Sunday, 2 January 2022

British Psychic Predicts Croatia to Win 2022 World Cup in Qatar

January 2, 2022 - Will Croatia win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar? One British psychic who predicted Brexit, Boris Johnson's victory, and juicy Royal Family news seems to think so. 

As we welcome a new year, football fans can hardly stop thinking about just how busy this calendar year is for their beloved sport, and they can't help but predict what they think will happen in 2022.

Gol.hr reports that one interesting forecast has been made by the British psychic Jemima Packington, better known under the working name Mystic Veg, who predicts the future with the help of asparagus. Yes, you heard that right.

"Croatia will be the world champion in football, and the World Cup in Qatar will be shrouded in controversy," pointed out the British psychic.

The British tabloid Mirror claims that Mystic Veg successfully predicted Brexit, Boris Johnson's victory in the parliamentary elections, Harry and Meghan's departure from the royal family, and many other events.

"I accurately predict 75 to 90% of things. I've been told that my predictions this year are among the most controversial, but I'm just following what the asparagus tells me," says Mystic Veg.

Whether or not Mystic Veg is correct remains to be seen, as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar takes place this winter, from November 21 to December 18. Croatia's World Cup group rivals will not be revealed until April this year. Nevertheless, Croatia should be in the second strongest hat. 

But even before the World Cup, Croatia will compete in the UEFA Nations League against France, Denmark, and Austria, in an intense schedule that hosts four games in June and two in September this year. 

Croatia will also begin preparing for the busy year ahead with two friendly matches in March. We will find out if Mystic Veg is correct about the World Cup in precisely 349 days, or 11 months and 15 days.

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

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Croatia in 2022: 10 Things to Look Forward Next Year

December 30, 2021 - The pandemic continued to hamper many, many sectors of the country in 2021, but there were also reasons to believe that next year will help us move past the troubles with ease. An overview of the reasons to look forward to Croatia in 2022.

2022 is just around the corner, and for the vast majority, uncertainty continues to prevail over the rest of the sensations for the new year. However, while the pandemic continues to pose a threat to the country's public health and economy, there is an air of optimism for the coming year. The premise that I hear most often is that 2022 will definitely be better than 2020 and 2021. And yes, well, there are reasons to believe in it. These are some of the ones that I think invite us to believe.

COVID-free travel (?)

We will begin the count with a reason that is still ambiguous in many ways. While travel restrictions in Europe are currently more flexible than last year or 2020, the Omicron variant and low vaccination rates in many European Union countries continue to create uncertainty regarding the next steps to take.

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Photo: Zeljko Lukunic/PIXSELL

Despite the fact that COVID-19 continues to affect travel restrictions, the trend in the last two years appears to be positive. In 2020 tourism was affected almost insurmountably. Borders were closed, flights were limited, cruises quarantined, very few tourists arrived, restaurants closed, and more. However, in 2021 and with the arrival of the vaccine, the situation improved considerably and little by little the restrictions were relaxed. The EU COVID digital certificate and the ECDC map helped establish appropriate parameters for the arrival and departure of foreigners to the territory of each country, depending on the situation of COVID cases in the countries of origin. The numbers were still far from those of the last year without a pandemic, 2019, and that is why the season arrived a bit late at the end of June. However, the months that followed saw a massive influx of tourists and flights from all over the world. Even in October a lot of tourist movement could be observed.

If the percentage of the vaccinated population increases in Croatia and epidemiological measures continue to be promoted to guarantee the country as a safe destination, it is very likely that the number and variety of flights will start to increase, and the season could be expected to start early as in May.

Pelješac Bridge

What was longed for for so many years, this year finally came true. The last segment of the Pelješac Bridge was completed, and the reconnection between Croatia and Dubrovnik was celebrated in a symbolic act. The bridge, whose construction began in mid-2018, cost more than 400 million euros and has a total length of 2,404 meters and a height of 98 meters.

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Photo: Mario Strmotić/HINA

The bridge will start at Komarna, 26 km south of Ploče, crossing the Neretva canal and Mali Ston bay, to reach the Pelješac peninsula and continue all the way down to Dubrovnik. In this way, the Pearl of the Adriatic will be 100% accessible through Croatian territory, and that is how the Neum corridor in Bosnia will no longer be the only way to reach the Croatian city.

