Thursday, 29 April 2021

Croatia Friendly Against Armenia Scheduled in Velika Gorica ahead of Euros

April 29, 2021 - A Croatia friendly against Armenia has been scheduled in Velika Gorica on June 1 as part of the national team's preparations before heading to the Euros this summer.

The Croatia national football team will play a friendly match against Armenia in Velika Gorica on June 1 at 6 pm before leaving for the European Championships. The decision was made by the Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation, and the match was confirmed by Uefa.

Velika Gorica is the tenth city to host the strongest Croatia football team, after Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Varaždin, Pula, Vinkovci, Šibenik and Koprivnica. Before the Vatreni visit, Velika Gorica will host the Cup final between Dinamo and Istria in 1961 on May 19.

The Croatia national football team will gather on May 25 at the beginning of preparations for the Euro, which will traditionally be held in Rovinj. After the friendly against Armenia, the national teal 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. 

Source: HNS

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Thursday, 29 April 2021

EHF EURO Cup: Croatia Handball Winning Streak Continues with Win against Slovakia

April 29, 2021 - The Croatia handball winning streak continued on Wednesday night after defeating Slovakia in Varaždin.

After Hungary and Spain, the Croatia men's senior national team also beat Slovakia in the EHF EURO Cup (32:24) and continued their winning streak. In three competition games, Croatia has recorded three victories. There will be a rematch in Varaždin tonight. 

SLOVAKIA: T. Paul 4/12, M. Žernovič 7/31, P. Hruščak - / -, T. Rečičar - / -, M. Briatka 1/2, J. Prokop 3/6, T. Urban 6/7, L. Duriš 2/4, L. Pechy 1/4, M. Kovačech 1/3, T. Bornar 1/1, L. Urban 2/2, D. Calafut 4/6, M. Slaninka 2/2, M. Jakub 1/4 Coach: Peter Kukučka

CROATIA: I. Pešić 8/38, M. Mandić 2/8, L. Mihić 5/5, A, Gadža 4/4, V. Načinović - / -, T. Kušan 2/2, I. Čupić 2/4, L. Šebetić 4/5, V. Matanović 1/2, D. Mandić 5/6, N. Grahovac 1/1, T. Lučin 2/6, M. Maraš 4/6, L. Šušnja 1/2, F. Grubisic 1/2, D. Pavlović 1/2 Coach: Hrvoje Horvat

Of the 18 players available, coach Hrvoje Horvat decided to send Karel Godec and Fran Mile to the stands. The new extremely young Croatia, with as many as seven debutants, and without a whole series of their stars, started the match with Pešić in goal, D. Mandić on the left, I. Čupić as the captain on the right, L. Šušnja as the pivot, and Domagoj Pavlović, Tin Lučin and Luka Šebetić on the outside positions.

Both teams started with a 6:0 defense. Croatia's defense reacted brilliantly in the opening. They stole three balls from Slovakia and, in less than five minutes, went to 5:1. Ivan Pešić had several saves, and in the 13th minute, it was 7:3.

Slovakia was saved from a complete flood of goals in that period thanks to the excellent Marian Žernovič, who collected six saves in the 15th minute. Slovakia also changed the defense and reached a 7:7 draw. 

Horvat rotated a lot in the first half. Given the huge number of players who found themselves on the court together for the first time, the game was not as fluid and beautiful as expected. However, Croatia did not allow Slovakia to take the lead for a single moment. In fact, at the end of the first half, Croatia scored a 6:0 series and left Slovakia without a goal for eight minutes. Croatia calmly went to the break with a six-goal difference (16:10).

It took Croatia a full three minutes to score the first goal in the second half. Admittedly, even more for Slovakia. Croatia's net finally shook for the 11th time after four and a half minutes of play. Croatia's defense was very mobile and aggressive, and Slovakia called a timeout after only seven minutes of play because Croatia was already nine goals ahead (20:11). Croatia's biggest advantage was +11. Debut goals were scored by Kušan, Maraš, Grubišić, Lučin. 

Croatia's best scorers were David Mandić and Lovro Mihić, with five goals each. Tomas Urban was best for Slovakia with six goals.

 

Source: HRS

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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

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Tuesday, 30 March 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Tops Malta 3:0 in Rijeka

March 30, 2021 - In their 3rd qualifier for the 2022 World Cup, Croatia tops Malta 3:0 in Rijeka.

