Thursday, 3 September 2020

Euro Qualifiers: Croatia U-21 Squad Tops Greece 5:0 in Varazdin

September 3, 2020 - The Croatia U-21 national football team remained in the game for a spot at the 2021 European Championship after toppling Greece 5:0 in Varazdin, inflicting their first defeat in the group.

Goals for Croatia were scored by Nikola Moro (1), Lovro Majer (5, 24), and Petar Musa (14, 52).

After recording two defeats in the first four rounds, and two home defeats at that, the Croatia U-21 national team did not have the chance to take Greece lightly.

The young Vatreni started the qualifying cycle for the European Championship with home defeats to Scotland and the Czech Republic and away victories against San Marino and Lithuania. There was a several-month break due to the coronavirus epidemic, and the continuation of the qualifications brought perhaps two key matches. The first against Greece has been settled, and in four days, Croatia is expected to play against the leading Czech Republic.

After coach Igor Biscan tested positive for the coronavirus and the entire professional staff ended up in self-isolation, the team was led by the main instructor of the Croatian Football Federation, Petar Krpan, and the coach of the Croatia U-17 side Tomislav Rukavina. While Biscan was the brains behind the composition, Krpan and Rukavina executed flawlessly.

The match was essentially over already just 24 minutes in as Croatia went up by four goals.

Croatia took the lead in the 45th second of the game. Sosa pulled up the left side and pushed into the middle; the ball bounced to the edge of the penalty area where Moro scored fantastically for 1:0. Just four minutes later, it was 2:0. Moro curved the ball into the penalty area where Majer headed in for the second goal. In the 14th minute, Musa was among the scorers, assisted by Spikic. Majer completed an incredible 25 minutes with his second goal on Sosa's assist.

In the continuation of the match, the rhythm dropped as expected, and the only goal was in the 52nd minute. Erlic ideally found Musa, who went around the goalkeeper Antonios Stergiakis and scored in an empty net.

With this victory, Croatia broke through to the third place of the group with nine points from five matches. Greece has a point more, while the Czech Republic is in the lead with 14 points from six matches.

The winners of nine groups and the five best second-placed teams will qualify directly for the Euros.

Source:  HRT

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

UEFA Euro 2020 Officially Postponed until 2021

March 17, 2020 - The European Football Federation (UEFA) has postponed the European Championship until the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Championships were scheduled to take place from June 12 to July 12 this year, however, the umbrella football organization postponed the tournament for next summer. The new term should be from June 11 to July 11, 2021.

This was a proposal made by representatives of the European Clubs Association (ECA), representatives of the national leagues and the World Trade Union of Footballers (FIFPro) at a video conference this morning at UEFA President Alexander Cheferin and Secretary-General Theodoridis. and representatives of national alliances.

The news of the postponement was first reported by many European media, and was also published by the Norwegian, Swedish and Scottish Football Associations, and was later officially confirmed.

You can read UEFA's statement in full below: 

"UEFA today announced the postponement of its flagship national team competition, UEFA EURO 2020, due to be played in June and July this year. The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches. The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed.

All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice. The UEFA EURO 2020 play-off matches and international friendlies, scheduled for the end of March, will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation.

A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today.

The decisions, taken by UEFA's Executive Committee, followed videoconference meetings held today with the presidents and general secretaries of the 55 national associations, as well as representatives of the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe, convened by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, to find a coherent plan to break the logjam of fixtures building up due to the spread of the virus across the continent."

Announcing the decisions, Aleksander Čeferin said:

"We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent. It is at times like these that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.

"The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and, in that spirit, UEFA tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football. There was a real spirit of cooperation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result.

"It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice. Moving EURO 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women's football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected. Purpose over profit has been our guiding principle in taking this decision for the good of European football as a whole.

"Football is an uplifting and powerful force in society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadia, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.

"I would like to thank the European Club Association, the European Leagues and FIFPro Europe for their great work today and for their cooperation. I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart the 55 national associations, their presidents and general secretaries, and my colleagues from the Executive Committee for their support and wise decisions. The fine detail will be worked out in the coming weeks but the basic principles have been agreed and that is a major step forward. We have all shown that we are responsible leaders. We have demonstrated solidarity and unity. Purpose over profit. We've achieved this today.

"I would also like to thank Alejandro Domínguez and CONMEBOL, who have agreed to move CONMEBOL's 2020 Copa America in order to follow the recommendations issued by the international public health organisations to enact extreme measures and as a result of EURO 2020 being postponed. This means that clubs and leagues in Europe will have as little disruption as possible in the availability of their players. These joint efforts and especially this coordinated and responsible decision, are deeply appreciated by the whole European football community.

