Eriksen knocked out, but Lloris and France progress to last-eight
PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 July 2018
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Tottenham's captain managed to help France get past Lionel Messi's Argentina, but Christian Eriksen lost out to Luka Modric's Croatia
Christian Eriksen’s World Cup campaign ended in heartbreaking fashion after his Denmark were sent packing from Russia after a 3-2 penalty shoot-out defeat to Croatia in the last-16 on Sunday night.
After 120 minutes of action, the two European countries were still level at 1-1 and so the match went to penalties.
Spurs playmaker Eriksen unfortunately saw his effort pushed onto the post by Danijel Subasic, who saved three of the Denmark spot-kicks, and it resulted in the Danes losing despite the best efforts of Kasper Schmeichel.
Boss Age Hareide told Press Association Sport: “We could have progressed if those taking the penalties had done better, but that’s just the way it is.
“Lasse Schone, he normally does it for Ajax; Nicolai Jorgensen, he normally does it for Feyenoord and Christian Eriksen normally scores for the national team. But it didn’t work out.
“There is research showing that your adrenaline and your stress is just as high as when people are in a war zone when you take a penalty. We had a wonderful keeper in Kasper Schmeichel, but it didn’t help.”
It was a harsh result on Denmark, who had arguably edged the contest, which had started in dramatic fashion.
Martin Jorgensen, of Huddersfield Town, had put the Danes in front inside a minute after Croatia couldn’t deal with a long throw into the area.
Only three more minutes had passed when Mario Mandzukic levelled with a close-range finish, but the game, as was to be expected, settled down after.
Eriksen tried his best to inspire some magic for Denmark afterwards, but the match fizzled out and the knock-out contest seemed to be heading to spot-kicks.
Then Croatia won a penalty of their own when Ante Rebic rounded Schmeichel and Jorgensen brought the attacker down with the goal gaping.
Ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric was denied from 12-yards though, and so the contest went to penalties.
It was here where Eriksen failed to convert his spot-kick and two more of his team-mates followed in his footsteps to see Denmark knocked out.
There was better news for club colleague Hugo Lloris, who captained France to a thrilling 4-3 victory over Argentina.
He was powerless to stop any of the goals against Les Bleus with Angel Di Maria producing a long-range stunner, Gabriel Mercado deflecting a Lionel Messi effort in and Sergio Aguero scoring a fine late consolation with a header from 10-yards.
France managed to go through with Kylian Mbappe the star of the show with two goals while also winning a penalty for Antoine Griezmann to convert and defender Benjamin Pavard scored in a memorable last-16 clash for Didier Deschamps’ side.
Next up for Lloris and his international team-mates is a quarter-final tie on Friday against Uruguay.