Croatia met Malta at Rujevica Stadium in Rijeka in the 3rd round of Group H of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Zlatko Dalic's side had a shocking display in Ljubljana on Wednesday, losing to Slovenia to open the qualifications and immediately complicated their road to the World Cup. Recall, only the group winner qualifies directly for Qatar.

Two days later, however, Croatia changed tactics and managed to defeat Cyprus in a comfortable win. Mario Pašalić scored the only goal for the Vatreni during the first half. It surely wasn't Croatia's best performance, but it was enough to secure the team's first three points.

Dalić repeats the 4-3-3 formation used against Cyprus but decided to give many of his players some rest. From the last game, only Livaković, Ćaleta-Car, Pašalić, and Budimir returned the squad. Vida, Kovačić, and Vlašić made a comeback to the starting lineup after being benched the last match. Juranović, Melnjak, Badelj, and Oršić started for the first time. Vida replaced Modrić as the captain.

Lineups

Croatia (4-3-3): Livaković, Juranović, Ćaleta-Car, Vida, Melnjak; Kovačić, Badelj, Vlašić, Pašalić, Oršić; Budimir

Malta (3-4-3): Bonello; Shaw, Pepe, Borg; Mbong, Guillaumier, Kristensen, Camenzuli; Teuma, Satariano, Pisani

Recap

Croatia put a lot of pressure on the opposite team from the start, and it was Vlašić who got the first shot of the game in the second minute that went out, but very close to the post. Both teams started quite aggressively.

In the 14th minute, Vlašić again showed up to dribble past two defenders and put a very dangerous cross into the box. Pašalić hit the ball with a great header, but the shot went against the crossbar. This was Croatia's clearest attempt during the first half. 

Despite the early pressure from Croatia in the first 18 minutes, it didn't seem like enough to take the lead or dominate the ball possession. Shortly after, the Croatia midfield seemed to find the patience necessary to initiate the attacks in a more orderly manner, getting 64% of the possession in the 25th minute.

Although the Croatia side became the superior team in terms of possession and attempts afterward, the Malta defense did not give ground. Once again, a nice combination between Budimir and Vlašić in the 31st minute of the game gave the latter a great chance to put an interesting cross in the box, but no one was there to tap it in.

They continued to look for scoring opportunities through the end of the first half, but despite Vlašić's great first half and Oršić, Pašalić, and Kovačić's individual display; the visitors did not lower their arms and defended their goal fiercely.

Just one minute was added to the end of the first half, but the result did not budge. Both teams reached the halftime break drawing 0-0.

The Vatreni began the second half just like the first one, searching for the lead by pressuring their rivals from the start. And who else but Vlašić, who in the 46th minute shot to goal to complete his third attempt of the night, however, saved by the keeper.

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Slobodan Kadic

A couple of minutes later, another great opportunity came for the home team when Juranović's long ball reached Oršić, and the Dinamo midfielder found himself in a 1v1 situation with the goalkeeper. Oršić tried to lob the keeper, but he managed to stop the shot.

In the 53rd minute, Dalić decided to make a triple substitution. Modrić came on for Badelj, Brekalo for Pasalić, and Perišič for Budimir.

In the 58th minute, Barišič replaced Melnjak in the left-back position.

Reaching the first 15-minute of the second half, Croatia struggled to find more attempts. However, in the 61st minute, Barišić's entrance delivered more offensive situations, and he managed to put a beautiful cross that found Perišić completely alone in front of the goal. The veteran player scored the first goal of the game and became Croatia's fourth all-time scorer.

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Slobodan Kadic

It looked like Croatia lowered the pressure after the goal, but the referee gave the Vatreni a penalty in the 75th minute due to a handball in the box. Luka Modrić, who became the Croatia player with the most appearances for the national team last match against Cyprus, scored the second goal of the match and his first in the qualifiers.

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Slobodan Kadic

In the 78th minute, Lovrić replaced Oršić.

In the 90th minute, Brekalo scored for 3:0, which was the final score of the match. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia will visit Russia on September 1 for their fourth game of Group H.

