Friday, 15 October 2021

Decisive Croatia-Russia World Cup Qualifier at Poljud: UEFA Sets Time, Tickets Soon

October 14, 2021 - The decisive Croatia-Russia World Cup qualifier at Poljud on Sunday, November 14, will be played at 3 pm. Tickets should be announced by HNS soon. 

In exactly one month, the Croatia national football team will play in Split, at Poljud Stadium, against Russia. Not only is it their final qualifier for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but the winner of the match will secure a direct spot at the next World Cup and avoid rather difficult additional qualifications. 

Russia and Croatia are in a dead race for first place in Group H, the only spot that leads directly to Qatar. After drawing against Slovakia in Osijek, Croatia will need a victory against Russia to take them directly to the World Cup. Any other result leads Zlatko Dalić's team to a tricky playoff round, and Russia directly to Qatar. This is, of course, assuming Croatia defeats Malta three days before the big battle in Split, on November 11.

Fans can be happy that Croatia plays against Russia on Sunday, November 14, meaning many do not have to take the day off from work. A full Poljud stadium is to be expected. 

UEFA has confirmed the date on its official website, as well as the time. Thus, Croatia and Russia will meet at 3 pm, which isn't as common as the 9 pm clashes we are used to watching. However, it should be taken into account that four groups will be playing final qualifying matches on that day.

Namely, Croatia, as well as its opponents in Group H, will start at 3 pm, Group J will be played from 6 pm, and Groups B and A from 8:45 pm. 

Tickets for the Croatia-Russia match are not yet on sale, though the Croatian Football Federation should soon announce the prices and when ticket sales will begin. It will be one match football fans won't want to miss. 

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Sunday, 10 October 2021

Zlatko Dalić Reveals Changes in Croatia Starting 11 against Slovakia

October 10, 2021 - Zlatko Dalić addressed the press in Osijek on Sunday with captain Luka Modrić. The coach announced how the Croatia starting 11 against Slovakia would look, especially with the absence of Mateo Kovačić. 

A crucial 2022 World Cup qualifying match awaits the Croatia national team on Monday at 20:45 at City Garden Stadium in Osijek. Croatia will face Slovakia in the 8th round of qualifications for the World Cup in Qatar. A possible victory would keep them in first place in the group ahead of the last two rounds held in November.

Two days ago, Croatia beat Cyprus 3:0 on the road and thus continued a series of winning results and a game without conceding a goal. Croatia is currently tied with Russia, which plays against Slovenia in Maribor on Monday.

Zlatko Dalić, as well as captain Luka Modrić, appeared before the press in Osijek at 17:00 at the final press conference before the match against Slovakia. Croatia's last training at City Garden is scheduled for 17:30. 

"We have to respect Slovakia; they are a top national team and can be tough. It doesn't matter who will play for them; we have to be good," said coach Zlatko Dalić at the beginning.

"Our goal is to win as many points as possible and secure a place in the World Cup. We know how much tomorrow's game means to us, perhaps the most important qualifying match. Russia has a difficult visit to Slovenia. This is a chance for us to get closer to Qatar with the victory," Dalić added.

Dalić announced changes in the defense, despite a good performance in recent games.

"We haven't conceded a goal in six games, but tomorrow is an important exam. As good as we were in Cyprus, it was not a benchmark. Tomorrow is a situation where we must not receive pain. We will make changes in the lineup, but not because someone played badly, but we want even more energy. We will put in a couple of fresh players; some of our players are not standard, so it is difficult to repeat two games in three days. Vida is returning to his position," Dalić explained and praised Osijek player Mile Škorić.

"He deserved the invitation, but the competition is great for him. So we will see; I would like the situation to open up for him," Dalić added.

"I am looking forward to the competition in the national team, players who bring new energy and strength. We have to confirm this to get continuity. Everyone works well, and whoever I play, I will not make a mistake," said the Croatia coach, who added that the atmosphere is good because the results and overall team play are good.

