Croatia Defeated in Semifinals of China Cup, Chile Advances to Finals

By , 11 Jan 2017, 14:46 PM Sport

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Croatia has lost in the semifinals of the first ever China Cup. Chile will go on to play Iceland in the final. 

Vecernji List reports on January 11, 2017 that coach Ante Cacic, with a team made up mostly by players from MAXtv Prva Liga, arrived in China on Monday with just two training sessions before the match, while Chile was far better prepared with several key players and many more days of training before the dual against Croatia.

While it is only fair to admit that Chile was better during the 90 minutes of the game, Croatia doesn’t have much reason to be unhappy given the circumstances, and the phenomenal responses by Dinamo goalkeeper Dominik Livaković definitely kept the team in the game. 

Chile, a favorite to win the tournament, took the lead after 18 minutes. Eduardo Vargas passed through Croatia's defense and played the ball to Cesar Pinares who scored his debut goal to put Chile in the lead. Croatia then became more dominant with some good opportunities before the half, with a header by Inter stopper Filipović just missing the goal.

While the Chileans had some great opportunities in the second half, the ball could not make it past Livaković who made some incredible saves, and in the 76th minute, Franko Andrijašević equalized with an assist from Fran Tudor to force the 1-1 game straight into a penalty shootout at the final whistle.

During penalties, both Domagoj Antolić and Mirko Maric missed their targets, granting Chile the win and a place in the finals. Croatia will play China for the third place match on January 14. 

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