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Slobodan Kadic

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

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Zlatko Dalić Opts for Croatia Qualifying Squad Unlike Ever Before against Malta in Rijeka

March 30, 2021 - A Croatia qualifying squad unlike ever before will face Malta in Rijeka on Tuesday night after Zlatko Dalić announced he would rest some players who started against both Slovenia and Cyprus.

Sportske Novosti writes that for the first time in Croatia's 27 years of participation in tournament qualifications, the coach will not send a team on the pitch he thinks is best but will consciously sub and offer rest to certain players.

Livaković, Vrsaljko, Barišić, Modrić, Brozović, Lovren, and Perišić will not start today's match. Most of them will sit in the stands with the option for someone to enter the game later.

So far, we have only seen this in friendly matches and big competitions, as a "Reserve Croatia" never went for qualifying points. 

Playing qualifiers with a team that you know is not the best is consciously taking a risk, but it is no less of a risk than sending the same footballers on the pitch for the third time in such a short period, increasing the risk of injury.

Throughout history, Croatia had played only three games with the B team when points were shared in the final tournaments. They have recorded two victories. After winning two rounds at Euro 1996 in England, Croatia lost to Portugal 0:3, at Euro 2008 they defeated Poland 1:0, and at the last World Cup, Croatia beat Iceland 2:1. The team was partially revised in 2016 in the match against Spain in Bordeaux; however, Luka Modrić and Mario Mandžukić were injured. Modrić, however, would have played if it was a key game, but Ante Čačić logically saved him. In the end, Croatia won 2:1.

Zlatko Dalić is not a gambler. He proved how important Modrić is to him in Russia, and in that match against Iceland in Rostov, he sent ten new players on the pitch and captain Luka to lead them. 

However, the coach is aware of how much energy the players are spending in the hardest season ever. At the same time, HNS is exposed to the clubs' demands not to use them to the end. According to Real or Inter, there is no obligation unless such a promise is given to someone under pressure. Still, according to the players, there is because the ultimate goal is the optimal solution for everyone. Thus, Dalić announced that Modrić & Co. would not play tonight. In the middle of the pitch, Milan Badelj will get a chance, which will be his first minute of the current cycle.

"We must not underestimate them; they led against Slovakia 2:0. As for the lineup, we will rest some players. Luka Modrić will be on the bench to start; we will see what will happen with Ivan Perišić and Marcelo Brozović. We consider including players who had fewer minutes, but not because we underestimated the opponent, but because we think fresh players should start.

We will start with Juranović and Melnjak, Vrsaljko and Barišić have run out. It will be two new players on the backs. We let Kramarić go home for treatment because he twisted his ankle in the match against Cyprus. Budimir will be up top. We still have to see in what condition Lovren, Vida, Uremović, and Ćaleta-Car are in to find the best solution there. Whoever plays will have to give their best because we are not full of confidence and security.

We expect a higher quality and better flowing game, and we want to bring the game to an end with as little stress and nervousness as possible," concluded Dalić.

Croatia and Malta meet tonight at Rujevica Stadium in Rijeka from 8:45 pm. 

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Sunday, 28 March 2021

U-21 Euros: Croatia Tops Switzerland For First Win in Koper (3:2)

March 28, 2021 - In the second round of the U-21 Euros, Croatia tops Switzerland 3:2 in Koper, Slovenia. 

The Croatia U-21 side played the second round of the European Championship in Koper against Switzerland on Sunday. 

Recall, Croatia lost to Portugal 1-0 in the first round, while Switzerland beat England with the same result. Igor Bišćan's team needed a good result today to stay in the game for the final phase of the competition. In the event of Croatia's defeat and Portugal's victory or draw against England, Croatia will no longer have a chance to pass.

Igor Bišćan made four changes compared to the last game, and instead of Šemper, Vušković, Majer, and Kulenović, he started Kotarski, Babec, Špikić, and Vizinger.

Lineups

Croatia: Kotarski - Šverko, Erlić, Franjić, Bradarić - Babec, Moro, Bistrović - Špikić, Vizinger, Ivanušec

Switzerland: Racioppi - Lotomba, van der Werff, Zesiger, Sidler - Pušić, Sohm, Domgjoni, Toma - Guillemenot, Zeqiri

Recap

The match started with a great opportunity for Switzerland. Zeqiri crossed to Guillemenot whose shot went just past the goal.