"The result dictates everything; we play well, so the atmosphere is great. What makes us happy is the atmosphere and the result; the atmosphere was not worse at the Euros, but the result was missing."

Mate Kovačić will not play due to yellow cards.

"Pašalić will replace him; he will go to his position. Because he is good in the end, and we miss such a player, he has the best of all players, so there is no dilemma. Pašalić will start," said Dalić and added that Duje Ćaleta-Car will not start from the first minute.

Source: HRT

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Friday, 8 October 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Beats Cyprus 3:0 in Larnaca

October 8, 2021 - Croatia beats Cyprus 3:0 in the first match of the October World Cup qualifying campaign in Larnaca on Friday. 

After a great September qualifying campaign in which they collected seven points against the three toughest opponents in Group H, Croatia met Cyprus tonight at Aek Arena in Larnaca. Several hundred Croatia fans were in the stands. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Before this match, Croatia topped the group with 13 points, while Russia has the same number of points, with a slightly weaker goal difference. Only the first in the group qualifies directly for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, while the second-placed enters additional qualifications.

Lineups:

Cyprus: Michail – Andreou,Soteriou, Ioannou – Psaltis, Artymatas, Kyriakou, Avraam – Papoulis, P. Sotiriou, Pittas

Croatia: Livaković - Stanišić, Ćaleta-Car, Gvardiol, Sosa - Brozović, Kovačić - Vlašić, Modrić, Perišić – Kramarić

In the first minute of the match, debutant Stanišić made an almost catastrophic mistake, and Sotiriou rushed towards the goal. Fortunately, Gvardiol caught up and managed to block his shot from the edge of the penalty area. 

Croatia's attacking midfield was trying to speed up and control the game, while the entire Cyprus defense stayed back to prevent any chances. 

A great attacking play by Croatia in the 12th minute saw Vlašić find Kramarić at the top of the box, though he shot over the post.

Perišić shot a minute later which was deflected for Croatia's first corner kick. There was another great chance for Sosa who shot from outside the box, before Ćaleta-Car's header just missed. 

Croatia's second corner came in the 16th minute. Modrić dribbled through the Cyprus defense to the goal line which went out for another Croatia corner a minute later. 

Vlašić had a great chance in the 19th but shot over the goal post after forcing his way around the Cyprus defense. 

A tremendous effort from Perišić in the 20th, shooting near post with a brilliant save by the Cyprus goalkeeper. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia had their chance in the 22nd minute - a Perišić assist from the goal line found Kramarić in the penalty area for what we thought was a 1:0 lead, but it was ultimately called offside after VAR. 

Perišić had another great chance in the 30th minute after a superb through ball from Gvardiol which was played out for a goal kick. 

Kovačić was booked with a yellow card in the 33rd minute, meaning he'll miss Croatia's next match against Slovakia at home. 

Kramarić shot at the keeper a minute later. 

Cyprus had a dangerous attack in the 37th minute which the Croatia defense sent out for the first Cyprus corner. Cyprus was certainly playing with more intent as the match neared halftime. A fortunate offside play nearly saw a Cyprus goal, but Livaković saved the day. 

After a worrying 10 or so minutes, Croatia picked up their intensity again in the final 5 minutes of the first half. A free kick for Croatia with two minutes to go was cleared by the Cyprus defense. 

Croatia's best chance of the game came in the 1st minute of injury time. A brilliant Modrić ball found Sosa who shot, forcing a cluster in the front of the goal. Kramarić almost scored for 1:0 but was denied by the keeper. 

But Croatia got their goal moments before the halftime whistle. Perišić dribbled into the box and scored far post for 1:0! 

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Slobodan Kadic

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Slobodan Kadic

There were no changes for Croatia going into the second half. 

Croatia's first corner of the second half came in the 49th minute.

Croatia was awarded a penalty in the 52nd minute. Kramarić pushed into the box and was taken down by two Cyprus players. Luka Modrić stepped up to the penalty spot and was denied by the Cyprus goalkeeper to keep the game 1:0. 

