Sunday, 13 June 2021

England Tops Croatia 1:0 in EURO 2020 Group D Opener at Wembley

June 13, 2021 - England tops Croatia 1:0 in the EURO 2020 Group D opener at Wembley on Sunday. 

England and Croatia met in the first round match of EURO 2020 Group D at Wembley on Sunday. Around 22,500 fans were said to be in the stands, and not nearly as many Croatia fans as hoped due to the Amber list restrictions in the UK. However, the few present at the stadium were loud - and the red and white checks spiced up the already warm Wembley atmosphere. It was almost 30 degrees Celcius! 

The lineups were released an hour before kickoff, with no real surprises on either side given the coach announcements and training over the last few days. 

Lineups:

England: Pickford - Trippier, Mings, Stones, Walker - Mount, Rice, Phillips - Sterling, Kane, Foden

Croatia: Livaković - Guardiol, Ćaleta-Car, Vida, Vrsaljko - Brozović - Perišić, Kovačić, Modrić, Kramarić - Rebić

The match started promptly at 14:00 GMT.

England pressed a bit in the first few minutes of the match but Croatia worked their way up the pitch in the 4th minute, with brilliant passing between Modric, Kovacic, and Perisic into the box. England had a dangerous chance in the 5th minute which fortunately hit the far post. 

Sterling worked his way into Croatia's box three minutes later. Croatia was lucky it went out for a corner. Livakovic made a stellar save in goal to keep the score equal.

England continued to threaten Croatia's half, with the stadium on their side. An England free kick in the 16th found Kane who was in the offside position. 

England was in Croatia's box for the few minutes that followed. A shaky Croatia defense still managed to clear out anything from England, but barely. 

Croatia began making their way up the pitch from the 22nd minute and maintained good possession. The ref was hesitant to award a foul on Luka Modric. 

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Slobodan Kadic 

A Croatia cross into the box was headed out by the England defense, and a Gvardiol cross moments later went out for a goal kick. 

Sterling shot over Croatia's goal in the 25th minute. Another great Croatia attacking play saw Vrsaljko nutmeg the England defense and find Perisic across the box who shot wide. Croatia was looking less nervous and more like a team. 

Mi Hrvati could be heard in the stands. 

A left-footed Vrsaljko cross went across the box and just missed Gvardiol in the 28th minute. England was sloppy in the next few minutes, passing two careless balls out. 

Luka's fancy footwork in the midfield was a joy to watch, as always. 

England finally made it back into Croatia's half in the 33rd minute. A fab Foden touch found Walker but was fortunately miscommunicated. 

Kovacic showed on the pitch his Premier League prowess, masterfully working his way in the Croatia midfield all half. 

England was awarded a free-kick just outside Croatia's box in the 41st minute. Caleta-Car was shown a yellow card. Trippier shot right into Croatia's wall (Perisic's head). 

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Slobodan Kadic

Gvardiol, Perisic, and Rebic were quick to attack the box with a minute to go, but the England defense remained solid. Vrsaljko cleared out their last chance of the half. 

It was an uncertain start but Croatia found their footing for the second part of the first half, which ended 0:0. 

The second half started with no changes for either side. Mateo Kovacic was shown a yellow card three minutes in. 

Kramaric was brilliant back on defense and played a perfect ball to Rebic down the right-wing which went out for a Croatia ball. A killer Modric nutmeg found Rebic again but nothing came of the play. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Vrsaljko was hesitant to go into a tackle with Trippier who ran the ball down England's left side. Brozovic was there to end the attack, and Modric was fouled for the Croatia ball. 

Kramaric continued creating chances in the midfield, finding Perisic on the left. Luka took a shot in the 54th minute which was an easy one for Pickford to save. 

A mishap in the Croatia defense saw an England through ball to Sterling who scored for 1:0 in the 57th minute. England maintained possession for the minutes that followed. Another chance for Croatia in the 60th minute went for a corner. 

Croatia had a good chance in the 64th minute but Rebic shot wide of the goal.  

A quick England counter resulted in a Brozovic yellow card and free-kick just outside the Croatia box. Mount hit over the goal. 

A Croatia corner found Brozovic who also shot wide. Dalic subbed on Vlasic for Brozovic and Brekalo for Kramaric. England subbed on Rashford for Foden a the same time.  