But it was Croatia to get ahead first. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Switzerland goalkeeper Racioppi made a weak clearance, Ivanušec capitalized and shot a volley from about 20 meters. Racioppi could not get to the goal line quick enough, and Croatia led 1:0. 

Switzerland was dangerous in Croatia's penalty area, only slightly missing the goal on a few occasions. In the 24th minute, Erlić was unable to continue the match and Bišćan made his first substitution. Vušković entered the pitch. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Guillemenot and Sidler both had chances to equalize for Switzerland, but Kotarski remained solid in goal. Switzerland continued attacking in the final minutes before halftime, but Croatia's defense allowed nothing through. 

The ref added two minutes of injury time, and Croatia led 1:0 at the half. 

The second half started without any changes on either side. 

Moro and Ivanušec had an excellent opportunity to increase Croatia's lead in the 52nd minute, but the Switzerland keeper made two brilliant saves to keep them in the game.

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Slobodan Kadic

Moro, Špikić, and Bistrović combined for another chance which resulted in a corner. 

Croatia was awarded a penalty in the 60th minute, which Nikola Moro scored for 2:0! Not even two minutes later, Vizinger made it 3:0!

Bišćan made changes for the first time in the second half in the 76th minute. Franjić, Moro, and Špikić came out for Krizmanić, Žaper, and Čolina. Moro also suffered an injury, hopefully nothing major. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Switzerland was awarded a penalty in the 78th minute thanks to a Vizinger handball. Imeri scored for 3:1.

Switzerland reduced the result to 3:2 in the 89th minute. Kulenović knocked the ball into Croatia's net.

The match ended 3:2 for Croatia!

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Saturday, 27 March 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Defeats Cyprus 1:0 in Rijeka

March 27, 2021 - In their 2nd qualifier for the 2022 World Cup, Croatia defeats Cyprus 1:0 in Rijeka. 

Croatia met Cyprus at Rujevica Stadium in Rijeka in the 2nd round of Group H of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Zlatko Dalic's side had a shocking display in Ljubljana on Wednesday, losing to Slovenia to open the qualifications and immediately complicated their road to the World Cup. Recall, only the group winner qualifies directly for Qatar.

Dalić mixed things up on Saturday, opting for a 4-3-3 formation instead. Duje Ćaleta-Car, Mario Pašalić, Josip Brekalo, and Ante Budimir were new to the starting eleven, while Domagoj Vida, Mateo Kovačić, Nikola Vlašić, and Andrej Kramarić dropped out of the first 11 compared to Wednesday. 

Lineups

Croatia (4-3-3): Livaković, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Ćaleta-Car, Barišić; Brozović, Brekalo, Modrić, Pašalić, Perišić; Budimir

Cyprus (3-4-3): Demetriou; Kousoulos, Soteriou, Laifis; Psaltris, Artymatas, Cham. Kyriakou, Ionanou; Tzioni, Ilia, Pittas

Recap

Croatia was powerful to start the match, pushing the Cyprus defense in the first 10 minutes. Pašalić just missed a header for the Croatia lead in the 4th minute, and Barišić's left side was active in getting Croatia to attack. Croatia totally dominated a weak Cyprus side who seldom touched the ball. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Nearing the 20th minute, Luka Modrić volleyed from 18-meters to hit just over the goal, and Croatia's chances did not stop there. A Perišić lay-off to Brozović saw him miss in what was perhaps Croatia's best chance so far. 

Vrsaljko played a beautiful ball into the box that was a hair too fast for Pašalić's head, and Luka missed again from outside the box. 

But then it happened.

Croatia finally found the back of the net in the 39th minute. Mario Pašalić scored from a header for 1:0!  

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia almost made it 2:0 five minutes later, but the ref called it offside. Croatia ended the first half with 71% of possession.

Croatia started the second half with one change - Dalić subbed off Šime Vrsaljko for Josip Juranović.

Croatia's attacking game did not slow down at the start of the second half.

Perišić and Barišić shot in the 51st minute, while Juranović played a stellar ball to Brozović to shoot a few minutes later. Nothing, however, resulted in a goal. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Andrej Kramarić came on for Ante Budimir in the 57th minute. 

Croatia continued to get chances but struggled to find the back of the net. On a good day, it would have been 10:0 for Croatia by now. 

