Monday, 14 June 2021

EURO 2020: Zlatko Dalić Reveals Croatia Lineup Change against Czech Republic

June 14, 2021 - Coach Zlatko Dalić revealed a Croatia lineup change in their next EURO 2020 match against the Czech Republic on Friday. 

Croatia opened its EURO 2020 campaign with a defeat on Sunday at Wembley, in front of 18,000 fans. England topped Zlatko Dalić's side 1:0 with a goal by Raheem Sterling in the second half.

One day later, Dalić addressed the public from Rovinj, where the Croatia team returned this morning, reports Sportske Novosti

Are changes being prepared for the next match against the Czech Republic? What is the atmosphere like? How much did the defeat leave a mark on the team?

"We're not going to spoil the atmosphere much. We lost to one of the Euro favorites. We'll be, I hope, in better shape. We weren't good enough; not good enough to win. We thought we'd withstand the pressure and then get a draw. The match was actually like that except for that mistake where we were all half a step late and conceded a goal. We were not good enough for the victory, but not much worse than England. I am aware, and it is obvious to me that we are not good up top. We lack more action, more depth, and more entry into space. This is a problem that I am aware of, we have to solve it, and if we do not solve it - it will not be good. Tactically we played a very good game. We reduced England to two shots on goal."

Has winning the silver in Russia disturbed Croatia's perspective and current strength?

"We are not realistic. We look at everything differently than others. I can't understand that a big problem could be created from this defeat. We were not bad. We, I repeat, miss that attacking game. Our reality is passing the group and then let's do our best step by step in the knockout phase. I'll consider it a success. We tried, but we weren't good enough to beat England."

Second place is better for Croatia?

"I'm just thinking about going through the group. And then, the knockout phase follows. We have to think about ourselves, fix the game forward. It won't be easy against Scotland and the Czech Republic either. I'm an optimist, so I can't be a pessimist after Belgium and England."

There is a lot of talk about the role of Kramarić on the wing. How satisfied are you, and what did you get from that experiment?

"I would love to see a coach who will come to Wembley and not give the players a task in defense. Andrej had a task on the right to close Tripper in the defense, and in the attack, he had full freedom. He went inside and in that way to make it as easy as possible for him - to receive the ball from the side, which he was trying to do. It's not easy against the best players. He played well for me."

The Czech Republic is next. 

"Now we have to go for the win. We have to be more offensive now, especially because we see that we are waiting in the attack, that there are few of us to finish, and that we have no entry into space and vertical balls. We'll work on that. We have to get the most out of it; we need to win."

How important are experienced players like Modric to continue?

"Luka is our engine that pulls all this. Experience is significant, especially in big competitions and tournament matches. Luka means a lot here."

What is the situation with Borna Barišić's injury?

"After arriving in Rovinj, he skipped two training sessions due to an injury he had in Scotland. Unfortunately, he is not in the condition he was with his club all year. We are waiting for the MRI results; the official result is at 5 pm. It's a handicap and bad luck for us, especially because we play in Scotland, on his pitch."

How satisfied are you with the camp in Rovinj?

"We are delighted with the conditions. With the hotel, the food, the field, but we don't have our peace. For example, you wrote, 'Dalic is preparing a surprise, and then on the front pages two days ago they published the lineup. So we don't have that peace, and that's the problem of that camp that we don't have peace, that we can't be closed. That's certainly not good, but that's not a reason now. I can't change that and what it is, is there."

There will be changes against the Czech Republic.

"Honestly, we are only starting to analyze them today and will watch the match. After that, we will be smarter. They have good individuals, have improved a lot, and have a young and strong team. We know we have to go for the win. Today Lovren had an MRI. We have to change both the system and the way and try to open the game differently. Be sure to be more offensive and look for more penetration. There will be a change."

"I didn't know the England lineup until the morning before the game."

"We won't win or lose a game if someone saw something in training. Every day there is speculation. This one plays, that one plays ... People read what's going on in training, then they comment, and it gets sucked into the players. Then there is controversy, that's what's not good and what we don't need. Well, we don't have to write everything right away; you won't get a higher salary if you write that the marker got this or that. You’re there to comment on the training, to look at it, not to turn out like I’m preparing a surprise, and then who’s playing comes out on the cover. I didn’t know the lineup until the morning before the game, but they knew two days before. But you are doing your job, and I appreciate that" concluded Dalić.

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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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Friday, 28 May 2021

Nikola Vlašić Promises Spectacle against England at Wembley

May 28, 2021 - Nikola Vlašić talks about the excellent atmosphere on the Croatia national team and promises a spectacle against England at Wembley. 

