‘Now we can forget Turkey’: Modric and Croatia lay ghost of 2008 to rest

After game with eerie parallels to the one that haunted a nation, captain wants cathartic Denmark win to unburden an able side

Luka Modric’s mind went back to Euro 2008. Everybody’s in Croatia did. The midfielder had blown a 117th-minute penalty to win Sunday night’s World Cup last-16 tie for his country against Denmark and all he could think about was Turkey.

It was the defeat that scarred a generation of Croatian footballers and fans. They had faced Turkey in the quarter-final of the European Championship – it was then the first knockout round – and, when Ivan Klasnic put them 1-0 up in the last minute of extra-time, the victory appeared to be theirs.

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