Nations League: Pasalic pounces to give Croatia 1-0 over Denmark

A second-half goal from Mario Pasalic hands Croatia an away win on Friday in the UEFA Nations League.

Croatia’s Marcelo Brozovic (left) and Denmark’s Mikkel Damsgaard (right) fight for the ball during the UEFA Nations League contest in Copenhagen.   -  AP

An opportunist second-half goal from Mario Pasalic gave Croatia a 1-0 away win in Denmark in its Nations League Group A1 on Friday as playmaker Luka Modric came off the bench to turn the game around for the visitors.

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It marked the first time the Danes, who made it to the semifinals 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.

Final score
  • Denmark 0-1 Croatia (Pasalic 69’)

The introduction of Modric as a half-time 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, which had a Jonas Wind goal ruled out for off-side in the 87th minute, still leads the group with six points from three games and will host second-placed Austria on Monday, while Croatia, which is third, travels to Paris to take on bottom side France.

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