Monday, 11 October 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia and Slovakia Draw 2:2 in Osijek

October 11, 2021 - Croatia and Slovakia draw 2:2 in Osijek on Monday as part of their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign. 

After the Croatia national team convincingly won 3:0 against Cyprus on Friday, Croatia continued its 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in rainy Osijek against Slovakia on Monday.

Before this match, Croatia and Russia led Group H with 16 points each. 


Croatia: Livaković - Stanišić, Vida, Gvardiol, Barišić - Brozović, Modrić - Ivanušec, Pašalić, Perišić - Kramarić

Slovakia: Rodak - Koscelnik, Šatka, Škriniar, Hancko - Hrošovsky, Kucka - Schranz, Hamšik, Haraslin - Almasi

Andrej Kramarić thus started at the top of the attack instead of Marko Livaja, Luka Ivanušec took over the right wing, while Borna Barišić filled in for Sosa on left back. Domagoj Vida returned to the stopper position and Ćaleta-Car moved to the bench, while Mario Pašalić was in the starting 11 instead of Nikola Vlašić.

Recall, Zlatko Dalić didn't have Mateo Kovačić available due to yellow cards.

Croatia possessed the game in the first 5 minutes, showing their dominance at home but without any real chances to score. Slovakia certainly pressed up the pitch in the minutes that followed and was awarded their first corner kick in the 9th minute. 

Brozovic and Modric had the best attacking play so far in the 11th minute though the Slovakia keeper denied a shot on goal.  

A Hamšik free kick in the 20th minute found the head on an unmarked Schranz who scored for the 0:1 Slovakia lead. 

Modrić angrily shot far post in the 24th minute which was deflected for a corner. Kramarić scored the equalizer with his head off Modrić's cross for 1:1 and his first national team goal in 13 games! 

Croatia almost took the lead nearing the 30th minute but the Slovakia keeper was brilliant to block Pašalić and keep the score even. Barašić shot two minutes later forcing the keeper to make another save. Kramarić's confidence from scoring could be seen on the pitch as the striker had another great chance. Brozović also tested the Slovakia keeper with a shot in the 37th minute. 

Haraslin, however, was the one to take the lead in the 45th minute for 1:2. Kramarić hit the post in the post in the final seconds of added time. The match ended 1:2 for Slovakia at halftime. 

Dalić subbed on Nikola Vlašić for Luka Ivanušec to start the second half. 

Slovakia came out with a few chances to start the second half, with close calls for Livaković. Kramarić had a brilliant chance in the 57th minute which he shanked off target. 

Pašalić came off for Brekalo in the 59th minute. Modrić had a shot on target in the 60th. 

Perišić and Vlašić had a nice play in the 65th minute which was hit wide of the goal. 

Livaja was subbed on for Stanišić in the 67th minute, showing Dalić's offensive strategy to not only get the equalizer but the win. 

Croatia was awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area in the 69th minute, and Croatia got their chance. Luka Modrić brilliantly hit the ball through the Slovakia wall for 2:2! 

Croatia was awarded another free kick a bit further outside of the penalty area in the 77th minute. Vida almost had a header in the goal in the next play. 

Just when we thought Croatia did it again after a stunning Kramarić ball into the box and Vlašić goal, the referee ruled it offside. 

Brozović almost put Croatia in the lead with 3 minutes to go but weakly shot at the keeper, and Vlašić missed in the 89th. 

The referee added 4 minutes of injury time to the end of the match, in which neither team could score. 

Croatia has two final qualifiers against Malta and Russia next month. 

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Croatia Defeats Wales 2:1 in Osijek

June 8, 2019 - Croatia and Wales met in Osijek on Saturday for their third qualification for the European Championship in 2020. 

Just over 17,000 fans came out to City Garden Stadium in Osijek to watch the Croatia and Wales qualification match for the 2020 European Championship. Croatia was without superstars Ivan Rakitić and Ante Rebić for the game. 