The bridge is expected to open in June 2022, and will definitely revolutionize tourism on the southern coast of Croatia.

Concerts and Festivals

The music events sector was, without a doubt, one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Many businesses sought to adapt to epidemiological conditions, but the concerts were simply impossible to carry out due to the impossibility of guaranteeing social distancing due to the crowding of spectators.

However, 2022 promises the return of festivals that had to be canceled due to the coronavirus, such as Ultra in Split, or INmusic in Zagreb. Also, great concerts have already been confirmed for next year, such as Future Islands (March 3rd at Tvornica, Zagreb), Iron Maiden (May 22nd at Arena Zagreb), or The Cure (October 27th at Arena Zagreb).

FIFA World Cup in Qatar

The Croatian national team closed 2021 in a good way, securing their ticket to the next World Cup, achieving direct qualification by beating Russia 1-0 in Poljud. In this way, the Vatreni avoided the European play-offs and, therefore, unnecessary anguish as in past editions.

Despite not being able to repeat what they achieved in the 2018 World Cup at EURO 2020, Dalić's team found in the second half of this year an opportunity to evolve, combining the player base that achieved second place in Russia, such as Modrić, Lovren, Vida, Perišić, Brozović, Kramarić or Kovačić, with others who made good use of their opportunities, such as Sosa, Livaja, Gvardiol, Juranović, Vlašić, and Pašalić.

Whilst it is still unknown who Croatia will face in the group stage, there is every reason to believe that they will be able to play a good role in Qatar. The World Cup will be held in November-December, which could generate more energy in the post-season, especially in coastal cities.

Schengen area

Next year is an important one, as a decision is expected regarding Croatia's access to the Schengen area, which would allow the abolition of all passports and all types of border control, improving accessibility to and from Croatia from the other 26 member states, as well as many other foreign countries.

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Photo: Hrvoje Jelavic/PIXSELL

In 2021, Croatia received visits from the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, who gave the go-ahead to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO) presented by the First Croatian Minister Andrej Plenković for the period 2021-2026; as well as the President of France, Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, who, like Von der Leyen, expressed their support for Croatia's accession to the Schengen area.

Eurozone

The Euro will become the official currency of Croatia from 2023. According to the Croatian National Bank, in the first quarter of 2023, the kuna will begin to be collected and the Euro circulated instead. 2022 will therefore be a decisive year for the Ministry of Finance, as well as all attached entities, to organize a subtle and appropriate transition and to avoid economic repercussions.

The Governor of the Croatian National Bank, Boris Vujčić, announced that starting next summer, prices in stores should already be displayed in both kuna and euros. Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Marić announced from his side that they will closely monitor the process to ensure that prices are fair and control the inflation rate. A law introducing the Euro is expected to be presented in April 2022.

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Photo: Pixabay

Again, it is important that in 2022 the Government constantly and transparently report the benefits and positive aspects of the Euro, in order to achieve general support from the population. It should be taken into account that a national collection of signatures was recently carried out to postpone access to the Euro.

US visa-free travel

In the last quarter of 2021, Croatia's access to the United States Visa Waiver Program was made official, which meant that, as of December 1, Croatian citizens can travel to the American country without the need for a Visa.

The measure comes at a time when the travel situation between Croatia and the United States has improved considerably, taking into account the success of United Airlines' New York-Dubrovnik flights in the summer of this year, which have been extended until October. of the next year.

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Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

It is very likely that, considering the evolution of the epidemiological situation, we can see in 2022 a large migratory movement between the two countries.

Winter tourism in Split

I have spent two winters in Split since arriving in Croatia in 2019, and I still don't understand how the city and the county can completely shut down once the season is over. The number of opportunities to successfully show Split as a winter destination invites us to take a step forward, despite the frustrated attempts of the past.

So this year, four women from Split laid the foundations for a meeting that could be decisive for the future of winter tourism in Split: Daniela Rogulj from Total Croatia News, Jasmina Garbin from Chops Grill, Maria Mustapic from Zinfandel, and Jelena Tabak, President of the National Association of Caterers.

