Luka Modric penalty helps guide Croatia to comfortable World Cup win over Nigeria

Former Al Ain manager Zlatko Dalic sees his side prove too good in Kaliningrad for their African opponents

Croatia's players celebrate after teammate Luka Modric, scoring from a penalty spot during the group D match between Croatia and Nigeria at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

An own goal and a penalty gave Croatia a comfortable start to their World Cup campaign as they beat a limp Nigeria 2-0 in their Group D clash at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday.

A diving header from Mario Mandzukic was deflected into his own net by Nigeria midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo after 32 minutes to hand Croatia the half-time lead, doubled by Luka Modric's successful penalty kick in the 71st minute.

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It was awarded after Nigeria defender William Troost-Ekong had wrestled Mandzukic to the ground right in front of the referee, wrapping both arms around the striker as they jostled for space in the Nigeria box.

Croatia, who were barely extended by their African opponents, now top Group D after Argentina and Iceland drew 1-1 in Moscow earlier on Saturday.

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