Croatia had a series of beautiful one-twos in the 57th minute but a cluster of Cyrpus players stayed back to deny any chances. Vlašić shot near post a minute later. 

Zlatko Dalić subbed off Kovačić for Pašalić in the 62nd minute. Andrej Kramarić was subbed off for Marko Livaja. while Nikola Vlašić came off for Josip Brekalo in the 67th minute. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Sosa had a brilliant chance in the 70th minute but chose to play Livaja instead of taking the shot, which the keeper easily defended.

Croatia continued with stellar chances in the minutes that followed, all denied by the brilliant Cyprus goalkeeper. 

However, a Croatia corner in the 79th minute brought just the luck they needed. Gvardiol found the back of the net from the cross for 2:0! 

Dalić subbed off Modrić for Ivanušec in the 82nd minute, while Brozović came off for Kristijan Jakić. 

To confirm Croatia's dominance during the match, Livaković's first save came only in the 84th minute!

The referee added 3 minutes of injury time, and Croatia wasn't finished yet. A brilliant ball from Brekalo in the box found Livaja who tapped it in for 3:0!

Croatia maintained possession to end the match in their favor. Goals by Perišić, Gvardiol, and Livaja confirmed the 3:0 victory.

Croatia will face Slovakia next in Osijek on Monday.

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Wednesday, 6 October 2021

PHOTOS: Luka Modrić Returns to Croatia Team ahead of Cyprus and Slovakia

October 6, 2021 - Captain Luka Modrić returns to Croatia for the first time since the EURO 2020 match against Spain! 

Ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Cyprus and Slovakia, the Croatia national team held a training, also attended by captain Luka Modrić. reports Gol.hr.

Since he missed the September qualifiers, Modrić played his last game in the national team jersey at the European Championship against Spain in June.

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Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Everyone could hardly wait for Luka's return to the national team, confirmed by assistant Vedran Ćorluka. Modrić arrived at the national team camp on Monday night, and on Tuesday night, had his first training session with Croatia after a long break.

Unfortunately, the national team lost Josip Juranović and Dejan Lovren before the October qualifiers, while Domagoj Vida will miss one game. Thus, Josip Stanišić, a Bayern player and the new star of Croatia, could make his debut as a right back.

"Lovren and Juranović will not come to the gathering. We agreed, due to their injuries and the current situation that they stay at their clubs and train. Juranović dropped out, and Lovren will not be with us for the first week, and we will see if he will be OK for the match against Slovakia. We have a situation with stoppers, but I wouldn’t say a problem either because we have a lot of quality in that part of the game. We activated the callups to Ćaleta-Car and Pongračić, they are in full training, although they did not play all the games," said Dalić on Monday. 

Coach Zlatko Dalić sees Stanišić in the first match against Cyprus, and maybe against Slovakia, played in Osijek on October 11 at 20:45.

Unfortunately, Mislav Oršić missed Tuesday's training due to ankle discomfort, and the medical team did not want to take any risks. However, the Dinamo player should be ready for the qualifiers against Cyprus and Slovakia.

Tuesday's training also featured goalkeeper Simon Sluga, who arrived as a replacement for the injured Ivica Ivušić.

On Monday, Croatia also trained at the Hitrec-Kacian auxiliary ground at Maksimir Stadium. Nikola Vlašić's 24th birthday celebration enhanced the already great atmosphere. 

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Monday, 4 October 2021

Zlatko Dalić Ahead of Croatia's October World Cup Qualifiers: "We Must Remain Disciplined"

October 4, 2021 - Croatia's October World Cup qualifiers begin on Friday against Cyprus and continue in Osijek against Slovakia next Monday. Coach Zlatko Dalić addressed the press in Zagreb today before the national team gathered to discuss the upcoming cycle.

The Croatia national team is gathering in Zagreb ahead of the October World Cup qualifiers. Zlatko Dalić's team will play against Cyprus on Friday and host Slovakia on Monday in Osijek. Dalić has a lot of problems in the Croatia defense due to injuries, reports HRT.

