Tuesday, 5 April 2022

HNS Chooses New Croatia World Cup Camp in Doha

April 5, 2022 - The Croatia World Cup camp in Doha has been changed from the Dusit Hotel to the Hilton Doha Hotel. The final contract should be signed by April 30.

The Croatian Football Federation used the opportunity to change its priority option for the Croatia national team base camp during this year's World Cup in Qatar. Thus, the Vatreni will stay at the Hilton Doha during the tournament, announced HNS.

After the right to book the Hilton Doha hotel was lost by one of the national teams that failed to qualify for the final tournament, HNS reacted quickly and changed its priority from the Dusit Hotel to the Hilton Doha Hotel.

Attached to the Hilton Hotel is the Al Ersal 3 training center, identical to the Al Ersal 2 training center where the national team trained during its stay at the friendly tournament in Doha. Superior conditions in the training center compared to the Dusit Hotel's Al Gharafa center are crucial factors for changing the camp. In addition, Hilton Doha is one of only five hotels among the 40 offered in the Fifa catalog, which has its own beach and a pleasant outdoor environment. 

"Dusit is an excellent hotel that met all our conditions, but when the opportunity arose to book this camp, we reacted quickly, made an inspection visit, and quickly agreed on everything with the coach and captain who supported the change. The main advantage is a training center that is much closer to the hotel and has better conditions for players. That was our priority in the selection," said the president of HNS, Marijan Kustić.

"The Federation reacted brilliantly in less than 24 hours, as soon as the chance arose to enter the Hilton. Dusit is a great hotel, but here we have an objectively much better training center, which we met during this tournament and will provide us with perfect working conditions. In addition, players will be much more comfortable when they can drink coffee and socialize in the fresh air during the day, which is much more difficult in classic city hotels like Dusit. As FIFA has provided only five hotels for this profile, we are very pleased to have booked one. This is a great victory for the Croatian delegation, and I congratulate the management and the team from the HNS administration on the work done," said coach Zlatko Dalic.

HNS thus now has a secured priority option at the Hilton Doha / Al Ersal 3 camp, and the final contract should be signed by April 30, the deadline for all national teams to change their base camp.

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

Friday, 1 April 2022

2022 World Cup Draw: Croatia in Group F with Belgium, Morocco, and Canada

April 1, 2022 - The 2022 World Cup draw was held in Doha tonight, revealing Croatia in Group F against Belgium, Morocco, and Canada. 

The draw for the World Cup groups was held today in Doha which started at 18:00 Croatia time. 

Croatia was in the second strongest group (Pot 2) based on the FIFA ranking from March 31. The only thing known apart from the ranking was that the host Qatar was automatically placed in Group A.

The rule is that there can be no more than two European teams in one group, and as for other continents, two teams from Asia, Africa, South America, or North and Central America cannot end up in the same group.

Croatia needed at least one draw at the Doha friendly tournament to secure their spot in the second pot, which they achieved already against Slovenia. 

Due to specific circumstances, this group draw was held when not all World Cup participants are known. So far, 29 national teams have qualified and three more are awaited. The list will be completed in June, after the completion of the remaining continental and intercontinental playoffs.

Another national team will come from Europe after Scotland and Ukraine meet in Glasgow. The winner of that match will play against Wales and the winner will be placed in one of the eight groups drawn today.

Peru is also will play against the winner of the Australia - United Arab Emirates match. One final playoffs pair is already known: Costa Rica - New Zealand.

2022 World Cup Pots

Pot 1: Qatar, Brazil, France, Belgium, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal

Pot 2: Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA, Croatia

Pot 3: Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia

Pot 4: Cameroon, Ghana, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Wales or Scotland or Ukraine, Australia or the United Arab Emirates or Peru, Costa Rica or New Zealand

2022 World Cup draw:
Group A: Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador 

Group B: England, USA, Iran, Playoff winner (Wales or winner of Scotland - Ukraine)

Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia

Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Playoff winner (either Peru or winner of the Australia - United Arab Emirates match)

Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Playoff winner (Costa Rica or New Zealand)

Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada 

Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, Korean Republic, Ghana 

Croatia opens the World Cup on November 23 against Morocco, followed by Canada on November 27, and Belgium in the last round on December 1. The exact timetables and stadiums where Croatia will play will be known later.

The World Cup in Qatar will be played from November 21 to December 18. This will be the last World Cup according to the current concept (32 national teams divided into eight groups of four). At the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, there will be 48 national teams.