Croatia was dangerous in the 72nd minute, but a Vrsaljko cross went out for a goal kick. Dalic subbed on Petkovic for Rebic in the 78th minute. Dalic was after a goal with not much time left. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Harry Kane was subbed off for Bellingham in the 81st minute. 

Mateo Kovacic was subbed off for Mario Pasalic in the 85th minute. A Croatia free-kick straight after was played offside. 

Four minutes were added to the end of the match in which Pasalic had a brilliant chance in the final second, but Croatia was unable to score. The match ended 1:0 for England. 

The Czech Republic and Scotland are also in Group D and play their first match on Monday. The first two teams in each group and the four best third-placed teams advance to the round of 16. 

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Saturday, 12 June 2021

England and Croatia Meet Again in EURO 2020 Group D Opener on Sunday: What to Expect?

June 12, 2021 - England and Croatia meet again, this time in the EURO 2020 Group D opener at Wembley Stadium in London. 

The day before the match, Zlatko Dalić and Luka Modrić appeared before the press.

"They are playing in front of their audience, opening the Euro; I expect them to be quite aggressive and challenging, a fighting game. We are ready; we have worked well these seven days; we are preparing," said Luka Modrić.

Was England arrogant at the World Cup?

"That arrogance didn't apply so much to the players and the England team, more to the journalists, commentators, and people around. In the last few days, I haven't dealt with those journalists too much, so we are focused on the game and not on what is being said from the sidelines," Modrić said.

English journalists questioned Modrić about Croatia's tactics, who answered politely:

"What, would you like me to reveal all of our tactics? You will see everything on the field tomorrow," said the Real Madrid midfielder.

About the fans:

"We will miss the fans, and it would be nice if they could come and support us in large numbers because their presence helps us a lot and gives us extra energy. As for the camp and staying in Rovinj, in my opinion, it is not a problem, and we have our peace, even though we are in Croatia." 

Coach Zlatko Dalić pointed out that Croatia will establish possession and play high pressure.

"We are aware that we are playing against a great team and one of the favorites to win the Euros. We have to be compact, aggressive, and combative. We will not just come to defend ourselves; we will try to make a good result and start the championship successfully. We will try to get our chances through possession," Dalić began.

He said that Croatia was ready for both formations that Southgate could use - three at the back or four at the back.

"Whatever system the England coach uses, we will be ready. They have great quality, especially in the attack. We want to be those who will have possession of the ball and the opportunity; we will not just defend. England is always dangerous if they play with four backs and even more dangerous with three. We must resist the pressure. I don't think they can surprise us, nor can we surprise them."

Dalić is likely to start Croatia with Livaković - Vrsaljko, Vida, Ćaleta-Car, Gvardiol - Brozović - Kramarić, Modrić, Kovačić, Perišić - Rebić.

Croatia and England have a vibrant history over the last 15 years. They played last in the Nations League in 2018. England celebrated 2:1, but Croatia knocked them out of the World Cup semifinal just a few months before. 

England is also still trying to get revenge on Croatia for knocking them out of Euro 2008 when Bilić's side won 3:2. However, England won 5:1 in the World Cup qualifiers at Wembley to get Croatia back. 

England is the favorite to win this time around, especially playing at home with mostly England fans in the stands, but if football has taught us anything, it's that anything can happen. 

The Czech Republic and host Scotland meet on Monday. The top two national teams from each group and the four best third-placed teams will advance to the round of 16.

Source Gol.hr

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Friday, 11 June 2021

Croatian FANS Embassy ZONE Comes to Zagreb's Ban Jelačić Square for EURO 2020!

June 11, 2021 - Croatian FANS Embassy ZONE will come to Ban Josip Jelačić Square in Zagreb for the duration of EURO 2020!

The official fan club of the Croatia national football team Mi Hrvati is organizing the largest and most attractive fan zone, Croatian FANS Embassy ZONE, on Ban Josip Jelačić Square in Zagreb for the European Football Championship (EURO 2020) to be held in 11 European cities this summer, reports Gol.hr.

Croatian FANS Embassy ZONE 2021 is the largest fan project in this part of Europe and the most important sports and cultural event of the year. This year's fan zone will be more special than ever before because Croatian fans have been prevented from entering Great Britain without the obligatory ten-day quarantine due to epidemiological measures. Thus, fans will be able to experience the ambiance of the stadium in the country's central football hub - the fan zone on Ban Jelačić Square in Zagreb.

Organizationally and production-wise, this year's fan zone will be at the highest level, through a superbly equipped and designed space for outdoor production and activation zones.

