s free kick from that incident was deflected behind and from the resulting corner, again taken by Modric, Pasalic slotted the ball between Schmeichel’s legs to open the scoring in the 69th minute.
Denmark, who had a Jonas Wind goal ruled out for offside in the 87th minute, still lead the group with six points from three games and will host second-placed Austria on Monday, while Croatia, who are third, travel to Paris to take on bottom side France.