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Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich

A series of meetings and research led to the realization of a round table that brought together Ivica Puljak, Mayor of Split, Tonči Glavina, State Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Alijana Vukšić, Director of Split Tourist Board, Joško Stella, Director of Split -Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Pero Bilas, Deputy Director of Split Airport, Joze Tomaš, President Split-Dalmatia County Chamber of Economy, and different representatives from the hospitality and catering sectors.

The meeting left very good impressions, and after all concerns were expressed openly, a very positive atmosphere was created where solutions and proposals for collaboration between the public and private sectors were exchanged. Now, it is a matter of words being translated into action, and that the city of Split, Split-Dalmatia County, and the restaurants and hotels of Split work together next year to extend the season until November.

Diaspora

The return of the diaspora to Croatia has been happening since the country became independent in 1995. However, in recent years, the number of migrants of Croatian descent who decided to return to their motherland has increased significantly.

In South America, one of the continents with the highest number of Croatian diaspora, many factors have interceded to motivate many of them to try their luck in Croatia: insecurity on the streets, political and economic instability, and the precarious health system, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Through state-organized incentives and programs, such as the Croatian Language Scholarship, many come to the cities of Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, and Osijek to discover more about their roots, regularize their citizenship, and adapt to Croatian society and culture.

The arrival of the diaspora means a positive contribution to the social and economic development of the country, considering that Croatia also faces a complicated reality in which a large part of its youth decides, year after year, to seek better salary and work opportunities in other countries like Germany, Ireland, or the United States.

Digital Nomads

This year marked a before and after for the Digital Nomads community in Croatia. At the beginning of 2021, the Digital Nomads Permit was presented, granting the possibility that those interested can reside and work in the country for one year. While it is true that a higher number of arrivals was expected, it is important to take into account the existing travel restrictions and the epidemiological situation.

The events and initiatives carried out throughout this year and in almost all parts of the country show the growth of a community and a global interest that has no ceiling: Digital Nomads in Residence in Dubrovnik, the Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, the Ambassadors project Digital Nomads of Zagreb, the Valley of Digital Nomads in Zadar, etc.

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Likewise, the testimonies and experiences of dozens of Digital Nomads in different regions of the country, as well as the interest expressed by many of them to access the permit starting next year, generate a lot of hope. More events are expected to take place, more coworking venues built, and more initiatives such as CROMADS, which seeks to present Croatia as a country rich in activities throughout the year, will continue to attract more Digital Nomads in 2022.

To get the best start to the year, be sure to follow Total Croatia News on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. For more information about Croatia, its destinations, and everything you need to know before traveling, visit Total Croatia. If you want to know everything that Croatia has to offer you twelve months of the year, visit our new portal, CROMADS. For more news about Croatia, click here.

Total Croatia News wishes all of our readers and subscribers a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Plastic Bag Ban in Croatia from January 1, 2022: How Will It Look?

December 29, 2021 - A plastic bag ban in Croatia will take effect from January 1, 2021, with bags between 15-50 microns thick the first to go. 

The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Ćorić stated that plastic bags with a thickness of 15 to 50 microns will no longer be in use from January 1, 2022, and that other types of plastic bags will be phased out in the next period, reports Index.hr.

This includes most of the bags used in everyday shopping.

Asked by reporters about the implementation of the law on waste management related to the use of plastic bags from January 1 next year, Ćorić said that this is a law whose implementation will be delayed to allow producers and distributors to adjust.

"Bags with a thickness of 15 to 50 microns are coming out of circulation, and it is primarily a matter of respecting the directive from 2015, which went in the direction of reducing the use of bags," said Ćorić.

He emphasized that reusable, i.e., canvas and paper bags, is being promoted. However, that nylon, i.e., plastic, has unfortunately become a Croatian reality in nature, and that this should be abolished.

"In the next period, as time goes on, other types of bags will slowly recede. However, that is not the case yet; this is the first step," he said.

Ćorić stated that there was criticism from the public after the decision to withdraw some plastic bags. Still, everyone producing these bags for two years knew that they would ultimately be abolished, i.e., it was communicated two years ago that so-called medium bags would slowly go out of function.

When asked when other plastic bags will be out of use, he said that they are working to make this measure come to life first and then move towards a solution for both ultra-light and reusable bags.

“There are more and more reusable bags in stores, and that is the right direction,” he said.