All visitors will have the opportunity to watch all European Championship matches on a large LED screen of 40m2. An interesting entertainment program with numerous Croatian performers, a diverse accompanying program, and a rich catering and shopping offer are additionally provided.

Croatian FANS Embassy ZONE will be held, of course, with absolute respect for all current epidemiological measures.

On Friday, June 11, there will be a grand opening of the EURO in Rome, and the Croatian FANS Embassy ZONE in Zagreb, with the performance of Učiteljice from 19:30. An even bigger spectacle will take place during Sunday's match between Croatia and England with entertainment guaranteed thanks to the Zaprešić Boys starting at 14:00.

The fan zone will bring life to the capital city for one month, from June 11 to July 11, 2021.

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Thursday, 10 June 2021

Croatian Football Federation Statement on Kneeling ahead of EURO 2020

June 10, 2021 - The Croatian Football Federation statement on kneeling was released on Thursday ahead of EURO 2020. 

The Croatian Football Federation statement on kneeling before EURO 2020 matches was released on Thursday. Recall, England, Belgium, and other national teams have decided to take a knee before kickoff in the fight against racism.

The news that Croatia would not kneel before their matches appeared in the English media yesterday, specifically The Daily Mail.

You can read the full statement from HNS below: 

"The Croatian Football Federation and the Croatian national team strongly condemn any and all forms of discrimination. We also respect the right of every individual and every organization to select the circumstances and the manner in which they will take a stand against racism and/or other forms of discrimination. 

The Croatian Football Federation believes that the players have a right to their own opinion on these topics, and that they also have a right to choose whether they want to engage in any activity. The players of the Croatian national team jointly decided ahead of the friendly match against Belgium that they will not take the knee, and they respectfully stood in silence during the kneeling of their Belgian colleagues. The Croatian Football Federation respects their stance on this and will not impose taking the knee as an obligation for Croatian players, as this gesture does not hold any symbolic ties to the fight against racism and discrimination in the context of Croatian culture and tradition.  

In general, we believe the most important thing is the fact that Croatian internationals have conducted themselves respectfully throughout their careers and that they have shown through their behaviour that they respect all individuals, opponents, and teammates, regardless of race, religion, social status, ethnicity, or any other characteristic, which is a value that is also promoted by the Croatian Football Federation."

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

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Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Split Zvončac EURO 2020 Fan Zone Announced: The Details

June 9, 2021 - The Split Zvončac EURO 2020 Fan Zone has finally been announced, where football fans can gather to watch all European Championship matches. 

Citizens of Split likely remember the last football Fan Zone, organized in 2018 in Đardin, during the World Cup. This year, the EURO 2020 fan zone will work from June 11 to July 11 at the legendary Zvončac park, a location many Split citizens adore, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The Fan Zone will also be organized by Damir Karaman, with associates from the company "Karaman Koncert," which has so far successfully organized numerous sports, cultural, and entertainment events in Split.

Visitors will be able to watch the games on a large screen and enjoy food and drink. 

"During the duration of the tournament, we will organize various prize games and events," said Damir Karaman.

Which performers and bands will play at the Fan Zone?

"We are still negotiating, but it will be a surprise for the days off at the European Championships, when we will fill the space with various programs.

It is normal for fan zones to be held in city parks so that people can hang out and have fun. Zvončac is ideal for us because it is bigger than Đardin.

That is why I, in cooperation with the Split and Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Boards, organized it in our city. Well, God willing, we will create a fan zone next year for the World Cup," said Damir Karaman.

Numerous tourists, mostly foreigners, also visited the last fan zone in 2018.

"All foreigners who were in Split knew about the fan zone, and when their national teams played, but also others, foreign tourists came there to watch the matches.

We must emphasize that several media houses reported from the Fan Zone - the German Bild, Danish television, and reputable portals. HTV, RTL, and Nova TV also reported from the fan zone, so it was more marketing for the city itself, and great promotion," said Karaman and pointed out that he will organize everything according to current epidemiological measures, in agreement with the Civil Protection Headquarters.

Admission will be free
The fan zone organized during the 2018 World Cup proved to be a hit and added value to Split.

It was attended better than any event in Đardin and passed without a single incident, with a crowded and brilliant fan atmosphere.

As before, admission will be free for all citizens and tourists, no matter the program.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Ante Budimir Becomes Most Expensive Player in Osasuna History!