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

Thursday, 31 March 2022

2022 World Cup Draw on Friday: Who Can Croatia Face in Group Stage?

March 31, 2022 - The 2022 World Cup draw will be held on Friday, April 1, at 18:00 Croatia time. A look at who the Vatreni could face in the group stage. 

The last spots at the 2022 World Cup are slowly filling up. Earlier this week, we learned about seven new national teams that will compete in Qatar. Portugal and Poland have qualified from Europe, while Senegal, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, and Cameroon have passed through the African qualifiers.

The draw for the World Cup will be held on Friday, April 1, in Doha, and Croatia will be in the second strongest group (Pot 2), which means that Croatia will avoid some powerful national teams such as Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Uruguay and Denmark in Qatar.

The first strong group is the world's football superpowers - Brazil, France, Argentina, Spain, Belgium, England, and Portugal. The absolute best choice for Croatia would be to draw the host Qatar.

National teams such as the African champion Senegal, Serbia, and Poland threaten the third strong group. Finally, the last fourth strong group includes Canada, Cameroon, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and three other national teams that have yet to qualify for the World Cup.

Teams from the same confederation cannot be in the same group except those from Europe because 13 European teams are at the World Cup.

The World Cup is played from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar.

"I have no big wishes. Our goal is to pass the group. I want to avoid France, and it would be better to draw Asian teams than European ones. But I am optimistic, and I believe in us no matter which team we draw," coach Zlatko Dalić said after Croatia played two friendly games in Doha against Slovenia and Bulgaria, drawing to Slovenia 1:1 and beating Bulgaria 2:1. 

"Congratulations to the boys on the victory that ended our successful seven-day stay in Doha, even though it was difficult to win, much harder than expected. It is good that we returned to the game after 0:1; all in all, we must be satisfied. The main goal was "team-building," but also the result. Everything turned out well; we kept our place in the second strong group. We will certainly make a more detailed analysis of these two games and prepare for June," Dalić said. 

The 2022 World Cup draw will be held on Friday at 18:00 Croatia time on HRT's Second Program.

Source: HRT

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

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Modrić and Kramarić Score in Croatia's 2:1 Win against Bulgaria in Doha

March 29, 2022 - Modrić and Kramarić scored in Croatia's 2:1 win against Bulgaria on Tuesday in Doha. 

After Croatia played 1:1 with Slovenia on Saturday, Croatia met Bulgaria on Tuesday for their second friendly match in Doha. 

Coach Zlatko Dalić changed 10 of the 11 players from the starting lineup against Slovenia. Just as he announced, he gave everyone a chance to start from the first minute, that is, to rest those who were in the starting 11 three days ago. Because Lovren wasn't ready, the only player who started both matches was Duje Ćaleta-Car.

Lineups

Croatia: (3-5-2): Ivušić - Škorić, Vida, Ćaleta-Car - Oršić, Majer, Moro, Pašalić, Barišić - Vlašić, Livaja

Bulgaria: Vucov - Turicov, P. Hristov, A. Hristov, Jordanov - Nedelev, Čočev, Malinov, Kirilov - Minčev, Despodov.

Recap

Croatia started offensively and got into Bulgaria's penalty area in the first minute. Bulgaria had their first dangerous counter in the 6th minute which Škorić cleared. 

Livaja had a chance in the 8th minute and Barišić shot from the left in the 11th which was cleared for a corner. Oršić had a chance two minutes later which also went out for a corner. 

Moro shot on target from 20 meters in the 20th minute which the Bulgaria keeper hit out for Croatia's third corner of the match.

Bulgaria had a chance in the 25th minute which Ivušić defended for a Bulgaria corner. Mile Škorić was injured moments later forcing Pogrančić to be subbed on in the 28th minute.

Barišić shot again from the left in the 35th minute and Orišić with his left foot three minutes later. 

The first half ended 0:0 with 59% of possession for Croatia and 11 total shots, 4 of which were on target. 

Perišić and Kovačić came on for Moro and Vida to start the second half. 

Perišić threatened Bulgaria's goal two minutes into the second half. Pašalić also had a chance in the 54th minute. 

In the 60th minute, Vlašić and Livaja came out for Kramarić and Budimir. 

In the 63rd minute, Ćaleta-Car got his second yellow card and was sent off, forcing Croatia to play with a man down. 

Despodov took advantage of a hole in Croatia's defense to put Bulgaria ahead in the 69th minute. A foul was called on Kramarić in the penalty area five minutes later and Modrić scored from the penalty spot for 1:1. 

Kramarić dribbled through Bulgaria's defense in the 80th minute to find the far post for 2:1 Croatia. 

Bulgaria had a brilliant chance in the 87th minute after Kovačić lost the ball, though Barišić saved the day to keep it 2:1. 