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

Thursday, 16 December 2021

UEFA Nations League Draw: Croatia to Face France, Denmark, Austria

December 16, 2021 - The UEFA Nations League draw was held tonight. Croatia has been drawn into Group 1 against France, Denmark, and Austria. The 2022 Nations League competition will be played next June and September. 

Croatia learned who they will play in the 2022 Nations League tonight. The Croatia national team will play in the elite A league against 

Croatia was placed in the third strong hat and could not be drawn against England, Poland, and Switzerland. As in the previous edition, Croatia would face two stronger opponents and a slightly less attractive national team from the weakest, 4th hat.

Potential opponents for Croatia in the A league were one national team from each of these three strong groups:

Group 1: France, Spain, Italy, Belgium
Group 2: Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany
Group 4: Wales, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary

What is particularly interesting are the dates that UEFA has planned for these six group matches. Due to the complicated football calendar thanks to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which will be played in November and December next year, the Nations League dates have been tightened to just two months.

Namely, the Nations League will be played in June and September, with four games in just two weeks in June next year, while two games are planned for September.

From June 2 to 14, i.e., across 12 days, UEFA has planned four games to be played every three days. This term is not ideal, as footballers will already be exhausted after the club season come to an end. 

It is not yet known how this Nations League season will affect the qualifications for Euro 2024. UEFA has said that this has not yet been decided.

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

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Davis Cup Final: Croatia Tennis is 2nd Best in World

December 5, 2021 - Croatia is the second-best tennis team in the world after Russia celebrated in the Davis Cup final on Sunday in Madrid.

Russia celebrated the Davis Cup title after beating Croatia 2-0 in the final, winning both singles matches.

After Andrey Rublev defeated Borna Gojo 6:4, 7:6 (5) in the first match, bringing Russia the first point, Daniil Medvedev, the second-best tennis player in the world, defeated Marin Čilić 7:6 (7), 6:2, thus securing the Cup for Russia. 

Čilić played an excellent first set but failed to hold his momentum in the second against this year's US Open winner. 

In the first six games, both servers were efficient to reach a 3:3 score. In the seventh game, Čilić faced his first break point and ultimately missed a break point for 5:3.

The decision fell in the tie-break where Čilić led 4:2 but did not reach a single set point. Medvedev, on the other hand, used his third.

In the second set, Medvedev quickly reached a break and took a 3:1 lead which opened the door to victory. The Russian tennis player did not back down again and at 5:2 broke Čilić for the win and Russia's Davis Cup title. 

Croatia had a brilliant Davis Cup campaign this year, beating Australia and Hungary in the group stage, before topping Italy in the quarters and Serbia in the semifinal for a spot in the final this year. Recall, Croatia played without one of its top tennis players in this tournament - Borna Ćorić. 

Croatia thus remains on the two Davis Cup trophies. Croatia won the Cup in 2005 and 2018, and in addition to this final, they played and lost the final in 2016 (against Argentina in Zagreb).

This is the third Davis Cup trophy for Russia. They celebrated in 2002 and 2006. In addition to these victories, Russia has lost three finals (1994, 1995, and 2007).

DAVIS CUP FINAL:

RUSSIA - CROATIA 2-0

Medvedev - Čilić 7:6 (7), 6:2 
Rublev - Gojo 6:4, 7:6 (5)

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

 

Saturday, 4 December 2021

2021 World Championship: Croatia Women's Handball Crush Paraguay 38:16

December 4, 2021 - Croatia women's handball crush Paraguay in the second round of the 2021 World Championship in Spain, securing their first victory of the competition and a chance at moving to the second round. 

The Croatia women's handball team recorded a convincing victory in the 2nd round of the 2021 World Championship in Spain.

After losing to Brazil at the opening of the World Championship, Nenad Šoštarić's team beat Paraguay 38:16 (15:5) in the second round of Group G.

With an easy victory against Paraguay, Croatia practically secured the second round, in which three national teams from each group will be placed. The win is also important to improve the team's morale after the initial defeat against Brazil. 

Despite the great victory, one of the greatest ever for Croatian women's handball, the match didn't start so well. Paraguay led 3:2 in the fifth minute. However, Croatia came back with a 10:0 series and kept their advantage until the end of the match. 