June 8, 2021 - In the latest football transfers news, Spanish club Osasuna wanted to keep Croatian footballer Ante Budimir at all costs and decided to buy his contract from Mallorca.

Budimir thus became the most expensive footballer in Osasuna history because the Pamplona club will pay Mallorca eight million euros, reports Index.hr. Osasuna used the clause they agreed on at the same time as Budimir's loan. According to that clause, Osasuna could bring the Croatian striker for eight million euros, while for all other clubs, the clause was 15 million euros. Ruben Garcia, Dady, and Masous Shojaei were the most expensive footballers in the history of Osasuna until now, and they were paid three and a half million euros each.

Budimir thus signs a contract until 2025. While Osasuna plays in the first league, the contract buyout clause will amount to 20 million euros, and if he drops out, it will be reduced to nine million euros. Mallorca will also have a 25 percent profit from the next transfer.

Budimir scored 11 league goals on loan for Osasuna, including some of the key ones in the fight for survival.

 

"The new fan idol will now finally make a dream come true and play in front of an audience in Pamplona. Due to the coronavirus, he couldn't do it last season," AS writes about the Mallorca player brought to Spain in 2019 for 2.2 million euros from Crotone.

Osasuna finished the season in 11th place, and Budimir was the club's top scorer. Of the 11 goals in the Primera, he scored seven with his head, making him the top scorer in the Primera in that category. He was followed by Karim Benzema from Real Madrid with six goals, and Youssef En-Nesyri, who scored five goals with his head for Sevilla.

The 29-year-old striker made his debut for Croatia last year. He played seven games for the national team and scored one goal. He did not get a minute in the preparatory matches for the Euro against Armenia and Belgium.

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Sunday, 6 June 2021

Belgium Tops Croatia 1:0 in Final Friendly before EURO 2020

June 6, 2021 - Belgium tops Croatia in the final friendly match in Brussels on Sunday. 

The European Championship starts next Saturday for Belgium in St. Petersburg against Russia, and for Croatia a day later at Wembley against England.

Five days ago, Croatia played only 1:1 against Armenia.

"We made a historic result three years ago. This is not the same team that was at the time. We have a young team that has talent but needs time to play. I hope we repeat a good result. It is true that we are playing against the best team in the FIFA rankings and we have great respect for them, but we want to achieve the best result. It's a big challenge for us, but the game is played six or seven days before the first match at the Euro, the most important thing is that there are no injuries," said Dalic before the match.

Zlatko Dalic led the team in accordance with the announcements. Three changes were made compared to the Armenia friendly - Kovačić strengthened the midfield instead of Vlašić, Rebić played on the right wing instead of Brekalo, while Petković replaced Kramarić at the top of the attack.

Lineups

Belgium: Courtois - Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen - Castagne, Tielemans, Dendoncker, Chadli - Mertens, Carrasco - Lukaku

Croatia: Livaković - Vrsaljko, Vida, Ćaleta-Car, Barišić - Brozović, Kovačić - Rebić, Modrić, Perišić - Petković

In the first five minutes, Croatia controlled the game and didn't allow Belgium to enter their half. Belgium's first chance came in the 11th minute when Brozović was careless and gave the ball to Chadli, who hit over the goal from the edge of the penalty area.

Belgium became increasingly dangerous as the match continued and hit the crossbar twice in the 31st minute. Perišić threatened a minute later but his shot was blocked. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Belgium finally scored in the 38th minute. A mixup in the Croatia defense allowed Lukaku to score from close range for 1:0. Petković found Perišić for a chance in the 42nd minute but he was offside. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Gvardiol made his debut at left back instead of Barišić to start the second half and quickly confirmed his spot on the Croatia team. A great ball in the box by Gvardiol in the 52nd minute found the head of Petković who aimed at Courtois. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Mertens had a dangerous opportunity for Belgium moments later was weak in is shot. 

Croatia looked good at the opening of the second half but still did not create opportunities. In the 61st minute, Dalić subbed on Pašalić, Vlašić and Kramarić for Modrić, Kovačić and Rebić.

Croatia possessed well in the 10 minutes that followed. Brekalo came on for Petković in the 69th minute. Vlašić shot for Croatia after what felt like ages, but it was an easy save for Courtois. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Oršić came on for Perišić in the 80th minute, and Eden Hazard entered the match for Belgium one minute later. 

