Denmark nearly pulled off a stunning upset over ascending favorites Croatia, only to lose in a World Cup round of 16 penalty shootout. Leicester City’s own Kasper Schmeichel played the hero in extra-time with a crucial penalty save in the 115th minute that kept his team alive. He anticipated Luka Modric’s strike perfectly and smothered it without even allowing a rebound.
His performance in regulation was steady as well, and even included some daring distribution. That wasn’t all, either, as he once again showed his worth with two saves in the ensuing penalty shootout. He started it with an impressive kick-save on Milan Badelj’s attempt, and followed it up with a sprawling save on Josip Pivaric. Unfortunately, his Croatian counterpart Danijel Subasic stood just as tall and made three saves in the shootout - albeit against some poor attempts - and sent Denmark home in heartbreaking fashion.
Regardless, the Dane earned himself Man of the Match honors for the second time in this World Cup and continues to boost his status as one of the world’s best keepers. His World Cup performances have been a nice bounce-back after a subpar season by his standards, and hopefully signify a return to form for City’s number one.
After a performance like this, maybe he won’t be asked as many questions about his legendary father Peter Schmeichel rather than himself.