"We must continue to be disciplined. We must continue even more seriously, even more responsibly, if we want to ease the cycle in November," said Dalić to begin.

On Sunday, he activated a callup to Borussia Dortmund defender Marin Pongračić. A few days ago, he also called up Duje Ćaleta-Car, due to the uncertain injuries of Domagoj Vida and Josip Juranović.

Dalić commented on Josip Brekalo's return to the national team:

"Josip Brekalo was not a problem for me; he was looking for a club, he was not in rhythm, and that is why he was not invited. He went to Turin, he played, and as soon as he got back in shape, we called him. We need him like other players who were not on the national team. No one will be deprived of the national team; whoever deserves their games, with their behavior, statements, and attitude towards the national team, will not be deprived because I see my interest first. Mine is that Croatia plays well to qualify for Qatar and the interest of the Croatia national team. I did not communicate with Rebić; there was no contact."

Croatia leads Group H with 13 points, the same as Russia. Slovakia is third with nine points, and Slovenia has seven. Malta and Cyprus follow with four points each.

"I think that 21 points will be enough, but we must decide for ourselves."

What does he think of the World Cup every two years?

"I don't think it's good, especially for the players, and the charm of playing the World Cup would be lost. We have to take care of the health of the footballers, and they play too many games this way."

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Tickets on Sale for Croatia World Cup Qualifier Against Slovakia in Osijek

September 29, 2021 - Tickets are on sale for the Croatia World Cup qualifier against Slovakia at City Garden Stadium in Osijek on October 11.

The Croatia national football team will continue qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in October. Zlatko Dalić's team will play against Cyprus in Larnaca on October 8 and Slovakia three days later in Osijek, reports HNS.

Online ticket sales for both Cyprus and Slovakia started on September 28 at 3 pm, the Croatian Football Federation announced.

The ticket price for the match against Cyprus is 80 kuna, and tickets can only be purchased online. One person can buy a maximum of four tickets.

Online ticket sales include a personal collection at the stadium box office with the presentation of a passport and a purchase confirmation (voucher), which is downloaded from the user's website after a successful purchase. Replacing vouchers at the stadium will be determined later, and all customers will be notified by e-mail.

Only citizens of the Republic of Croatia have the right to purchase online, regardless of residence address, by filling in personal data (name and surname, OIB, passport or identity card number, date of birth, and customer address). In addition to their data, the buyer also enters data on other spectators for whom they buy tickets, while other spectators do not have to be Croatian citizens.

The deadline for purchasing tickets is October 1 until 12 noon, i.e., until the availability of tickets is used.

Buying tickets for Croatia fans for the match against Cyprus is possible only through the Croatian Football Federation website. Croatia fans will not purchase tickets at the stadium box office or access the stadium without a voucher.

Entry to the stadium will be allowed only to those fans who have a valid EU digital COVID certificate issued based on complete vaccination or recovery of the coronavirus. EU digital COVID certificates issued based on PCR or antigen tests will not be recognized. HNS notes that no different vaccination certificates or sickness certificates will be recognized, but only the EU digital COVID certificate with a valid QR code checked at the entrance.

Ticket sales are organized exclusively online for the qualifying match between Croatia and Slovakia at City Garden Stadium in Osijek (October 11 at 8.45 pm). Ticket prices in presale (as of October 10) are 150 kn (west), 100 kn (east), and 75 kn (south). On the day of the match on October 11, the prices will be 200, 120 and 90 kn.

Everyone coming to the stadium must have an EU digital COVID certificate. However, children under the age of 12 who have a ticket can enter the stadium without an EU digital COVID certificate if accompanied by a parent or guardian who has a certificate and a ticket.

Ticket sales include e-tickets that the customer must download and print. Only citizens of the Republic of Croatia have the right to purchase, regardless of residence address, by filling in the required personal information.

One person can buy up to four tickets. In addition to their data, the buyer can also enter data on other ticket holders, where they do not necessarily have to be a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.

TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED HERE

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Monday, 20 September 2021

Luka Modrić Returns for Croatia's October World Cup Qualifiers

September 20, 2021 - Captain Luka Modrić returns for Croatia's October World Cup qualifiers against Cyprus and Slovakia.

The Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić invited 24 players, with six call-ups, to the qualifying matches against Cyprus and Slovakia in October, reports HNS.

After a very successful September, sitting at the top of the group with seven points in three games, the Croatia national team awaits the continuation of the European qualifications for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Croatia will play in Larnaca near Cyprus on October 8, and then they will host Slovakia on October 11 in Osijek.

The national team will gather on October 4 in Zagreb, where they will train until October 7 and then travel to Larnaca. They will travel to Osijek immediately after the match against Cyprus.

After missing the September qualifying campaign due to injury, Dalić's player list is again led by captain Luka Modrić.

"After a successful September, of course, we now welcome the new gathering with a lot of optimism, positive energy, and confidence. However, we must be aware that all the good we have done must now be confirmed with six more points and that we can only do so with the full concentration, approach, and togetherness we had at the last gathering. We have already beaten Cyprus and Slovakia in this cycle, and we accept the role of favorites in both games, but I repeat - we must be at our maximum. I am convinced that the invited players will successfully respond to this challenge, and of course, we are especially pleased with the return of Luka Modrić, who as a player and leader is of inestimable importance to us," said coach Zlatko Dalic.

List of players for Cyprus and Slovakia:

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivica Ivušić (Osijek), Ivo Grbić (Lille).

Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Bešiktaš), Dejan Lovren (Zenit), Borna Barišić (Glasgow Rangers), Josip Juranović (Celtic), Mile Škorić (Osijek), Filip Uremović (Rubin Kazan), Joško Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Borna Sosa (Stuttgart), Josip Stanišić (Bayern).

Midfielders : Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta), Nikola Vlašić (West Ham), Luka Ivanušec (Dinamo Zagreb), Kristijan Jakić (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Strikers: Ivan Perišić (Inter), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim), Josip Brekalo (Torino), Mislav Oršić (Dinamo Zagreb), Marko Livaja (Hajduk).

Callups: Duje Ćaleta-Car (Olimpique de Marseille), Ante Budimir (Osasuna), Antonio Mirko Čolak (Malmö), Simon Sluga (Luton Town), Kristijan Lovrić (Gorica), Nikola Moro (Dinamo Moskva).

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Croatia against Russia at Poljud to Decide 2022 World Cup Spot

September 8, 2021 - Croatia against Russia at Poljud Stadium - the match that will decide the winner of Group H and a direct spot at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Croatia completed their September World Cup qualifiers with the victory against Slovenia (3:0) at Poljud on Tuesday, winning seven out of nine points. In the last six days, all three games were played against the main competitors for direct placement in the 2022 World Cup, reports Index.hr.

Croatia must finish the qualifications at the top of the group to directly qualify for the World Cup. Recall, finishing second leads to the most difficult additional qualifications for the World Cup in history. It is important to emphasize that these qualifications for the World Cup are completely different from all others so far. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the schedule is condensed, so the European part of the World Cup qualifiers is played across eight months, instead of the previous one and a half years. Namely, Qualifications run from March to November this year.

Furthermore, only ten group winners will secure a spot at the World Cup, while ten runners-up will play additional qualifiers. Thus, two winners of the 2020/21 Nations League groups will join those national teams, but only those who did not directly qualify for the World Cup and did not secure additional qualifications as runners-up in the World Cup qualifying groups.

Unlike in the past, during these additional World Cup qualifiers, the national teams will be divided into three groups. Only one knockout match will be played to define which three European national teams ensure their spot at the 2022 World Cup.

Four games before the end, it is clear that Croatia and Russia will decide the winner of the group. Both national teams have 13 points, and one goal only divides them. 

Before the qualifications, coach Zlatko Dalić said that he thinks 20 or 21 points will be enough for first place in the group. However, Croatia could again finish in the additional qualifications with 20 points, just like for the 2018 World Cup, when Croatia overcame Greece.