After an extraordinary season in the CSKA Moscow shirt, where he profiled himself as one of the best players in the Russian league, Nikola Vlašić is full of motivation at the Croatia national team preparations, reports HNS.

Croatia will open their European Championship campaign against England on June 13 at Wembley, and Nikola Vlašić believes that coach Zlatko Dalić has numerous trump cards for such a tough meeting.

 

"It's always a motive to play for Croatia, but to play at Wembley against England ... it will be a spectacle; we all can't wait for that game. Many of our players played the best seasons in their careers, and if we transfer that to the national team, it can be a great situation. If we are organized as a team, we can expect a good result," he says.

An injury at the end of the season is not a problem for him, and spirits are high on the Croatia national team.

"There is no feeling of disagreement; we all talk to each other and hang out - I think the atmosphere is at an enviable level," said Vlašić, praising the qualities of his teammates.

The Croatia national team gathered on May 25 for Euro preparations in Rovinj. After the friendly against Armenia on June 1 in Velika Gorica, the national team will have a final check on June 6 against Belgium in Brussels, from where they will travel to the base camp in St. Andrews on June 8. 

The UEFA EURO 2020 will take place between June 11 and July 11, 2021. Croatia plays in Group D (London/Glasgow) with England (hosts), Scotland (hosts), and the Czech Republic.

Croatia opens its EURO campaign on Sunday, June 13, against England (15:00, London). On Friday, June 18, Croatia plays the Czech Republic in Glasgow, Scotland (18:00). Croatia's final group stage match is against Scotland on June 22 in Glasgow (21:00). 

The top two in each group plus the four best third-placed teams go through to the knockout phase. The round of 16 is scheduled from June 26 to 29. The quarterfinals are held on July 2 and 3, the semifinals on July 6 and 7. The final will be played on July 11 at Wembley Stadium in London. 

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

 

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Brilliant Croatia in U-21 EURO Quarterfinals after Dramatic Match Against England!

March 31, 2021 - Croatia will play in the U-21 EURO quarterfinals! 

The Croatia U-21 national team played a key match against England in Group D of the European Championship in Koper on Wednesday. 

With a Portugal win against Switzerland and a Croatia loss by no more than one goal, Croatia would advance to the quarterfinal round. They played 1:2 against England for a spot in the quarters against Spain! 

Lineups

Hrvatska: Kotarski - Bradarić, Franjić, Vušković, Šverko - Bistrović, Babec, Moro - Špikić, Vizinger, Ivanušec

Engleska: Ramsdale - Aarons, Tanganga, Wilmot, Kelly - Gallagher, Skipp, Jones - Eze, Nketiah, McNeil

Recap

90' + 1' GOOOAAAL! Fantastic goal by DOMAGOJ BRADARIĆ! The Croatia defender scored an unreal goal from 20 meters for the quarterfinals!!!

90' Five minutes of injury time

87' Zaper is booked

86' Vizinger and Sverko out for Musa and Divkovic 

82' Croatia has been dangerous in a while...

79' Croatia needs one goal, as losing by only one will put them in the quarters 

76' Majer replaced Bistrovic

74' Goal! England is on the verge of the quarterfinals after Jones scored for 2:0. 

72' Nketiah and Gallagher subbed off for Brewster and Cantwell 

71' Opportunity for Croatia! Ivanušec pulled a counter and playd Moro who shot diagonally from the right side desperately far post

66' Portugal has done a great service to Croatia, who now must not lose by two goals to advance to the quarterfinals

65' Bistrovic shot blocked by the defender

64' Portugal takes the 3:0 lead

64' Colina replaced Spikic, and Zaper entered instead of Babec

63' McNeil hit the post from a free-kick. For the second time, the goal frame saved Croatia

60' Portugal up 2:0 against Switzerland! As the result stands now, Croatia advances to the quarterfinals

54'Great opportunity for England! Babec lost the ball, Eze played Nketiahu perfectly who shot straight at Kotarski from the top of the penalty area

53' Jones shot from 20 meters, the ball was blocked and bounced a little over the goal into the corner

50' Kotarski defended Eze's free-kick

49' An opportunity for England! Kotarski desperately received the ball, bounced off his leg towards Eze, but they somehow managed to clear it

46' The second half began

45'+ 3' End of the first half. Croatia entered the game poorly but recovered after conceding the goal and played better. Špikić and Ivanušec had great opportunities, which unfortunately were not goals. The good news is that with the current results, Croatia and Portugal, who is leading against Switzerland 1:0, are going to the quarterfinals

45'+ 3' Bradarić is booked for a handball and received a yellow card for objecting. There was nothing controversial about it

45' Three minutes of injury time

45' Kelly was booked and must now be careful not to get a second yellow 

38' Great chance for England! Jones faked Šverko and shot the opposite corner, but the ball went past the goal

37' Brilliant chance for Croatia! Ivanušec stole the ball from England, rushed towards Ramsdale, but shot at the England goalkeeper 

35' Ivanušec shot from the top of the penalty area, Ramsdale reacted badly, but caught the ball from the second attempt catches the ball.