Belgium had a massive chance in the 88th minute but two brilliant saves by Livakovć kept it 1:0. Brekalo had Croatia's best chance of the game in the 90th minute which was famously saved by Courtois. The match ended 1:0 for Belgium.

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Saturday, 5 June 2021

Works Continue on Long-Awaited New Poljud Pitch (VIDEO)

June 5, 2021 - Good news for Hajduk fans - works are currently underway on a brand new Poljud pitch that will soon crown the beloved Split stadium! 

Hajduk announced that installing the new hybrid lawn on the main Poljud pitch is in full swing. In accordance with the planned deadlines, the first planned phase of works, removing the lawn and preparing the substrate in cooperation with the company Jadro, has been completed.

In addition, 11 centimeters of old quartz sand were removed for better drainage, and the base for laying new quartz sand was leveled. Among other things, the grass surfaces of the warm-up area and the entire surrounding part outside the tartan track are being renewed.

The field was taken over by the Croatian Football Federation on Friday together with the contractor. In the next phase, they will lay the new pitch! 

 

The latest generation hybrid lawn will eventually cover the current field sand, and Hajduk will soon get the national team-worthy pitch it deserves.

Hajduk's new coach, Jens Gustafsson, will gather the team on June 14 and lead them at the beginning of preparations for the new competitive season.

Hajduk will train until June 17 in Split, when they will head down south to Konavle for three trainings before the first preparatory match. Hajduk will be guests at the 100th-anniversary celebration of HNK Slaven Gruda on June 19 at 5 pm at the Gnjila Sports Center playground.

After visiting the Dubrovnik surroundings, Hajduk will return home to train at Poljud until June 23. The team will then leave for fifteen-day preparations in Slovenia. This year, Hajduk's expedition will stay and do a series of training in the new preparation base in Zreče.

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Friday, 4 June 2021

Zlatko Dalic Sends Message to Fans Ahead of Croatia and Belgium Friendly

June 4, 2021 - Zlatko Dalic faced the press on Friday ahead of the Croatia and Belgium friendly this weekend, sending a message that the team understands their obligation to fans in Croatia. 

The day before the flight to Brussels, where Croatia will play their last pre-Euro friendly against Belgium, coach Zlatko Dalic sent a message to Croatia fans. He pointed out that the national team is aware of its obligation to the Croatian people. He spoke about the problems in the national team, the pros and cons of the draw against Armenia, and the expectations from players who are dissatisfied with their status. One of them is Andrej Kramarić, who, after 20 goals scored in the Bundesliga this season, is not safe among Dalić's starters. A few days ago, he advised the media to ask Davor Šuker what he would say after such a season.

Are there any things you are happy with from the Armenia match (1-1)?

I am satisfied with everything except the result. We had minor injury problems. We did the rest as expected, but the draw with Armenia left a bitter taste. In that game, we had to win 4-0 or 5-0, not draw 1-1. I am dissatisfied with this result. Plus, we created 5-6 percent chances, and we didn't do that in three games in a row at the beginning of the World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia, Cyprus, and Malta. We were nonchalant and irresponsible and did not realize them. We were not specific, and that is a minus. It was easier to score than to miss those chances, and if we had done that, the result would have been expected for me. I'm not happy with a draw like this. The atmosphere would be nicer because the result always brings positivity. But when I saw that we ran 118 kilometers and had a lot of high sprints, I am still satisfied.

What is the situation with injured players - Lovren, Brekalo, and Gvardiol?

Lovren works according to a custom program; he is getting better. Gvardiol and Brekalo are injured, and we will take care of them to the maximum. If they are not one hundred percent ready for training today, they will not be ready for the game. There is no point in forcing them now and forcing them to work one hundred percent; if they don’t feel the best, that’s not right. They are not ready, and we are waiting for them. According to the latest findings, everything will be ok.

What will be the focus during the training at the end of the preparations?

Belgium will be a great test to work on tactics for England and a defensive break. We will see what is not good in that game on Sunday, and we will correct it in the next 5-6 days. We will refresh the team and make the lineup.

What do you expect from the match against Belgium?

It is a big challenge for us, we are playing against the first national team in the world in the FIFA rankings, and it is great preparation for England. In that match, Croatia must show its quality, strength, especially in the defense, and resist such an opponent, who has great individuals. Next, we need to learn lessons from that game and correct the shortcomings that need to be corrected by England. Belgium will show us whether we are on the right track or not.