Apart from Croatia, Denmark also went to the playoffs with 20 points, but it is worth noting that in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Portugal and Ukraine went to the playoffs, even though they had 21 points each. So Dalić's calculation should not be taken as relevant.

Croatia has 13 points after six games, and by the end of this part of the qualification, four more games will be played from October 8 to November 14.

If Croatia, as expected, beats the two weakest national teams, Cyprus and Malta, it would have 19 points. Still, the decision will fall in Osijek and Split against the significantly stronger Slovakia and Russia. A mitigating circumstance for Croatia is that they play against both national teams at home.

Until the end, Russia's schedule and results will be equally important to Croatia, and the derby will decide the winner of the group in the last round, Croatia - Russia at Poljud

Croatia's schedule until the end of the World Cup qualifiers:

October 8: Cyprus - Croatia

October 11: CROATIA - Slovakia

November 11: Malta - Croatia

November 14: CROATIA - Russia

Russia's schedule until the end of the World Cup qualifiers:

October 8: Russia - Slovakia

October 11: Slovenia - Russia

November 11: Russia - Cyprus

November 14: Croatia - Russia

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Tops Slovenia 3:0 at Poljud!

September 7, 2021 - Croatia tops Slovenia in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier this month thanks to goals by Marko Livaja, Mario Pašalić, and Nikola Vlašić! 

Croatia met Slovenia in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier this month at Poljud Stadium in Split. Around 20,000 spectators were expected for this match, though only those with COVID certificates were able to enter the stadium. Split Police have been vigilant since the morning to avoid any incidents. 

Recall, Croatia already played two qualifiers in the last week - against Russia in Moscow, and against Slovakia in Bratislava, taking 4 points.

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Slobodan Kadic

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Slobodan Kadic

Lineups:

Croatia: Ivušić, Juranović, Lovren, Vida, Barišić, Brozović, Kovačić, Pašalić, Livaja, Perišić, Kramarić

Slovenia: Oblak, Stojanović, Bijol, Mevlja, Balkovec, Gnezda Čerin, Stanković, Kurtic, Lovrić, Iličić, Šeško

Croatia's first attack happened in the first minute of the match. Ivan Perišić ran the ball up the wing and shot on goal. Andrej Kramarić had a chance two minutes later which went out for a goal kick. 

Another attack for Croatia in the 5th minute saw Juranović carry the ball up the right wing to find Kramarić who crossed into the box. Barašić played the ball back in from the left and Pašalić headed to the keeper. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia's first corner kick came in the 6th minute. The ball ultimately found Barašić who shot over the goal. 

Croatia's best chance came in the 9th minute - a Perišić cross made its way to the penalty box with 3 Croatia players in front of the goal. 

Another incredible chance for Croatia in the 19th minute - a beautiful play between Kramarić, Perišić, and Barašić found Andrej at the top of the box, though his shot went straight to the keeper. 

Another almost goal happened in the 25th minute - Oblak was out of his goal but Livaja was unable to shoot before the ball went out for a goal kick. 

Livaja tried his luck and shot from 30 meters out in the 28th minute which Oblak touched out for a corner. 

Then it finally happened - Hajduk superstar Marko Livaja scored for 1:0 Croatia in the 33rd minute!

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Slobodan Kadic

Pašalić had a chance two minutes later off a corner but headed to the Slovenia keeper. 

A cross in from Juranović in the 37th minute found Perišić's head but was an easy save for Oblak. Perišić dribbled up the left wing a minute later but shot over the goal. Oblak made an unbelievable save in the next minute to keep it 1:0. 

Croatia was playing really beautiful football, which was a huge improvement from their game against Slovakia. The momentum from the home fans was certainly helping. The match ended 1:0 for Croatia at the half. 

Croatia's attacking game did not dwindle to start the second half. Balls were launched into the box from both sides, though Oblak always seemed to find his way there. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Slovenia was having a hard time making it past the halfway line in the first 10 minutes of the second half. 

