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Denmark 0-1 Croatia: Pašalić pounces to secure win

Croatia claimed their first win of the UEFA Nations League campaign as Mario Pašalić's strike ended Denmark's perfect start to Group A1.

Highlights: Denmark 0-1 Croatia

Mario Pašalić scored the only goal as Croatia ended Denmark's run of six successive home victories in Copenhagen.

Key moments

40' Cornelius denied by Livaković
69'
Pašalić opens scoring
87' Wind strike ruled out for offside

Match in brief: Pašalić ends Denmark's run

Denmark had the better of the first half but the closest they came was a Joakim Mæhle shot into the side-netting and an Andreas Cornelius effort kept out by Dominik Livaković.

Croatia made three changes at the break to try and inject some life into their performance, and one of the substitutes, Luka Modrić, tested Kasper Schmeichel from outside the box.

Modrić was also involved in what proved to be the only goal of the evening, his pass setting up Brozović to cross, and after a couple of deflections it fell for Pašalić to poke in.

Denmark pushed men forward but still struggled to test Livaković as their winning run at home came to an end.

As it happened: Denmark 0-1 Croatia

Sture Sandoe, match reporter

Not the finest match for the sold-out crowd in Parken. It was an even contest that could have gone either way and in the end the visitors came out on top. The first half belonged to Denmark, but Dalić's introduction of Modrić at the break changed it around for Croatia, who were the better team in the second half. Nothing is decided in this group yet.

Reaction

Eriksen: 'We can be proud of how we played'

Zlatko Dalić, Croatia coach: "The first half was not so good. In the second half, we changed our formation, and we put on Modrić and Kovačić – they changed everything. Then we played a fantastic second half. We really deserved to win this game."

Christian Eriksen, Denmark midfielder: "We fought hard, and it was a tough game. I think the first and the second half were two very different halves. In the first half, we had a lot of the ball and created a lot of chances – only the last pass missed to really open the game up. With Luka [Modrić] and Kovačić coming on that changed the possession, and we didn't really have the intensity to get the ball back."

Mateo Kovačić, Croatia midfielder: "It was a difficult game. We know that Denmark are a good team. We struggled a little bit in the first half. But in the second half, we took control. And luckily, the goal came as well, and that was more calming for us."

Key stats

  • This was only Croatia's third win in in 13 UEFA Nations League matches (D2 L8).
  • Denmark failed to score for only the second time in their last 17 international matches.
  • Denmark had won each of their last six matches in Denmark.
  • Croatia had conceded a total of 18 goals in their previous five UEFA Nations League away games (an average of 3.6 per game).

Line-ups

Denmark: Schmeichel; Wass (Kristensen 61), Andersen, Christensen, Mæhle; Højbjerg, Eriksen, Delaney; Skov Olsen (Poulsen 83; Skov 90), Damsgaard (Braithwaite 62), Cornelius (Wind 61).

Croatia: Livaković; Vrsaljko (Stanišić 46), Erlić, Šutalo, Juranović; Jakić (Kovačić 46), Brozović; Ivanušec (Modrić 46), Pašalić, Oršić (Vlašić 58); Kramarić (Budimir 77).

Group 1 Live now

Played P Won W Draws D Lost L For Against Goal difference Points Pts
DEN Denmark
Playing now
4 3 0 1 6 3 3 9
CRO Croatia
Playing now
4 2 1 1 3 4 -1 7
AUT Austria
Playing now
4 1 1 2 5 5 0 4
FRA France
Playing now
4 0 2 2 3 5 -2 2

What happens after the UEFA Nations League group stage?

The four group winners in League A will advance to the knockout finals with, in principle, one appointed as hosts. The semi-finals will be played on 14 and 15 June 2023 with the final and third-place play-off to follow on 18 June.

The teams finishing fourth in the groups in League A will be relegated to League B for the 2024/25 edition.