Does the result matter? Would winning mean a lot for confidence?

The result is always important. I told the players that after Armenia. A positive result brings a positive atmosphere, self-confidence, and, in addition to the fact that we have to look for our game, we also have to look for the result. The result raises and motivates you even more, especially against the best team in the world.

Scotland has corona; as many as seven players are unavailable to the coach.

They have seven players with corona, but they still played 2:2 with the Netherlands and led until the last minute. It is a problem that accompanies us all; tests are every day, and players are constantly under psychological pressure. It’s a burden, we constantly think about it and be careful, but little can be done there. We have to learn to live with it.

Do you know the starting lineup for England?

We know roughly the starting lineup, but we’ll leave that to ourselves. We will try everything in today’s training, and over the course of tomorrow, we still have to do some things. It is important that we standardize, determine the starting lineup, and give tasks to our players to be ready for what awaits them.

What do you think Kramarić looked like against Armenia, and is there any doubt between him and Vlašić when it comes to the starting lineup?

We have three safe matches at the Euros, and the line-up against England will certainly be different compared to Scotland and the Czech Republic. Kramarić, Vlašić, and even Pašalić are very close to the team, but it depends on the opponent. There is no place for dissatisfaction here, no place for disagreement. I’m in charge of the team I put together and put the guys inside.

Who do you think are the Euro favorites?

Nine teams are rightly shooting for the European title at the moment. The world champions France, then England, who have a great young team and play at home, and Portugal as the current European champions. These are the teams that are in the narrowest circle. There are also Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium. Everyone has a chance, and this will be a challenging and uncertain European Championship.

Do you have a message for the fans after Croatia's poor results lately?

I also said this to the boys during the meeting: the Croatian people are waiting for us and expect good results. The people want to rejoice again, and we must accept that responsibility. This team did many good things, but during the three years behind us, it got a little lost, and the results were not great. However, we left behind our goals, all of which we had set. We really miss the fans; we know what synergy we have with them when the stands are full. I hope that we will be good again and we have a great obligation to the Croatian people.

Source: Index.hr

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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

EURO 2020 Prep: Croatia and Armenia Friendly Ends 1:1 in Velika Gorica

June 1, 2021 - Croatia and Armenia finish 1:1 in Velika Gorica in a friendly match played as part of EURO 2020 preparations. 

The Croatia national team played its first EURO 2020 preparatory match against Armenia in Velika Gorica. 

Zlatko Dalic's team will open the EURO against England at Wembley on June 13, before meeting the Czech Republic and Scotland in Glasgow on June 18 and 22. 

Until London, Croatia will play another friendly match against Belgium on Sunday. 

Lineups

Croatia: Livaković - Vrsaljko, Ćaleta-Car, Vida, Barišić - Modrić, Brozović - Brekalo, Vlašić, Perišić - Kramarić

Armenia: Jurčenko - Teterian, Voskanjan, Calisir, Hovhannisian - Babajan, A. Grigorian, Spertsian, Bajramian - Barsegian, Adamian

Croatia opened the match in control and had their first chance already in the 2nd minute when Perisic headed over the goal. Vlasic had another great chance for Croatia in the 10th minute but shot wide of the post. 

After a few threatening plays by Armenia, Croatia took the lead thanks to a brilliant Perisic header off a Modric corner. Perisic not only scored for 1:0 Croatia - he scored on his 100th cap in the Croatia shirt! 

Josip Brekalo had to come off the pitch due to injury in the 26th minute, with Mario Pasalic taking his place. Kramaric and Vida both had chances in the 10 minutes that followed, and perhaps the best chance of the match in the 42nd minute with Perisic missing from close range. Pasalic's scissor kick hit the post to end the half.  

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Slobodan Kadic

The second half began with many changes. Vrsaljko, Modric, Vida and Vlasic came out at half time for Juranovic, Rebic, Skoric, Petkovic. 

Rebic had an excellent chance to start the second half but shanked over the goal from 10 meters out. Rebic found Kramaric five minutes later who took a weak shot from in front of the goal. 

Pasalic was in an excellent position to score two minutes later but decided to lay the ball off instead of shooting. 

Badelj came on for Perisic in the 60th minute. 

Armenia shocked Croatia with an equalizer in the 72nd minute - Wbeymar scored for 1:1! Livakovic saved Croatia from another Armenia goal in the 79th minute. 

The match ended 1:1. 

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