Dalić opted for fresh legs again and brought on Mislav Oršić and Nikola Vlašić for Mario Pašalić and Josip Brekalo in the 66th minute. Ivan Perišić and Mateo Kovačić swapped places 10 minutes later. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Cyprus opened up more and was looking forward, especially for that equalizing goal. Croatia's game was becoming sloppy, and it was hard for them to connect passes. They struggled to maintain a smart attacking game. 

Vlašić shot at the Cyprus keeper in the 80th minute. At least he attempted. 

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Slobodan Kadic

The ref added four minutes of injury time and the match ended 1:0 for Croatia. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia will play Malta on Tuesday in Rijeka at 20:45. 

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

Thursday, 25 March 2021

U-21 Euros: Croatia Falls to Portugal in Game 1 of Group D

March 25, 2021 - Croatia falls to Portugal in their first match of Group D at the U-21 Euros at Bonifika Stadium in Koper, Slovenia.

The Croatia U-21 national team opened the group stage of the European Championship in Slovenia against Portugal at 9 pm on Thursday evening. Croatia plays in Group D against Portugal, Switzerland, and England. 

In the first game of Group D on Thursday, Switzerland shocked England, complicating the group even before Portugal and Croatia kicked off. 

Lineups

Portugal: Costa - Correia, Queiros, Leite, Dalot - Fereirra, Florentino, Fernandes - Trinaco, Tomas, Pote

Croatia: Šemper - Šverko, Erlić, Vušković, Bradarić - Bistrović, Moro, Franjić - Majer, Kulenović, Ivanušec

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Slobodan Kadic

Recap

90' The ref added 6 minutes

84' Ten minutes without a chance.

74' The game came to life, but Croatia has not yet managed to create an opportunity to get back in the match.

69' GOAL! Fabio Vieira scored just minutes after entering the game. He came in brilliantly from the back and received the ball with space, calmly beating Šemper.

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Slobodan Kadic

68' Bišćan introduced Babec and Musa instead of Moro and Majer. He seems to be going for three points with two strikers.

61' Nothing exciting in the last six minutes apart from a series of lost balls on both sides.

55' Several counterattacks on both sides, but none ended in an opportunity to score.

49' Majer shot poorly from the edge of the penalty area and went far from the goal.

46' The second half has begun.

End of the first half.

43' Great attempt by Vitinha from about 25 meters from Croatia's goal, but Šemper was solid

41' Kulenović shoots from the edge of the penalty area, but Costa defended.

38' Gedson Fernandes found his way in front of Šemper, but shot from a tough angle and missed the goal frame.

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Slobodan Kadic

34' Pote fired from the edge of the penalty area

32' Nikola Moro's shot was saved by the Portugal goalkeeper.

29' Portugal dominates the pitch. They've only had one chance so far, but are constantly pressing.

25' Great opportunity for Portugal! Queiros headed and hit the post.

24' Two chances for Portugal, but both times blocked by Croatian stopper

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Slobodan Kadic

21' Portugal was more dangerous for a few minutes but without a good chance. The best chance was Majer's four minutes ago.

17' Lovro Majer shot from the edge of the box, but Costa was ready and defended nicely.

15' Croatia is trying to set itself high and press the backline of Portugal

12' There haven't been any notable opportunities yet 

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Slobodan Kadic

8' The game is a bit messy at the beginning, no team can keep possession for long, although it seems that Portugal is a bit more interested in the ball. Croatia will obviously not play for possession today.

4' There are no great opportunities at the opening of the match, but the game is quite open with a lot of sprints on both sides.

1' The match started.

Source: Index.hr

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Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Ludbreg City Day Celebrated with Special Ceremony

March 23, 2021 - According to a document of Pope Leo X dated March 19, 1513, Ludbreg City Day is celebrated on that very date.

As Večernji List reports, with the holy bull or the papal scriptures, Pope Leo X declared Ludbreg as the shrine of the Precious Blood of Christ, which is why he made a pilgrimage to this small town in Podravina for more than six centuries at the beginning of every September.

Given the global pandemic and the measures in place, Ludbreg City Day was marked in a more modest but again appropriate way. Although there were no major events, cinemas filled with laughter while watching theater performances, concerts, and the like, a solemn session was held at which appropriate awards and recognitions were presented to deserving individuals.

