Monday, 8 November 2021

"First Malta, then Russia at Poljud": Dalić Readies for Croatia's Final 2022 World Cup Qualifiers

November 8, 2021 - Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić is maximally focused on the upcoming decisive matches for a spot at the World Cup in Qatar next year. Croatia plays Malta first away (November 11), then Russia at Poljud (November 14),

Dalić points out that the first game is the most important, reports HNS.

"We have two games ahead of us; two victories separate us from our goal. Given the state we have been in the last five games, I am optimistic. The first game that comes is always the most important. Malta is very important because, with a victory, we open the fight for first place in Split against Russia. Of course, Malta is an opponent who cannot match us, but we must be serious, patient, and responsible. Malta has been training for seven days, they want to oppose us, but if we are good, we will win. At no point do I want, nor will I talk about Russia until Split. There is no talk about Russia," says Dalić, who referred to the team's current condition. 

"Kovačić dropped out before, and we will miss him very much. Brekalo will come to the gathering, we will do an examination, and if something suspicious comes about and he is not ready, he will return to his club. Thanks to Ivan Jurić and Turin for allowing us to do that; if he is not one hundred percent ready, he will continue to recover at his club. Sučić suffered an unpleasant blow, so he will also have a check-up, and captain Modrić is much better, and we will see what will happen with him in the next two or three days. Luka had a fever; he had a virus, and couldn't compete in Real's last game. Of course, this is not an ideal situation, we will try to train him for Malta, but if he is not one hundred percent, we will not force him because we need the readiest players for Malta. However, I hope that Luka will be OK."

The day before the national team gathering, the coach subsequently sent invitations to Bruno Petković and Lovro Majer.

"We have two games ahead of us, during which we can only win. So we have nothing to defend and calculate; we need to be at a high level in the attack. Majer left a very good impression in September, then, unfortunately, he got injured, but now he is healthy and brings us more quality in that segment of the game. And Petković's quality was not disputable; it just didn't have continuity. He has raised his form in the last games, and he can help us with his qualities. We will have an exceptional 25 players; we must not allow any surprises so as not to get stuck at the last minute. Petković and Majer are in very good shape, and there were no doubts. Petković's position? In the position he plays at Dinamo. We have the best players in the world - Brozović and Modrić; he must finish for the national team, and a goal is important to us against Malta and Russia. So, Bruno will be used as a striker."

As a coach, Dalić has already led decisive matches on several occasions, so the current situation is not unusual.

"The pressure is always there, but I don't feel it. These are important matches for us because we want to avoid tough additional qualifications, but there is always pressure and desire without which you cannot work properly. We have to be ready for everything, expectations are high, but we are going step by step."

Given the frequent injuries, the coach has rotated a lot of players in the defense. But now, everyone is ready.

"And my wish is to have a standard team. In Russia, there were always eleven players who started matches, but now, I was forced to rotate due to the circumstances. We changed, we tried, it took seven days to distribute the forces. The players play from Wednesday - Sunday, viruses happen, immunity drops, fatigue occurs, and I have to take care of all that. Croatia has not been so powerful in stopper positions for a long time; we have great players in big clubs. The best ones will play, while Gvardiol has the advantage over everyone. He is left-footed and plays well at his club. And we finally have a left-footer in the position of the left stopper. We will see who will play on the right side."

Before the match against Russia, Dalić does not want to leave anything to chance.

"In Malta, for the first time in my term, we will stay there to sleep after the game. The match in Split is played at 3 pm, so we need to try to make sure that we get a good rest before Russia. We have to beat Malta, and after that, we will see what condition we are in. I really don't mean to worry about whether we will keep a player for Russia. Of course, we will rest some players in case of a favorable result, but let's not talk about Russia. I know that the focus is on that game, but for me, Russia is not a topic until we beat Malta," concluded the coach.

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

Friday, 5 November 2021

Largest Croatia Fan Procession Expected before Russia World Cup Qualifier at Poljud

November 5, 2021 - The largest Croatia fan procession ever is expected ahead of the Croatia-Russia World Cup qualifier at Poljud Stadium in Split on November 14. 

