2018 World Cup: Croatia 2-0 Nigeria - As it happened

2018 World Cup: Croatia 2-0 Nigeria - As it happened
Nigeria's John Mikel

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jun 16, 2018. 22:50

Welcome to as-it-happened coverage of the 2018 World Cup Group D match between Croatia and Nigeria from the Kaliningrad Stadium.

Starting line-ups

Croatia: Danijel Subasic, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Sime Vrsaljko, Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, Ante Rebic, Mario Mandzukic

Nigeria: Francis Uzoho, Brian Idowu, Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Obi Mikel, Wilfred Ndidi, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi

Commentary (press F5 to refresh)
All times CAT

90+5' - Full time - Done and dusted, Croatia win 2-0 and move to the top of Group D. Nigeria will need to make major improvements for their next clash against Iceland on June 22.

90+2' - Kovacic with a chance for 3-0, but he shoots straight at Uzoho! A square pass would have given Perisic a tap-in...

90+1' - There will be four minutes of added time.

89' - Yellow card - Brozovic picks up a late booking for Croatia.

88' - Substitution - Nigeria's final change sees Simeon Nwankwo replace Mikel.

87' - Etebo tries a long-range shot, but it doesn't trouble Subasic.

86' - Substitution - Mandzukic makes way for Marco Pjaca in Croatia's last change.

82' - Balogun gets a looping header on target, but it's an easy save for Subasic.

81' - Strinic with a great tackle to prevent Musa getting on the end of Iheanacho's pull-back from the left by-line. Both players down injured and receiving treatment.

78' - Substitution - Rebic makes way for Mateo Kovacic for the European side.

77' - Iheanacho's first sight of goal sees him squeeze a shot between a couple of defenders, but it's wide of the mark.

74' - Croatia now bossing the game and looking for number three. Nigeria look destined to start this World Cup on a low note...

73' - Substitution - Kelechi Iheanacho replaces Ighalo up front for the Super Eagles.

71' - GOAL! Croatia 2-0 Nigeria - Modric tucks home the penalty and the European side have a 2-0 lead!

70' - Yellow card - Troost-Ekong is booked for his part in the penalty.

69' - Penalty! Croatia have been awarded a spot kick for wrestling between Troost-Ekong and Mandzukic at a corner kick!

67' - Midway through the second half, Croatia still hold a narrow 1-0 lead in this Group D clash.

64' - The corner kick finds the head of Mandzukic, but his header is a looping effort that's well off target.

63' - Modric with a testing delivery from a free kick and Troost-Ekong has to head behind for a corner kick.

62' - Substitution - Ahmed Musa replaces Iwobi in Nigeria's first change.

60' - Substitution - Marcelo Brozovic replaces Kramaric in Croatia's first change.

59' - Idowu with a cross from the left, Ighalo gets a header on goal but it's an easy save for the 'keeper. Nigeria's first effort on target.

58' - Moses breaks free down the right, looks to cross, but his effort is easily claimed by Subasic.

55' - But Croatia spring forward and Rebic misses a glorious chance from Perisic's cross... in fact, the offside flag was up, wouldn't have counted.

54' - Iwobi looks for Ighalo with a cross from the left, but it's well defended by Croatia. Nigeria building pressure, though.

52' - Ighalo gives away a foul in the Croatia penalty area, but at least Nigeria are bossing the early minutes of the second half.

50' - Rakitic picks up a loose ball and lets fly from long range... high and wide.

49' - Moses picks up a drilled diagonal pass, runs at his defender before looking to cut back and shoot on his left, but he pulls his effort wide of the mark.

48' - Three corner kicks in succession for Nigeria, the first of which almost sees Balogun put a header on goal at the near post.

46' - Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+2' - Half time - Croatia lead 1-0 at the break thanks to Etebo's own goal. Plenty of work for the Super Eagles to do in the second stanza.

45+1' - A Nigeria free kick ends with Iwobi trying to fire a shot through a crowd of bodies, but it's inevitably blocked.

44' - Closing in on half time. Nigeria will need a big pep talk from manager Gernot Rohr during the break.

42' - Mandzukic tees up Vrsaljko for an ambitious shot, which he slices high and wide.

39' - Rakitic whips in an in-swinging cross, Karamaric gets ahead of his marker but puts a glancing header over the target! That should have been 2-0...

37' - Etebo hauls down Modric in midfield. Now Strinic looks to whip in a cross, but it flies over the head of Mandzukic in the middle of the box.

34 - That's a hammer blow to Nigeria, they'll need to dig deep to come back into this.

32' - GOAL! Croatia 1-0 Nigeria - Croatia claim the lead! A corner kick is flicked on at the near post, Mandzukic gets a diving header and poor Etebo unwittingly deflects it into his own net! An OG!

31' - Past the half hour mark, still goalless between Croatia and Nigeria in Kaliningrad.

30' - Yellow card - Rakitic cautioned for a late challenge on Moses.

28' - Troost-Ekong well-positioned to make a clearance. Croatia just beginning to stretch the Nigerian defence a little more now...

27' - Rebic fouls Idowu as he looks to get on the end of a cross from the left flank.

24' - Mikel with a good defensive clearance in Balogun's absence (he's being patched up on the sidelines).

22' - Nigeria's first corner kick sees the Super Eagles threaten from the second and third ball into the box, but it all ends tamely and with Balogun having taken a knock to the head in an aerial challenge. He's got a bloody nose, but he'll be okay to play on.

20' - Uzoho with a safe pair of hands to catch a lofted free kick from Modric. Croatia haven't threatened from their set piece opportunities just yet.

18' - Another corner for Croatia, again Modric's delivery doesn't beat the first defender, Ighalo.

16' - Now Kramaric tries his luck from long range... well wide, Uzoho had it covered all the way.

14' - A swift attack from Croatia ends with Perisic firing a shot from the edge of the box just over the target! Best attacking moment of the game so far.

12' - Mikel robs Modric near the corner flag and then whips in a cross from the left, but Subasic handles safely under pressure from Igahlo.

11' - A good spell of possession for Nigeria, but it ends with a long ball meant for Moses running out of play.

9' - Croatia with a corner kick. Modric crosses from the left flank, Ighalo heads clear at the near post.

8' - Iwobi is caught by Modric as he looks to break through midfield, but there's no free kick from the referee.

5' - Etebo wins a free kick in the middle of the park. Nigeria still looking to settle into the match.

3' - Idowu with some good sweeping up at the back as Croatia break free down the left flank.

2' - Uzoho with an early touch as he clears from a back-pass. The young goalkeeper will be under scrutiny tonight.

1' - Kick-off - We are underway in Kaliningrad! Croatia wear their famous red and white checks, while Nigeria don their dark green change strip.

20h55 - The players have emerged from the tunnel and we are just a few minutes away from kick-off. Time for the national anthems.

20h45 - Our referee for this clash is Sandro Ricci from Brazil. This will be the first meeting of Croatia and Nigeria in senior international football.

20h30 - Half an hour to kick-off at the Kaliningrad Stadium. Both teams will be eyeing a win in the knowledge that it will take them to the top of Group D following the draw between Argentina and Iceland earlier today.

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