The city of Ludbreg is about to open a new tourist attraction in the heart of the city - Iovia Archaeological Park, and the Island of Youth is being arranged, which is becoming an increasingly popular gathering place for residents of all generations. Ludbreg is also a green city that rehabilitated a landfill a few years ago, underground and semi-underground containers have been set up in the city and settlements, and in 2019, it finished tenth in terms of allocations for agriculture. The economy also plays an important role in all this, and the mayor of Ludbreg, Dubravko Bilić, spoke about it at a solemn session.

''Investment in the economy and figures are often mentioned, so it should be said that over 150 million euros have been invested in the Ludbreg economy over eight years, both European and local. Today, Ludbreg is an important center of economic development of the county and does not stop in that development because we expect another important investment soon. We have created an optimistic, safe, and supportive climate for all who are willing to invest and develop good business stories and thus make Ludbreg a recognizable economic environment. We have received many awards for these efforts, but the most important recognition is the record low unemployment in the city and the highest average salary in the industry in the area," says Ludbreg Mayor, Dubravko Bilic. Speaking about the reforms, he especially emphasized changing the model of local committees' work.

"We have tackled the reforms ourselves, and by changing the work model of local committees, we have invested more than 14 million kuna in the balanced development of all settlements. Almost 3 million kuna has been invested in the new project model of civil society organizations, and around 20 million kuna has been invested in sports, which are still awaiting reforms,' says Bilić and adds that he is especially proud of two things.

It is a socially sensitive community of all generations, intertwined with the care of children and young people from kindergarten to student age, where the return of a high school to Ludbreg is especially important as a link between education and the needs of the economy. Almost 38 million kuna was invested in this sector. The second is investing in social programs such as support for newborns, scholarships, cooperation with our retirees, and all those who found themselves in trouble, in which an additional 6 million kuna was invested.

 "We recognized the concern for environmental protection and the importance of ecology for the future of Ludbreg. We removed landfills from the city center and invested 50 million kuna in green transformation, placing us among the 10 most successful cities in Croatia in environmental protection. In this green transformation, we recognize the opportunity for new investments in solar and geothermal power plants and the production and application of green hydrogen as the fuel of the future for public transport, municipal and truck transport, and industry, but also floriculture and vegetables. This is the most important reform that we must embark on as a city in order to ensure a healthy future for our children," emphasizes Mayor Bilić.

Champion of EU funds

The biggest backbone for years is certainly European projects, thanks to which most of the projects have been realized. In 2019, the city of Ludbreg won the title of champion in the category of EU funds. From 2013 until today, 115 million kuna has been invested in various sectors of society through projects.

"We turned to serve our city, where politicians and institutions need to serve their fellow citizens democratically. The mayor and city services turned to EU projects, the results of which are visible. From 2017 to 2020, EU projects covered 2,512,646.45 kuna for salaries, almost a one-year amount for all employees," said Antun Šimić, President of the City Council of Ludbreg.

At the solemn session on the occasion of the City Day, Varaždin County prefect Radimir Čačić also addressed the gathered people.

''Here there is a clear picture in the awareness that when you take leadership somewhere and are responsible for the betterment of others then there is one important message: No one is able to light a fire for another if he cannot for himself. In other words, you have to feel that power in yourself, which can then be passed on to other people. If you manage to skip your dimension then it deserves recognition. This city is small, it cannot be what it is not, but in any case, it has results that exceed a certain dimension, it is achieving its shifts. Ludbreg is a city that proves its ability in many parameters, especially when we talk about European projects. We will cooperate very well this year as well, because the north deserves to be even more influential, to direct state political decisions. For that, of course, instruments and people with knowledge are needed," said prefect Čačić.

The most developed small town in northwestern Croatia

The session was also attended by Melita Mulić, Advisor to the President of the Republic for Human Rights and Civil Society and an envoy of the President of the Republic of Croatia.

"When we talk about Ludbreg, its long history, and great tradition come to the fore, which in comparison with the rapid technological development of modern civilization is becoming increasingly important. She is our anchor with lasting values, ​​to which we can always return and be inspired to face contemporary challenges. In particular, they came to the fore in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, which not only changed our established life and habits but also forced us to reconsider the current way of managing society and nature. More than anything, we need content that is optimistic and stronger social cohesion, and I do not mean only the past but also the future. The city of Ludbreg has clearly defined its contents of the future and has become the most developed small town in northwestern Croatia," said Melita Mulić.