All available tickets for the match between Croatia and Russia have been sold. A packed Poljud of about 33,000 fans will cheer on Croatia in an attempt to win first place and secure a spot in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. That is, assuming Croatia wins in Malta three days earlier. 

Tickets went on sale October 25 at 1 pm, and hours later all tickets for the west and east stands were claimed. In the following days, tickets for the remaining sectors in the north and south stands were taken, sold from 80 to 200 kuna.

HNS announced that there will be no ticket sales at the box office and that in the coming days some free tickets may appear on the Internet if the customers who ordered them do not pay on time.

Fans who come to the match are invited to the Riva waterfront, where the largest Croatia fan procession in history, with between 20,000 and 30,000 people, is expected in honor of the 30th anniversary of Vukovar. Fans will head towards the stadium from 12:30 on November 14. Kickoff at Poljud is scheduled for 3 pm. 

All fans coming to the stadium must have an EU digital covid certificate with a valid QR code to be checked at the entrance. Certificates of vaccination or illness or various test results will not be recognized.

Children under the age of 12 do not have to have a certificate if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who has a valid certificate and a ticket, and HNS will provide rapid antigen testing to fans who do not have a digital certificate.

Tickets for the match in Malta, which will be played on November 11 at 8:45 pm at the Ta'Qali National Stadium, went on sale from Thursday at the price of 80 kuna.

In Malta, however, only people with full vaccination against the coronavirus or those who have recovered from Covid AND have received at least one dose of the vaccine are allowed. This does not only apply to children aged five to 11, who need a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours.

Source: 24 Sata

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Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Valdas Dambrauskas Named New Hajduk Split Coach

November 2, 2021 - Valdas Dambrauskas is the new coach of HNK Hajduk Split.

The club today agreed to work with Dambrauskas, who signed a contract until the summer of 2024.

Coach Dambrauskas was born in Pakruojis, Lithuania, on January 7, 1977. He has 14 years of football experience behind him. He started at the Fulham, Manchester United, and Brentford Football Academies. His first senior coaching engagement was in the Kingsbury London Tigers, which he led from 2007 to 2010.

He then worked for the next two years as the coach of the U-17 and U-19 national teams of Lithuania, and in that period, he was also an assistant coach at Lithuanian club Ekranas. In 2014 he took over the independent management of Ekranas. He soon moved to the head coach of Žalgiris, where he remained until 2017, during which time he won three consecutive titles. Before coming to Gorica, he worked as a coach of the Latvian RFS. He arrived in the HNL in February 2020 and stayed until September 2021, when he transferred to the Bulgarian Ludogorets, his last coaching engagement before coming to Hajduk.

With coach Dambrauskas arrive two assistants, 47-year-old Marius Skinderis and 36-year-old Justinas Gasiunas. Skinderis played as a defender in his senior career and played for numerous clubs from 1993 to 2010. In his coaching career, he worked as an assistant with Ekranas and Panevėžys, then as the first coach with Nevežis, and then as an assistant coach of Dambrauskas in RFS and Ludogorets. Justinas Gasiunas will be the new goalkeeper coach in the first-team staff. In his coaching career so far, among other things, he has many years of experience working at the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. and Brentford and in the Lithuanian national team. Mislav Karoglan, Šime Veršić, and Antonio Sebežević remain in the staff of the first team as assistants.

"Valdas Dambrauskas is a coach who led very well organized and successful teams, which he upgraded with his coaching knowledge. I am convinced that he will bring us new energy and that with his knowledge and experience, he will contribute to the improvement of quality in all segments of football. It is the profile of the coach who primarily seeks to establish a positive relationship with the whole team, which we consider a fundamental prerequisite for success. He prefers to work with players of a strong character; he believes that working with such a player profile is essential for success and reaching the highest football level. I believe that in addition to all the above, in a relatively short period he will raise the level of quality of our game, the value of players, and thus give a new dimension to the team needed in the fight for trophies," said sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius.

