Croatia vs Nigeria: 5 things we learned

REUTERS/Murad Sezer

There was to be no surprises with the result on Saturday evening as Croatia eased a victory away from the lowest-ranked team in Group D. 

A subdued match was splintered by two sparks of life and Mario Mandžukić was indirectly involved in each. 


An own-goal opened the scoring just after half an hour when Mandžukić’s header was inadvertently deflected into the net by Oghenekaro Etebo. 

Later, William Troost-Ekong gave away a needless penalty as he illegally wrestled with the Croatian striker.

With few other highlights to punctuate the match, Croatia cruised through the remaining 20 minutes to seal their place at the top of an admittedly premature table. 

Beyond the result, what else did we learn from Saturday’s final fixture?