Bulgaria had another chance in the 90th minute and the ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time. The match ended 2:1 for Croatia. 

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

Saturday, 26 March 2022

Croatia and Slovenia Draw 1:1 in First Doha Friendly Match

March 26, 2022 - Croatia and Slovenia draw 1:1 in the first friendly match in Doha on Saturday. Croatia meets Bulgaria next on Tuesday. 

The Croatia national football team met Slovenia in a friendly match at the Education City Stadium in Doha today at 15:00. 

Even though this was a friendly match, it was still important for Croatia. Namely, Croatia needs one draw from two friendly matches to be placed in Pot 2 in the World Cup draw scheduled on April 1. 

Zlatko Dalić is using this friendly tournament to try out the new system of three in the back, though it is also a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the conditions that await them at the end of the year when the World Cup begins.

Lineups 

Croatia: Livaković - Pongračić, Ćaleta Car, Gvardiol - Perišić, Juranović - Jakić, Kovačić, Modrić - Kramarić, Budimir

Slovenia: Oblak - Blažić, Bijol, Brekalo - Karničkik, Gnezda Čerin, Kurtić, Sikošek - Zajc, Šporar, Lovrić

Recap

Croatia's first serious attack came already in the 3rd minute. Perišić passed on the left side and centered the ball in Slovenia's penalty area, though it could not reach Kramarić and was cleared by the Slovenia defense. 

Modrić won a free kick after being fouled on the right side, which the Slovenia defense cleared in the 12th minute. A minute later, Jakić took Croatia's first shot on goal. Slovenia had their first attack in the 15th minute. 

Kovačić won a free kick in the 28th minute. Modrić tried to find Budimir but Oblak was solid in goal to keep in 0:0. 

Kramarić scored for the Croatia lead in the 39th minute. Ćaleta-Car played a through ball down the right wing, which found Andrej one-on-one with the keeper for 1:0! 

Croatia had another chance in the 43rd minute. Kovačić's backheel found Perišić on the left side. However, Perišić shot from the near post twice - the first time at Oblak and the second time hitting Budimir. 

Perišić passed on the left side again with a minute to go in the first half, but Oblak remained solid. 

Croatia ended the first half with 69% of the possession and five shots (two were on target). 

Croatia started the second half without any changes to the lineup. 

Croatia kept up their intensity in the second half with several chances in the first 10 minutes, with Modrić and Juranović hitting dangerous attempts. 

Dalić made his first substitutions in the 68th minute. Livaja, Majer, and Pašalić went in for Budimir, Modrić and Kovačić. Four minutes later, he made his second round of subs - Vlašić, Oršić, and Vida came in for Kramarić, Perišić, and Ćaleta-Car. 

Croatia maintained possession for the second half, with a few moments of Slovenian intensity.  

Livaja had a chance in the 84th minute and Pašalić a minute later. Slovenia's closest opportunity came in the 87th minute with a mix-up in front of Livaković, but the play was ultimately called offside. 

Oršić had a chance a minute later, and Livaja played Juranović for a cross back into the penalty area, but it was saved by Oblak. Oršić shot over the goal in the 89th. 

A quick reaction from Slovenia found saw them capitalize on Croatia's defense to equalize for 1:1 in the 90th minute, which was the final score. 

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

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Croatia to Play in Doha Friendly Tournament this March as 2022 World Cup Prep

February 2, 2022 - The Croatia national team will participate in a Doha friendly tournament next month as preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this December. 

The Croatian Football Federation management has agreed that the Croatia national team will play a friendly tournament in Qatar in March. Croatia will play two matches in Doha, reports HNS.

Croatia will face Slovenia on March 26 and will play Bulgaria three days later. The national team of Qatar will also play in the tournament, against Bulgaria (March 26) and Slovenia (March 29). The matches will be played at the stadiums in Doha where the FIFA World Cup matches will be played. The exact timetables and stadiums will be defined later, and HNS will inform fans in a timely manner about the possibilities of buying tickets.

"We wanted to play in Doha in March, so I thank the leadership of the Federation for agreeing to participate in this tournament - it will be a great opportunity to get to know Qatar and feel the conditions that await us - climate, infrastructure, culture.

I think the opponents are tailor-made, two quality teams that will be a good test for what awaits us next. First of all, we are looking forward to the gathering, to continue to build a community that will be key to success in the competitions that await us later in the year," said the Croatia national team coach, Zlatko Dalić.

