An incredible effort in goal by Kaspar Schmeichel was not enough as Ivan Rakitic gave Croatia the win over Denmark after winning 3-2 on penalties in a sensational match.
It was an incredible start as two goals on the first five minutes promised a goal fest that never really materialized.
Denmark were first on the board as a long throw in from Jonas Knudsen saw the ball fall to Mathias Jorgensen who managed to bundle a shot towards Danijel Subasic who could only deflect the ball into the goal.
The lead was short lived however as a Henrik Dalsgaard clearance took a wicked deflection off of teammate Andreas Christensen which saw the ball fall to Mario Mandzukic who then slotted it home.
With the game on even terms, both teams traded possession as neither managed to create any clear cut chances in the next 15 minutes.
VAR was brought into play with a penalty shout after Manduzkic was brought down by Dalsgaard, but the decision from Moscow was to stick with referee Nestor Pitana’s on field decision not to award the spot-kick.
Denmark started to dominate proceedings and Christian Eriksen hit the post a few minutes before half time as the teams entered the shed with the scores locked at 1-1.
The second half saw the tempo of the game drop severely with both teams cautious of committing too many players forward.
Subasic was forced to make a save when substitute Jorgensen tried to turn Poulenc cross in, but the Croatian keeper held the final effort which was rather tame.
With neither team able to find a winner, it was into extra time with the very real prospect of penalties waiting at the end of the additional half hour.
A brilliant piece of individual brilliance from Lasse Schone saw the substitute set him up for a shot from distance which went comfortably wide of the left-hand post.
Pione Sisto came off the bench in the second half of added time and came close to breaking the deadlock as he saw his shot go just wide just before Croatia made a strange decision as Mandzukic left the field 13 minutes before penalties.
With just seven minutes to go, Ante Rebic burst through in on goal and after rounding Kasper Schmeichel he was in on goal before Jorgensen brought him down to concede a penalty.
Luka Madrid stepped up to take it but Schmeichel dived the girth way and smothered the attempt to ensure the match went to spot-kicks.
The penalty shootout saw Croatia take an earl advantage as Subasic made a brilliant save to deny Eriksen, but it was short lived as Schmeichel saved Milan Badelj’s effort.
A powerful effort by Simon Kjaer was then cancelled out by Andrej Kramaric.
Luka Modric rectified his earlier miss by bringing Denmark level after Michael Krohn-Delhi converted his spot-kick.
Lasse Schone then had his effort saved by Subasic, but again Schmeichel to the rescue as he stopped Josip Pivaric.
A poor effort by Jorgensen saw Subasic put Croatia in the drivers seat and Ivan Rakitic made no mistake as he blasted his side through!