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

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from May 31- June 6, 2021

 June 6, 2021 - TCN's highlights of the week. A look at the events in Croatia from May 31 through the selection of TCN's reporter Ivor Kruljac. 

From significant political changes after the local elections to the losses and preparations in sport, the week was hyped by a strive for hope in Croatia. But, the tragic murder of Nino Čengić in Varaždin was a painful kick to the stomach. Here is another weekly selection of the news depicting the bittersweet life in Croatia. 

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© Patrik Macek / PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Tomislav Tomašević officially. becomes the new mayor of Zagreb

Zagreb local elections winner Tomislav Tomašević met with Jelena Pavičić Vukičević for an official ceremony of transferring power on Friday, which makes Tomašević officially the new mayor of Zagreb.

Media attention was also caught for the fact that Tomašević was four minutes late to the ceremony because he was waiting for the ambulance on Cibona because a woman fell ill in the middle of the street. But, for the bigger public interest, it's important to note today was the first time for Tomašević to have a detailed view on the financial situation of the City of Zagreb, giving him a clear picture of the debt problem Zagreb has. 

As TCN reported earlier, Tomašević told the press after the ceremony that the situation is not good, but there are solutions. Still, so far, no more details were given on the two-thousand-odd-page reports on the 2020 budget execution and preliminary figures. Additionally, the new city assembly would hold the founding meeting on 17 June.  

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© Slavko Midzor / PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Zlatko Dalić on Croatian National Football Team

The Croatian National Football Team is preparing for the friendly clash with Belgium. As reported by TCN, Zlatko Dalić faced the press on Friday ahead of the match. 

„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“, said Dalić to the press. 

Dalić also 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. 

Expectionsare big ahead of the EURO championship, and no doubt fans will pay attention with close interest. 

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© Vjeran Zganec Rogulja / PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Anđelko Stričak, new prefect

The power transfer ceremony on Friday also took place in Varaždin where Anđelko Stričak defeated current Varaždin prefect Radimir Čačić. 

„The victory is well deserved. In the past nine years as the president of Varaždin county organization of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), and in six years as a member of the parliament, I've been to every corner of Varaždin county and talked to everybody. I heard the needs of our citizens, and I tried to solve them by cooperating with coalition partners on every level. Of course, I'm not the best, most capable or most perfect, but I will try with my team to give my best that everybody in the county feel changes for the better“, said the new Varaždin County prefect Stričak, as reported by Varaždin county's official website

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© Sanjin Strukic / PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Croatia Loses to Spain in the Under-21 European Championship

Spain was better than Croatia after extra time in the Under-21 European Championship quarter-final in Maribor on Monday. The match ended 2:1. As reported by TCN, Croatia was solid in the first half and threatened the Spain goal on a few occasions. Despite Spain's high pressure, Ivanušec had a chance from 20 meters in the 7th minute, and in the 23rd, Bradarić's shot was blocked by the Spain defense. Spain retaliated with a Diaz shot from 20 meters, but Croatia's defense made it difficult for them to do much more. 

The young Croatia national team fought against Spain for a spot in the semifinals. 

Igor Bišćan's side met Spain at Ljudski Vrt stadium in Maribor. 

"The guys are aware that we have a great chance, they are motivated to do something, and we are all around them to give them that chance and be supportive. They have quality," Bišćan announced before the match.  

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© Vjeran Zganec Rogulja/ PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: Nino Čengić funeral in Varaždin

The Funeral of the English professor Nino Čengić who passed away last Sunday, was held on Wednesday. Nino Gengić, a substitute English professor in one Varaždin school, was brutally beaten with bats and chains in front of the local club in Varaždin called Kulturana. He was 35 years old.

As Jutarnji List reports, four suspects aged 24-29 are currently in custody while the investigation is ongoing as to what lead to this attack. Suspect's apartments were searched, and one suspect illegally possessed a considerable amount of ammo and fire weapons to match. All suspects were previously known to the police for troubling behavior, and the most tragic was the fact that 15 people witnessed the beating, but nobody stopped it.

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