"I would like to thank FIFA and its President, Gianni Infantino, who has indicated it will do whatever is required to make this new calendar work. In the face of this crisis, football has shown its best side with openness, solidarity and tolerance."

UEFA EURO 2020 was scheduled to take place in 12 cities across Europe from 12 June to 12 July 2020. The proposed new dates are 11 June to 11 July 2021. UEFA would like to reassure existing ticket buyers and hospitality clients that if they cannot attend the tournament in 2021, the face value of their tickets and packages will be refunded in full. Within the next month, further information on the refund process will be communicated to existing ticket buyers via email and on

Decisions on dates for other UEFA competitions, whether club or national team for men or women, will be taken and announced in due course.

Stay tuned for a piece on what this means for the Croatia national team. 

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


Monday, 18 November 2019

Euro Under-21 Qualifiers: Croatia Loses to Czech Republic, Records Second Defeat in Group

November 18, 2019 - The Croatia Under-21 national team hurt their chances of qualifying for the 2021 European Championships after losing to the Czech Republic 1:2 in Velika Gorica on Monday.

It was the second defeat of the young national team in four games played thus far, and the second loss at home, reports

Croatia opened the qualifiers with a defeat at home to Scotland (1:2), after which Nenad Gracan was fired and the team was taken over by Igor Biscan. In his debut on the bench, Croatia celebrated in San Marino 0:7 and then against Lithuania away 1:3. However, they suffered an unpleasant defeat against the Czech Republic at home on Monday. 

Croatia led in the game thanks to Luka Ivanusec who scored in the 31st minute, but the Czechs turned the result with goals from Ladislav Krejci (39) and Pavel Bucha (72).

The young Croatia team entered the game forcefully and had a great chance already in the second minute by Petar Musa, but Martin Jedlička defended his shot. In the 19th minute, Josip Brekalo had an even better chance against the Czech keeper, but Jedlička responded once more. Croatia, however, finally took the lead in the 31st minute thanks to Luka Ivanusec. 

Unfortunately, only eight minutes later, the Czech Republic equalized from a corner when Krejci scored. In the second half, the Czech Republic turned the score completely thanks to Pavel Bucha in the 72nd minute, who used the confusion of defenders Branimir Kalaica and Josko Gvardiol.

Domagoj Bradaric was booked for a red card in the last minute of the game.

The Czech Republic now leads the group with 11 points, Greece follows in second with 10 points, Scotland is in third with eight points and Croatia is in fourth with six points. Lithuania (4) and San Marino (0) make up the last two spots in the group. 

The next U-21 national team game is against Scotland on March 27.

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

Friday, 15 November 2019

Euro Under-21 Qualifiers: Crucial Win for Croatia against Lithuania in Vilnius

November 15, 2019 - The Croatia Under-21 team defeated Lithuania 3:1 in the third qualifier with goals by Ivanušec, Posavec, and Bistrović and secured crucial points in the fight for the European Championship in 2021.

Igor Bišćan's team was a big favorite to win, which was clear from the first minute. Croatia’s high pressure didn't give the home side a chance, and in the 9th minute, Croatia already took the lead. The excellent Peter Musa was first to the ball, which forced the Lithuanian defender to knock him down in the penalty area. The referee awarded a penalty to Croatia. 

The Lithuania goalkeeper first defended Ivanušec's shot, but the ball bounced back to the boot of the Dinamo midfielder, who easily scored for the lead. From that moment until the 60th minute, Lithuania did not exist on the pitch. Croatia dominated and routinely held their lead, and it's a wonder they didn't score any more until the equalizing goal.

Already in the 13th minute, Musa shot at the keeper, and in the 21st, the same player missed a great opportunity off a Šutalo cross. Mario Ćuže tried to lob the keeper in the 47th minute, though he was able to defend. 

And then Lithuania equalized thanks to a Croatia mixup. In the 60th minute, Lithuania crossed the ball into the box, Šutalo and Kalaica both pulled away from the ball, and Antanavičius scored for 1:1.

The equalizer shocked Bišćan’s side for ten minutes, but in the final, Croatia broke the home side and deservedly won, even though Lithuania helped them get their second goal. In the 73rd minute, a mistake by Lithuania’s left back saw Musa win the ball 40 meters from the Croatian goal. Musa played Bistrović for a quick counter.

The CSKA midfielder perfectly played the lone Posavec, who was left unmarked by the left back, and found no difficulty scoring for 1:2. Lithuania did not manage to put together a coherent action until the end, and Croatia's victory was confirmed by Bistrović in the 89th minute with an excellent assist by Ivanušec.

The Croatia Under-21s will play their next game on Monday in Velika Gorica against the Czech Republic.


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