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Croatia perfect in Group D with late Perisic strike

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There was another World Cup game in Group D, you know, where Croatia cemented its contender status with a 2-1 win over Iceland on Tuesday.

Milan Badelj and Ivan Perisic scored to set Croatia up with Denmark in the Round of 16.

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored for Iceland, who was in the match until Perisic’s 90th minute winner.

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Josip Pivaric hit a second half cross that bounded into the path of Fiorentina’s Badelj, who did well to make it 1-0.

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Iceland drew level through Sigurdsson, who hammered a penalty down the middle after a handball in the box.

But that just wasn’t enough, as the criminally overlooked Perisic buried a goal to give the World Cup its second 3-0 team.

Nigeria beats Iceland; Argentina still alive

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Ahmed Musa scored a pair of terrific goals as Nigeria set up Group D for a thrilling final day with a 2-0 win over Iceland in Volgograd on Friday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was arguably Iceland’s Man of the Match before he sent a penalty kick over the bar.

Nigeria now has three points, two more than Argentina and Iceland. Nigeria plays Argentina and Croatia faces Iceland on Tuesday.

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Gylfi Sigurdsson swung a dangerous early free kick over the bar, then produced the game’s second chance. That one was caught by Francis Uzoho, the 19-year-old Deportivo de la Coruna backstop.

Nigeria’s breakthrough came courtesy a lethal counter attack, as Kenneth Omeruo headed a cross clear of the Eagles’ 18. Kelechi Iheanacho collected and found Victor Moses racing down the right flank.

Moses’ cross was collected by Musa with an unorthodox outside of the boot trap, allowing him a second against his surprised mark. Musa lashed home for 1-0.

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The game was delayed for a bit when Ragnar Sigurdsson was waylaid with a head injury.

Wilfred Ndidi had a rip deflected over the bar in the 57th, and Nigeria opted for a short corner.

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Musa then basically put it to bed when he cut into the 18 and danced around two defenders with the goalkeeper in between before putting a composed finish into the goal.

Iceland got new life through an 81st minute penalty kick awarded via Video Assistant Referee, but Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed it over the bar.

Gylfi Sigurdsson in Iceland World Cup squad despite injury

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Iceland has handed Gylfi Sigurdsson a chance to make the 2018 World Cup in Russia, despite his absence from the Everton squad for the last two months with a knee injury.

Sigurdsson has not played for the Toffees since a 2-0 win over Brighton on March 10th, and will not be fit to make the field for Everton’s final game of the Premier League season on Sunday. However, he is expected to recover in time for the tournament. The initial diagnosis for the 28-year-old playmaker’s injury saw him out six to eight weeks, suggesting a potential ligament injury, but earlier Friday, Everton manager Sam Allardyce said Sigurdsson is still “a way off” from returning.

Also in the 23-man squad is injured captain Aron Gunnarsson. The Cardiff City midfielder, who recently celebrated automatic promotion to the Premier League next season, missed nearly four months in the middle of the season due to ankle surgery, and has had knee surgery as recently as late April.

With the two not a sure thing, manager Heimir Hallgrimsson has left 23-year-old Kolbeinn Sigthorsson on the reserve list. The Nantes striker was a member of the 2016 Euro finalist squad, but has seen knee injuries squash his last two seasons and has not played a single club minute this campaign.

Iceland opens World Cup play in Russia with Argentina as the two begin Group D play on June 16. Their other Group D opponents are Croatia and Nigeria.

Everton hit hard as Sigurdsson out 6-8 weeks

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The knee injury Gylfi Sigurdsson suffered Saturday against Brighton and Hove Albion could cost him the season.

Sigurdsson is out 6-8 weeks, according to the team, and is a huge absence for the side despite his goal and assist numbers not reaching the standard he set at Swansea.

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The Icelandic 28-year-old midfielder has six goals and five assists for Everton in all competitions since making a $58 million move from Swansea City in the summer. He posted 10 goals and 13 assists in 40 matches for Swans last season.

According to the BBC, Sigurdsson’s brother says it’s a right knee joint injury. Six to eight weeks puts his return between April 21 and May 5.

Everton is a full 10 points clear of the drop zone, but has failed in a bid to claim a Top Seven space that seems there for the taking. Three points back of eighth place Leicester and six behind Burnley, the Sigurdsson injury will cost the Toffees in that bid for a potential European place.

Watford 1-0 Everton: Deeney, Okaka get it done

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  • Deeney’s 80th minute goal was 3rd shot on target for either team
  • Yes, we’re serious
  • Everton just 1W-5D-8L away from Goodison Park

Troy Deeney‘s late goal moved Watford to within a point of woeful and ninth place Everton in a 1-0 win at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

The win avenged a 3-2 loss at Goodison Park earlier this season, and Everton is 2W-2D-4L since Dec. 30.

Watford now has 34 points, while Everton has 35.

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An early free kick from Gylfi Sigurdsson was sent to the back post, but did not find a receiver.

The better part of the first half hour was physical if haphazard, and an Idrissa Gana Gueye slide from behind gave Watford a free kick from 25 yards.

Gerard Deulofeu hit that into the wall.

Tom Davies was the next to just miss on a chance, unable to reach a searching back post ball for Everton in the 53rd minute.

Watford raced to the other end, and Troy Deeney’s looping header didn’t have enough gusto to beat Jordan Pickford at the back post.

Stefano Okaka’s introduction threatened the lively up the game, but it took some time as much as the Vicarage Road crowd tried to inject life into a sloppy affair.

Kiko Femenia saw a late chance provided and denied by Pickford, who then collected a low effort from Daryl Janmaat.

Deeney then found Watford’s moment, lashing a shot past Pickford when found by Okaka in the 80th minute.

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