Two goals were scored in the opening four minutes of the clash between Denmark and Croatia. And the drama didn't end there.
Croatia have reached the quarterfinals after a gap of 20 years, following a semifinal finish at the 1998 World Cup on debut. They did it by advancing in their first World Cup shootout, against Denmark, who were also participating in penalties for the first time. The second day of the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup saw these two teams join Russia as first-time participants in a World Cup shootout; in total, 29 countries have taken part in a shootout.
Mathias Jørgensen scored the fastest goal for Denmark in World Cups, with his strike against Croatia coming inside 57 seconds. He went past the previous record for fastest goal, scored by Martin Jorgensen in the second minute of the quarterfinal against Brazil in 1998. Mario Mandzukic's goal in response for Croatia was the second fastest for his country in World Cups, coming in the fourth minute. Darjio Srna had scored inside the first minute for Croatia against Australia in 2006.
Jørgensen's goal is the 13th-fastest in the history of the World Cup, and the third-quickest in a knockout game (3rd-place playoffs are not included in that count). Arne Nyberg of Sweden scored in 35 seconds against Hungary in what was eventually a 5-1 defeat at the 1938 semi-finals, while Pak Seung-Zin scored in 50 seconds for North Korea against Portugal in the quarterfinals of 1966, which his team eventually lost 5-3.
This was just the second World Cup match ever, where both teams scored their opening goals inside four minutes. In 2014, when Lionel Messi and Ahmed Musa both scored for Argentina and Nigeria in their group stage match, they had done so in 3 minutes, 47 seconds. Here, Jørgensen and Mandzukic both scored inside 3 minutes, 40 seconds.
Luka Modric became just the second player to miss a penalty in a World Cup match taken after the 115th minute, joining Asamoah Gyan who had missed his penalty in the last stages of the 2010 quarterfinal for Ghana against Uruguay. Kasper Schmeichel's save was also the fourth by all goalkeepers at this World Cup, with 12 matches yet to be played.
It is after 32 years, and just the second time in World Cup history, that two games have been decided by penalties on the same day. On June 21, 1986, France beat Brazil 4-3 in the shootout, while Germany got the better of Mexico, both in the quarterfinals stage.