"We are glad that we have reached an agreement on participating in this tournament in Doha, given the desire of the coach Dalić and the national team to play in Qatar, so that we can acclimatize to everything that awaits us at the end of the year. The most important thing is that our direct placement in Qatar has enabled us a peaceful year in which we can prepare well for the World Cup, and participating in this tournament will be an important step in that direction," said HNS President Marijan Kustić.

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

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Preparatory Plans Change for Croatia National Team as Doha Tournament Canceled

March 12, 2020 - Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the international Qatar Airways tournament in Doha, featuring Croatia, Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium, will not be played this month, the Croatian Football Federation announced.

HNS reports that the Croatian football team was due to play in a friendly tournament in Qatar's capital Doha at the end of March and measure its strength against the national teams of Switzerland and Portugal as part of preparations for the 2020 European Championships.

However, given the emerging health circumstances around the world, the tournament was canceled. In addition to Croatia, Switzerland and Portugal, the current top-ranked national team by FIFA was due to perform - Belgium.

The Croatian Football Federation will subsequently inform the public of the plans of the first team during the national team break.

A few days ago, Qatar authorities imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers arriving or staying in Italy for the past two weeks, after which they closed schools and universities, so a tournament delay was expected.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic hoped to have two quality matches in Doha, and planned to give all players a chance and try out some systems.

“The plan is to give everyone a chance and to see the condition of all players, especially those who have been injured. The most important thing for me is to have seven days of  being together because there won't be much time later,”  the coach said Monday after releasing the player list for Doha.

This news comes after the Croatian Football Federation announced that all Croatian league games in the country would be played without fans until March 31. 

“Taking into account the emerging circumstances regarding the epidemic of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, today the leading people of the HNS and the relevant bodies of the Federation have re-analyzed the current situation and decided that all matches in competitions under the jurisdiction of the HNS will be played without spectators until March 31.

The new measure applies to the HT First League, Croatian Cup, 2. HNL, 3. HNL, 1. HNLŽ, 2. HNLŽ, 1. HMNL, 2. HMNL and all youth leagues under the auspices of HNS, as well as the upcoming UEFA qualifying matches that take place in Croatia.

In these competitions, only teams with their staff, senior management and officials of clubs and HNS, technical staff and a certain number of media representatives will be able to attend the matches until further notice, with all the usual measures for organizing matches.

The HNS also recommends that all county associations take the same measure in competitions under their jurisdiction.

As before, the HNS will closely monitor the development of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus epidemic and, if necessary, determine other measures to which the football family and the public will be informed in due time. The decision shall enter into force immediately and shall be valid until March 31 or the end of the representative break. The Federation will make a timely decision to continue or discontinue this measure, taking into account developments, recommendations from public health institutions, and considering, above all, the health of spectators, football players and all other actors in football.

You can find the Croatia Football Federation's statement in Croatian here.

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

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Sandra Perkovic Wins Bronze Medal at World Athletics Championships in Doha

October 5, 2019 - Sandra Perkovic secured the bronze medal at the World Championships in Doha. 

HRT reports that Sandra Perkovic failed to defend the world championship title in the discus throw, which she won two years ago in London, but still secured a medal at the World Championships in Doha. 

Namely, Perkovic won the bronze medal after throwing 66.72 meters in the first series of the finals, while Cubans Yaime Perez and Denia Caballero were the gold and silver medalists.

Yaime Perez has proven to be the best discus thrower this season and for the first time in her career, has won medals in major competitions, the world championships, and the Olympics. Perez booked the winning 69.17-meter throw in the fifth series after compatriot Denia Caballero briefly led with a 68.44-meter throw in the fourth series.

Unfortunately, after an excellent opening, Sandra Perkovic had a worse attempt in the second series (62.39 m). However, in the third, she hinted that she could still fight for the gold when she threw over 66 meters (66.19 m).

“I’m glad I secured a medal in the first series, I'm sorry I didn't do more,” Perkovic said after the finals.

“I want to congratulate the girls for taking gold and silver. What you can you do - that’s that. Next year is the Olympics, and we know what to expect.”

Perkovic revealed to HRT that she almost canceled her performance due to an injury.

“I didn't finish yesterday's training, and I came a lot more prepared than I was all today. I didn't know if I was going to perform at all, and I was in the room the whole time. Even my mom didn't know; I told her it was a milder injury. But I also managed to get a medal. This is my fourth medal at the World Championships, and I hope for a better spot in Tokyo,” Perkovic said.

This is Sandra’s fourth medal at the World Championships. Recall, Sandra became the world champion in Moscow in 2013 and London in 2017 and won the silver in Beijing in 2015.

In addition to four world championship medals, Perkovic is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time European champion.

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

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