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Lovren and Croatia Finish at the Top of Group D

The Croatians beat Iceland to earn all nine group stage points — despite a mistake by Lovren.

Iceland v Croatia: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Up until the 76th minute of this final match against Iceland, Dejan Lovren had been having a flawless World Cup showing. The Croatians took six points out of six against Nigeria and Argentina and had already booked a ticket to the Round of 16 before facing off against Iceland for game three.

Zlatko Dalić fielded a heavily-rotated starting line-up against Iceland, which meant that Lovren started the match on the bench. He came in at the 69th minute with Croatia already leading the game thanks to a strike by Milan Badelj in the 56th minute. However, Lovren handled the ball in the box mid-way through the second half, which led to Iceland regaining a foothold in the game when Gylfi Sigurdsson rifled home the penalty.

Thankfully for the Croatians, Ivan Perisic restored their lead in the 90th minute to undo the damage of Lovren’s mistake and give Croatia a perfect nine points coming out of their group. Behind them, just barely clinging to that second spot, was Argentina, who came out ahead of Nigeria thanks to a late strike by Marcos Rojo.

Croatia is now set to take on Denmark, who finished second in group C, in the Round of 16 on July 1st.

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