Ana Turk and Valentina Blažević scored the most in Croatia, six goals each.

Japan beat Paraguay beat in the first match 40:17. The World Championship in Spain is Paraguay's fourth in history. So far, they have been to France in 2007, Serbia in 2013, and Germany in 2017. They were 23rd in the first, 21st in the last two. In 21 matches so far, they have achieved four victories (2007: Australia 16:14, 2013: Algeria 29:19, 2017: Argentina 28:25, China 23: 21), one draw (2013: Australia 18:18), and suffered 16 defeats. The hardest was against Norway at the 2007 World Cup in France of 50:12, or minus 38 goals.

CROATIA - PARAGUAY 38:16 (15: 5)

CROATIA: Bešen, Kapitanović, Pijević; P. Posavec 1, Krsnik, S. Posavec 4, Mičijević 1, L. Kalaus, Ježić 4, Burić, Šimara 2, Dežić 5, Debelić 5, Turk 6, Mamić 4, Blažević 6.

PARAGUAY: Acosta, Fleitas, Gimenez, Acuna 5, Dos Santos, Faria 1, Fiore 1, Fernandez 3, Gonzalez 1, Leiva 1, Insfran 3, Miskinich, Rolon 2.

EXCLUSIONS: Croatia 10 minutes, Paraguay 14 minutes
PENALTIES: Croatia 6/6, Paraguay 3/7

In the last match of the group, the "Queens of Shock" will face Japan on December 6. 

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

Source: HRT

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

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

2022 European Men's Handball Championship: Croatia's Group Stage Schedule in Szeged

November 23, 2021 - The 2022 European Men's Handball Championship is right around the corner. Croatia will play their group stage games next January in Szeged.

The European Handball Championship is scheduled for January 13-30, 2022, in Hungary and Slovakia. Croatia is in Group C, where they will play against France, Serbia, and Ukraine, reports Gol.hr.

The two best national teams from each of the six groups of the first round will travel to the second round and compete in two new groups with six teams. Finally, the best two national teams from both groups will reach the semifinals of the European Handball Championship. 

Croatia plays in Szeged, on the border with Serbia

The Croatia national team will play their three introductory matches in Szeged, hopefully not the only matches at the Euro. At the start of Group C, a handball classic between Croatia and France awaits us on January 13 at 8:30 pm.

Two days later, on January 15, another spectacle - Croatia plays a neighborhood derby against Serbia in a city on the border with Serbia. After that, Croatia will play its last match in Group C on January 17 against Ukraine.

The two best in the second round group go to the semifinals

The best two from Croatia's group will play in a new group in the second round with the two best teams from groups A and B. This group will play their matches in Budapest from January 20, 2022. 

The semifinals are scheduled for January 28, and the final and match for 3rd place on January 30.

2022 Euros Handball schedule:
Group A
January 13
18.00 Slovenia - North Macedonia
20:30 Denmark - Montenegro

January 15
18:00 North Macedonia - Montenegro
20:30 Slovenia - Denmark

January 17
18:00 Montenegro - Slovenia
20:30 North Macedonia - Denmark

Group B
January 13
20:30 Hungary - Netherlands

January 14
20:30 Portugal - Iceland

January 16
18:00 Portugal - Hungary
20:30 Iceland - Netherlands

January 18
18:00 Iceland - Hungary
20:30 Netherlands - Portugal

Group C
January 13
18:00 Serbia - Ukraine
20:30 Croatia - France

January 15
18:00 France - Ukraine
20:30 Croatia - Serbia

January 17
18:00 Ukraine - Croatia
20:30 France - Serbia

Group D
January 14
18:00 Germany - Belarus
20:30 Austria - Poland

January 16
18:00 Germany - Austria
20:30 Belarus - Poland

January 18
18:00 Poland - Germany
20:30 Belarus - Austria

Group E
January 13
18:00 Spain - Czech Republic
20:30 Sweden - BiH

January 15
18:00 Czech Republic - BiH
20:30 Spain - Sweden

January 17
18:00 BiH - Spain
20:30 Czech Republic - Sweden

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

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Croatia Davis Cup Team without Borna Ćorić, First Match against Australia

November 20, 2021 - The Croatia Davis Cup team will be without Borna Ćorić this year. The competition begins in Turin on November 25 against Australia.  