Ludbreg City Day is always an opportunity to thank prominent individuals. Dr. Tajana Pleše from Zagreb was declared an honorary citizen of the City of Ludbreg. The City of Ludbreg Award was given to Vitomir Namjesnik and Štefica Pavković. The plaque of the City of Ludbreg was awarded to the Children's Salon "Pinocchio" and the association "Women from the Center of the World". Letters of thanks from the City of Ludbreg were presented to Ivan Črepinko, Tomislav Horvat, Zlatko Hrelja, Vladimir Katalenić, Đurđa Kokanović and Ivica Vidović. The best students, Dea Busija from the Elementary School Ludbreg and Diana Laura Jantol from the High School Ludbreg, were also awarded.

"Preparing for this letter, I tried to see what connects all the winners. In addition to contributions to the development, promotion, and reputation of the City of Ludbreg, reading the nominations of this year's and previous winners, it became clear to me that all of us, regardless of the field in which we work - from humanitarian work, sports, crafts, culture or heritage - and unconditional commitment to the same goal; a better life for Ludbreg's men and women. By erasing the boundaries of working and private time with their engagement, the results were achieved, which the City of Ludbreg recognized and decided to award with these high recognitions," concluded Pleše.

You can find the original article here.

More information on the City of Ludbreg official site.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Kvarner Wines in Spotlight: Two "Sparkling Kvarner” Workshops held in Zagreb

March 22, 2021 - Hotel Dubrovnik announced the 5th Salon of Sparkling Wines with two sparkling Kvarner workshops on Friday, March 19.

Fiuman reports that two sparkling wine workshops were held in front of loyal visitors: Sparkling Kvarner and Natural Sparkling (Croatia & Slovenia).

At the first workshop, six wines produced by the pét-nat method (fr. pétillant naturel) were presented at a "blind" tasting. With the leader dr. Sc. Nina Levičnik, the founder of the Salon of Sparkling Wines network and a big fan of "natural" sparkling wines, the participants learned what the terms pét-nat, méthode ancestrale, and col fondo have in common and how they differ from other methods.

The presenter emphasized the importance of "terroir" in wine production with this ancestral method. The Croatian representatives were Tomac, Šember, Veralda, and the Slovenian Atimo, Keltis, and Štemberger.

At the second workshop, participants learned that Kvarner is the third Croatian wine region in terms of sparkling wine production. The recently founded the Kvarner Wine Association which today has as many as 10 sparkling wine producers who were presented at the workshop under the auspices of the Kvarner Tourist Board. Sparkling wines in Kvarner are produced from the original varieties - žlahtina, belica, mast - charmat, and the traditional method. 

The moderator, Dr. sc. Žarko Stilin, secretary of the Kvarner Wine Association, one of the loudest promoters of original Kvarner wine varieties, organizer of several wine events, the most important of which is the International Wine and Gastronomic Festival WineRi, spoke about the interesting and special features of Kvarner sparkling wines.

Participants tasted 10 sparkling wines: Maličić winery Šipun, Porin Estate Winery Katunar, Valomet PZ Vrbnik, Gospoja PZ Gospoja, San Marino Wine houses Pavlomir, Soubze catering and Nada shop, Stara Bakarska Vodica PZ Dolčina Praputnjak, Biser žlahtine Ivan Katunar - Plovanić vina and Ružić - OPG Ružić.

Workshop leader dr. sc. Žarko Stilin proudly stated that sparkling wines in Kvarner have a long tradition, and with the Kvarner Wine Association, the promotion will be even more visible through many activities, education on table culture, organization of round tables, lectures, and scientific conferences to promote Kvarner with the support of Kvarner Tourist Board.

The wine workshops were an introduction to other sparkling events ahead of the 5th Salon of Sparkling Wine Zagreb, on June 11, 2021, on the Oleander terrace of the Hotel Esplanade. The date has been targeted to meet the summer and the upcoming tourist season when the consumption of sparkling wines will be more frequent than usual and any promotion is welcome.

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

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