Croatia had their first real attack in the 8th minute, though Perišić shot over the goal. Croatia attacked well in the first 10 minutes of the game and managed to keep their play in Wales’ half. In the 10th minute, Wales had their first chance by Wilson, though Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livaković made an easy save. 

Croatia had another opportunity in the 13th minute from a corner, though Perišić shot over the goal again. 

After numerous attacks, Croatia finally got their chance in the 16th minute. Perišić crossed the ball into the box to Brekalo, though it hit the foot of Wales defender Lawrence for an own goal and 1:0 for Croatia! 

The game stopped for a 'cooling break' in the 23rd minute due to the Osijek heat - it was said to be around 30 degrees Celsius. 

After a perfect through-ball by Modrić in the 36th minute, Kramarić had a chance to score but hit just over the goal. 

Wales had a good chance in the 41st minute by Vaulks, though Livaković made a great save to keep Croatia in the lead. 

With no real dangerous attacks from Wales in the last 5 minutes, the game ended 1:0 for Croatia at the half. 

The second half started with a goal by Kovačić, though it was called offside. But it was not long for Croatia to get their second goal, which finally came for Ivan Perišić in the 47th minute. Croatia started to look like the World Cup finalists we know well. 

Wales continued without chances, though what could have been a dangerous free-kick from Bale went over the goal in the 55th minute. 

Croatia made their first sub in the 66th minute - Brekalo came out for Pašalić - and in the 75th minute, Kovačić came out for Badelj. 

In the 76th minute, Wales finally got their chance - Brooks scored with the help of a Vida deflection. It was 2:1 for Croatia. 

Croatia had another golden opportunity in the 91st minute thanks to Pašalić, but Kramarić missed in front of the goal. Five minutes of extra time was played.  

While Wales tried to press, it was Croatia to prevail, and the game ended 2:1 for Croatia!

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.  

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Croatia v. Wales at Osijek's City Garden Stadium Sold Out

May 25, 2019 - In June, Croatia continues their Euro 2020 qualifications with the highly anticipated match against Wales.

The Croatia national football team will host Wales in its third qualifying match for Euro 2020 on Saturday, June 8, starting at 15:00 at City Garden Stadium in Osijek.

The Croatian Football Federation published details regarding the sale of tickets for the duel on Wednesday, May 22.

Namely, tickets for the game against Wales were available from May 23 via online sales and would stay available at the pre-sale price until June 2 at 23:59. Spectators could also purchase tickets at the box office at City Garden Stadium from May 23 to May 26 during the pre-sale. Pre-sale ticket prices ranged from 80 kuna for the East stands, to 150 kuna for the West. Ticket prices were meant to increase from 120 to 200 kuna once the pre-sale ended. 

And if you didn’t grab tickets during the pre-sale, you’re out of luck.

Namely, HNS announced that in just two days, all available tickets via the internet and box office at City Garden Stadium had been sold, confirming just how significant the interest is to witness two international football giants take the pitch in Osijek. 

The Osijek football club is actively working on expanding the capacity of the stadium - and if this opportunity is successfully realized, the Croatian Football Federation will offer additional tickets on sale and timely inform the public.

And if you’re still unable to snag tickets in Osijek, on June 11, Croatia will meet Tunisia in a friendly in Varaždin at 20:45. Tickets for the match against Tunisia can still be purchased online. Ticket sales at the Varteks stadium go on sale on June 9, from 9 am to 6 pm. All revenue from ticket sales will be donated for humanitarian purposes.

Ticket prices:
West Stands - 150 kn 
East Stands - 100kn 
South Stands - 50 kn

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 27 July 2018

Hajduk Celebrates Over Slavia, Osijek Falls to Rangers in Europa League Qualifiers

Hajduk and Osijek both played at home in the second round of the Europa League qualifications. 

Thursday, 22 February 2018

World Cup Prep: HNS Announces Friendly Between Croatia and Senegal in Osijek

A meeting of the Croatian Football Federation's Executive Committee was held on Thursday, which, among other things, confirmed a friendly match against Senegal in Osijek.