The end of the tennis season is reserved for the Davis Cup final, and the final tournament takes place from November 25 to December 5 this year. Croatia will play its first match in Turin on Thursday, November 25, against Australia, reports T.portal

Marin Čilić, Nino Serdarušić, Borna Gojo, Nikola Mektić, and Mate Pavić are the forces that will represent Croatia in Turin. Croatia is in Group D with Hungary and Australia. If they win first place, they will also play against the winner of Group E (Italy, USA, Colombia) in the quarterfinals, also in Turin. 

"We are sorry that Borna Ćorić is not with us, but we are happy to go to Turin. We wish Borna a speedy recovery and a return to the court. With this team, we also have a great chance considering the excellent form of Marin Čilić and the number one doubles team in the world, and with the whole team and the professional staff who are always with us. Therefore, we believe that we will pass the group and that we will reach the quarterfinals," said Nikolina Babić, president of the Croatian Tennis Federation, at the press conference held at the Hilton Garden Inn Zagreb.

Nikolina Babić was recently elected vice president of Tennis Europe.

"It is a great recognition and an excellent chance for the Croatian Tennis Federation so that we can all do something more for Tennis Europe and European tennis in general, young players, and achieve greater opportunities for new tournaments to come to Croatia. Junior tennis must be more noticeable, and that is the part that will be worked on more. The focus will be on new programs.

We spent the last days in preparation. Unfortunately, due to a shoulder injury, which has been bothering him for a long time, Borna Ćorić will not compete. He will be replaced by Nino Serdarušić, along with Marin Čilić and Borna Gojo. We also have the best doubles team, Nikola Mektić, and Mate Pavić. Tomorrow morning we will travel to Turin where we will have training for the next four days. We play our first match on Thursday against Australia and Sunday against Hungary. I hope that we will pass our group and play in the quarterfinals against the winner of the group that is also played in Turin. After that, it will probably be Italy or the USA," said Vedran Martić, the Croatia Davis Cup team coach. 

In the first phase, the competition is held in six groups, and the six group winners and the two best second-placed national teams move forward. 

Ahead of the Davis Cup competition, Borna Gojo said:

"I feel great. We will do our best and hope for the best result. Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić are already there to be ready to welcome opponents who are quality players in both teams. We are happy because we have Marin Čilić, who is in great shape and the best doubles team in the world. We will also try to play as well as possible. I think we have a really good chance to go further," said Gojo, while Nino Serdarušić added:

"We are ready to start the Davis Cup and can't wait to get to Turin. We know both opponents well, Australia and Hungary. Two weeks ago, I played against Hungarians, and I believe in our team, and I think we can achieve great results." 

Croatia has won two Davis Cups so far.

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

Friday, 12 November 2021

Croatia U21s Top Estonia 2:0 in Pula, Record 5th Win in 2023 Euro Qualifiers

November 12, 2021 - The Croatia U21 team continued their winning streak in the 2023 Euro qualifiers, topping Estonia 2:0 in Pula on Thursday night. 

The Croatia U21 national football team recorded its fifth consecutive victory in Group A of the 2023 Euro qualifiers, defeating Estonia 2:0 in Pula. Roko Šimić (39) and Jurica Pršir (62) scored Croatia's goals. 

Croatia was already a step closer to the victory in the 5th minute. Baturina shot from the right but hit the post. Pršir shot on goal in the 39th minute, but Šimić solidly put the rebound into the net. It was his sixth goal in these qualifiers.

In the second half, Croatia continued to dominate. In the 55th minute, Kačavenda shot from the outside and hit the crossbar. Croatia resolved all doubts about who would win in the 62nd minute when Pršir scored a great goal from more than 20 meters. 

Croatia calmly kept the lead until the end of the match and continued their perfect series in the 2023 Euro qualifications.

Croatia leads the group with a maximum of 15 points and a goal difference of 14-3, and Norway is second with 9 points and a game less, while Austria has the same number of points. Estonia is last with six defeats and a 0-19 goal difference.

The winners of the nine groups and the best second-placed national team will directly qualify for the 2023 European Championships, which will be held from June 9 to July 2 in Romania and Georgia. 