32' Great opportunity for Croatia! Moro passed on the left side and sent a sharp ball to the box where Špikić shot high over the goal. It was a great chance, Špikić had to react better

28' The good news is that Portugal is still leading against Switzerland

27' Špikić passed nicely on the right and knocked down the England defender 

25' Finally some better play by Croatia, which recovered after receiving the goal

20' Croatia struggled to clear the ball out, England with 61 percent possession 

16' England completely dominated in the minutes that followed 

12' Goal! England takes the lead as Eze routinely scored the penalty for 1:0

11' England awarded a questionable penalty. Nketiah fell in a duel with Babec 

10' Huge opportunity for England! Nketiah shot but Kotarski saved

9' Eze found Jones hitting on the edge of the penalty area but hit the crossbar

9' A good pass from McNeil to Nketiah, but Vuskovic cleared 

4' Portugal took the lead against Switzerland. If Portugal wins, Croatia can lose to England, but not by more than one goal 

Source: Index.hr

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

Monday, 24 June 2019

U21 Euros: Croatia Ends Tournament with Draw Against England (3:3)

June 24, 2019 - Croatia and England met for the final group stage game of the U21 Euros on Monday. Because both teams stood at the bottom of Group C, they would not be advancing further in the tournament and only played for pride.

Croatia's U21s ended the Euros in San Marino against England with a Recall, Croatia’s young side lost 4:1 to Romania and 1:0 to France in their first two games of the tournament.

Coach Nenad Gračan made some changes in the lineup compared to the games against Romania and France. Namely, in the initial list, the previous reserves were Grbić, Čabraja, Kalaica, Moro, and Kulenović. Today's starting lineup included Grbić, Uremović, Kalaica, Katić, Čabraja, Vlašić, Šunjić, Moro, Majer, Kulenović, and Brekalo.

The game started with a bit of bad luck on Croatia's side as England was awarded a penalty in the 11th minute to lead 0:1. Both teams had chances in the following minutes, with England having the better of them. 

However, Croatia finally got their chance in the 39th minute. The promising Josip Brekalo sprinted up the left side, cut into the middle of the box to beat the defender and hit a far-post rocket for the equalizer! The game was 1:1 at the half.

England dimmed Croatia's hopes just three minutes into the second half. After a blunder in Croatia's defense, James Maddison put England back in the lead for 1:2.

But Croatia wouldn't allow England's lead to last long. Majer capitalized on a catastrophic defensive mistake by England, found the foot of Kulenović who then touched the ball to Nikola Vlašić for his second goal of the tournament and the equalizer! The game was 2:2 in the 62nd minute. 

Unfortunately, England took the lead for the third time in the game. Kenny scored in the 70th minute for 2:3. But Croatia continued to press, and a perfect through ball to Brekalo saw him nutmeg the keeper for 3:3!

The game ended 3:3, which was Croatia's only draw of the tournament. Croatia has also finished last in Group C. 

By advancing to the semifinal of the Euros, Croatia would have automatically secured a spot at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which would have been historic for Croatian football.

However, Croatia's young side will have to wait a bit longer. 

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

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Croatia Falls to England at Wembley, Drops Out of Elite Nations League

November 18, 2018 - An unfortunate result at Wembley for Croatia as they failed to win against England in the final round of the Nations League group stage. 

Friday, 2 November 2018

UEFA Nations League: Croatia Lineup for Spain and England Includes Young Stars

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić has published the lineup of the Croatia national football team for the upcoming games against Spain and England in the UEFA Nations League. 

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Croatia and England Behind Closed Doors: The Experience

Croatia and England met for their UEFA Nations League match on October 12, 2018, in front of an empty Rujevica stadium in Rijeka. TCN was there to experience the quiet. 

Friday, 12 October 2018

Croatia v England (Live Updates)

Friday, 12 October 2018

Southgate Responds to Modrić's English Media Comments: You Didn't Understand Our Humor

Croatia will host England in the UEFA Nations League on Friday in front of an empty Rujevica stadium. Kick-off is at 20:45 (CEST). 

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