Slovenia subbed in Hajduk player Jan Mlakar in the 53rd minute. 

Zlatko Dalić made his first sub in the 57th minute - Marko Livaja came out for Nikola Vlašić. 

Kova dribbled through the Slovenia defense in the 60th minute which went out for a corner.

But it didn't take long for Croatia to get their second goal. A Perišič cross found Pašalić who scored for 2:0 in the 66th minute! Playing at Poljud was certainly giving these former Hajduk stars an extra push. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Mateo Kovačić was subbed off for Luka Ivanušec, Andrej Kramarić came off for Mislav Oršić, and Dejan Lovren came off for Duje Ćaleta Car in the 76th minute. 

Nikola Vlašić nearly had his chance in the 81st minute after dribbling to the goal line but was unlucky in the end. 

Ivan Perišić was subbed off for Antonio Čolak in the 85th minute. 

Oršić and Ivanušec both had chances in the 88th-90th minutes, but the game remained 2:0. Four minutes of extra time were added. 

A Hajduk hattrick tonight became a reality - Nikola Vlašić scored in the final minute of the game for 3:0! 

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Monday, 6 September 2021

Mandatory EU COVID Passports at Poljud and Croatia News Before Slovenia Qualifier

September 6, 2021 - Attending Croatia's 2022 World Cup qualifier against Slovenia in Split on Tuesday? Here's all you need to know about mandatory EU COVID passports at Poljud Stadium, Spaladium Area ticket sales, and match expectations. 

Upon entering Poljud stadium for the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Croatia and Slovenia, which is played on Tuesday, September 7, visitors must present an EU digital Covid certificate, the Split Police reassured. 

"We remind visitors that at the entrance they must have: purchased a personalized ticket, an identification document with a picture (identity card, passport, driver's license) based on which their identity and EU digital Covid certificate will be verified before entering," the Split Police Department said in a statement.

All three documents must have identical identification data because visitors will not be able to enter the stadium.

Croatia and Slovenia will meet on Tuesday at 8:45 pm, and the entrance to the stadium will be open from 6 pm.

"We invite visitors to come earlier so that after inspections and checks, they can enter the stadium and take their place marked on the ticket," the police explained.

They stressed that, after entering the stadium and during the match, spectators could only sit in the place specified on the ticket and cannot be in spaces not provided for them.

The police note that before, during, and after the match, they will "intensively observe the area of ​​the City of Split, visit places where fans and fan groups will gather, carry out measures and actions within the competence of the police, all to prevent illegal behavior and protect property and safety."

"We are informing the citizens that in the coming days, and especially intensively on the day of the match, police officers will be more present in the City of Split, but also on the access routes, and take measures and actions within the competence of the police to prevent illegal behavior," the police said. 

The police emphasized that on the day of the match, in Split, but also Split-Dalmatia County, a large number of fans and members of various Croatia fan groups are expected.

"We ask citizens if they notice groups of people who are behaving illegally or could behave in such a way, to call the police at 192 immediately," the police urged.

They informed the citizens that they would block the traffic on the promenade around the stadium from Monday, from 8 pm until the end of the match on Tuesday.

As of Sunday, around 9,000 tickets had been sold for the match so far. The Spaladium Arena box office will be open on Monday, September 6, from 12 to 10 pm, and on Tuesday, September 7, from 9 to 9 pm. 

Hajduk striker Marko Livaja spoke about playing at home, at Poljud. 

"I am happy to be in the national team again, and I do not burden myself with minutes; it will be the way the coach decides. My position? I haven't played at the top of the attack for six, seven years, the coach has his vision, he knows what I play at the club, but I can certainly do better," says Livaja, who knows what Poljud has to offer.

"I am convinced that the atmosphere will be great and that we will play the right game. A victory would push us close to the desired goal. We are of better quality; I expect that Slovenia will close and wait for their chance. If we are real, we will win. Kek is a proven good coach, and he certainly knows our team well, but we have to concentrate on ourselves, and then the victory should not be in question."

Source: HNS, HRT

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