Rostov: Croatia secured first place in Group D on Tuesday after a hard-fought 2-1 win over gallant Iceland in Rostov, setting up a last-16 tie with Denmark.
While most eyes were on Argentina and their do-or-die match with Nigeria in Saint Petersburg, Croatia wrapped up top spot in Group D in Rostov-on-Don thanks to a slick second-half volley by Milan Badelj and a late strike by Ivan Perisic, sandwiching a penalty equaliser by Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Argentina beat Nigeria
Marcus Rojo’s stunning finish four minutes from time kept Lionel Messi and Argentina’s World Cup hopes alive to see off Nigeria 2-1 on Tuesday and set up a last 16 meeting with France.
Messi’s first goal of the tournament got the two-time winners off to a perfect start in Saint Petersburg, but Victor Moses’s 51st minute penalty had Jorge Sampaoli’s men headed for a humiliating group stage exit until Rojo’s late intervention.
Denmark and France play out dull draw
The goals finally dried up at this thrilling World Cup on Tuesday when a flat France and dull Denmark played a mutually beneficial 0-0 draw at the Luzhniki Stadium which allowed the French to finish top of Group C and the Danes to qualify in second spot.
Thirty-six games in Russia had failed to result in a goalless stalemate, but neither France nor Denmark ever looked like scoring in a tedious affair.
France were already assured qualification but wanted to go through in top spot to avoid a likely last-16 clash with in-form Croatia.
Denmark could have only been denied qualification had they lost to France and had Australia beaten Peru in the match being simultaneously played in Sochi.
Peru win over Australia
A stunning Andre Carrillo volley gave Peru their first World Cup goal in 36 years before captain Paolo Guerrero grabbed a second as the Andean nation condemned Australia to a 2-0 defeat in Sochi on Tuesday and an early exit from Russia.
Guerrero set up Carrillo’s 18th-minute wonder goal from the edge of the box with a delightful cross, then scored from a deflection five minutes after the interval to send Peru’s red-and-white army of fans into ecstasy at the Fisht Stadium. Although already eliminated, Peruvians head home on a high note, having grabbed their first World Cup win since their 4-1 defeat of Iran at the 1978 finals in Argentina.