The remaining eight runners-up will play in additional qualifiers for four more teams at the European Championships. 

RESULTS:

Croatia - Estonia 2-0 (Šimić 39, Pršir 62)

On Friday, November 12, Azerbaijan will host Austria, and Norway will host Finland. 

Standings

1. CROATIA 5 5 0 0 14-3 15

2. Norway 4 3 0 1 13-4 9

3. Austria 5 3 0 2 14-6 9

4. Finland 4 2 1 1 7-4 7

5. Azerbaijan 4 0 1 3 2-14 1

6. Estonia 6 0 0 6 0-19 0

Austria will host Croatia in the next 2023 Euro qualifier on November 16. 

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

 

Thursday, 11 November 2021

One Step Closer: Croatia Crush Malta 7:1 in Penultimate 2022 World Cup Qualifier!

November 11, 2021 - Croatia crush Malta 7:1 in the penultimate Group H 2022 World Cup qualifier. The match against Russia on Sunday at Poljud will decide which team goes to Qatar next year. 

The Croatia national team played the penultimate qualifying match to qualify for the 2022 World Cup against Malta on Thursday in Valletta.

The Croatia lineup had a few surprises. Ivo Grbić started in goal instead of Dominik Livaković, with Juranović, Ćaleta-Car, Guardiol, and Sosa in the defense. Lovro Majer joined Modrić, Brozović, Pašalić, and Perišić in the midfield, and Andrej Kramarić started at the top of the attack.

MALTA (3-4-3): Bonello - Shaw, Agius (C), Pepe - Attard, Cristensen, Teuma, Camenzuli - J. Mbong, Montebello, Degabriele

CROATIA (4-2-3-1): Grbić - Juranović, Ćaleta Car, Gvardiol, Sosa - Brozović, Modrić (C) - Majer, Pašalić, Perišić - Kramarić

After Russia topped Cyprus in their second-to-last Group H match (6:0), Croatia had no room to make a mistake against Malta. And they didn't. 

Recap

Kramarić had the first chance of the game already in the 2nd minute but shot over the crossbar. But Croatia's first goal came just 4 minutes later. Modrić and Kramarić took advantage of the keeper's high position to find Perišić alone at the top of the box for 0:1 Croatia! It was Perišić's third goal in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. 

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Slobodan Kadić

Croatia's pressure only increased in the next two minutes, with Sosa attacking up the left-wing and Modrić nailing a shot at the keeper. 

Gvardiol scored in the 12th minute which was called offside, and Malta scored from offside a minute later! An exciting first 15 minutes kept us on the edge of our seats, but the most important thing was that Croatia stayed ahead.

Croatia finally increased their lead in the 22nd minute. A Modrić free kick found the head of Ćaleta-Car for 0:2!  

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Slobodan Kadić

Unfortunately, Croatia's defense was caught in the 31st minute, resulting in an own goal by Brozović for 1:2. 

It didn't take long for Croatia to get back to a comfortable result. An incredible ball from Majer found Kramarić alone on a counterattack. Pašalić ran into open space to score for 1:3 in the 39th minute! 

And the first half wouldn't be complete without a goal from the captain. A brilliant backheel from Pašalić found Luka at the top of the box for 1:4 - and Modrić's 20th Croatia goal! 

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Slobodan Kadić

Kristijan Jakić replaced Brozović to start the second half as Dalić needs Broz fresh against Russia. And there was not much need for him anyway - Kramarić assisted Majer's goal in the 47th minute for 1:5 Croatia! 

And then another one just 5 minutes later - Kramarić took advantage of an empty goal for 1:6 Croatia in the 52nd minute!

Dalić subbed on Oršić, Petković, and Vlašić for Perišić, Kramarić, and Modrić in the 53rd minute. Livaja was subbed on for Pašalić in the 61st minute. 

Majer was on fire, scoring his second goal of the game in the 63rd minute for an incredible 1:7 Croatia! 

Croatia dominated for the remainder of the match but was unable to increase their lead. The match ended 1:7 for Croatia! 

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Slobodan Kadić

Croatia and Russia will meet in the final Group H World Cup qualifier on Sunday at Poljud Stadium in Split. The winner will directly qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.  

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

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