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Friday, 22 October 2021

Poljud Ticket Sales for Decisive Croatia-Russia World Cup Qualifier Announced

October 22, 2021 - Tickets for the decisive Croatia-Russia World Cup qualifier at Poljud will go on sale on Monday!

The Croatian Football Federation has announced that the online ticket sales for the final 2022 World Cup qualifier against Russia will start on Monday at 1 pm.

The Croatia-Russia match is scheduled for Sunday, November 14 at Poljud, starting at 3 pm, and tickets will be sold through the HNS ticket portal at the following prices:

West middle - 200 kuna, West - 150 kuna, East Middle 120 kuna, East - 100 kuna, North / South - 80 kuna.

On the day of the match, tickets will be sold at the following prices:

West middle - 250 kuna, West - 200 kuna, East middle - 150 kuna, East - 120 kuna, North / South - 100 kuna.

The Croatian Football Federation emphasized that all persons coming to the stadium must have an EU digital COVID certificate, i.e., that vaccination certificates or recovery certificates will not be recognized, as well as various test results, but only an EU digital COVID certificate with a valid QR code that will be checked at the entrance.

HNS will also provide rapid antigen testing points, after which everyone who tests negative will receive an EU digital COVID passport necessary to enter the stadium. The price, location, and opening hours of the testing point will be announced at a later date.

Ticket sales include e-tickets that the customer must download and print, and only citizens of the Republic of Croatia have the right to purchase, regardless of residence address, by filling in the required personal information.

Due to special epidemiological measures in the stands, one person can buy up to four (4) tickets. In addition to their data, the customer also enters data on the other ticket holders, where they do not necessarily have to be a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.

Tickets will be available at the ticket portal, where you can find detailed information on ticket sales and payment methods.

HNS warns fans that guards will check the accuracy of personal data on the tickets when entering the stadium. Fans who try to enter the stadium with a ticket under another name will be denied entry. Therefore, HNS urges fans not to buy tickets on the "black market" or from scalpers.

The Croatia-Russia match will decide the winner of the Group H World Cup qualifying group, i.e., the team that will secure a direct place in Qatar, while the second-placed team will advance to additional qualifications. Two rounds before the end, Russia leads the group with 19 points and in second is Croatia with 17 points. Before the decisive clash at Poljud, Russia will host Cyprus, while Croatia will host Malta. Both Russia and Croatia are expected to win their penultimate matches. 

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Friday, 15 October 2021

Decisive Croatia-Russia World Cup Qualifier at Poljud: UEFA Sets Time, Tickets Soon

October 14, 2021 - The decisive Croatia-Russia World Cup qualifier at Poljud on Sunday, November 14, will be played at 3 pm. Tickets should be announced by HNS soon. 

In exactly one month, the Croatia national football team will play in Split, at Poljud Stadium, against Russia. Not only is it their final qualifier for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but the winner of the match will secure a direct spot at the next World Cup and avoid rather difficult additional qualifications. 

Russia and Croatia are in a dead race for first place in Group H, the only spot that leads directly to Qatar. After drawing against Slovakia in Osijek, Croatia will need a victory against Russia to take them directly to the World Cup. Any other result leads Zlatko Dalić's team to a tricky playoff round, and Russia directly to Qatar. This is, of course, assuming Croatia defeats Malta three days before the big battle in Split, on November 11.

Fans can be happy that Croatia plays against Russia on Sunday, November 14, meaning many do not have to take the day off from work. A full Poljud stadium is to be expected. 

UEFA has confirmed the date on its official website, as well as the time. Thus, Croatia and Russia will meet at 3 pm, which isn't as common as the 9 pm clashes we are used to watching. However, it should be taken into account that four groups will be playing final qualifying matches on that day.

Namely, Croatia, as well as its opponents in Group H, will start at 3 pm, Group J will be played from 6 pm, and Groups B and A from 8:45 pm. 

Tickets for the Croatia-Russia match are not yet on sale, though the Croatian Football Federation should soon announce the prices and when ticket sales will begin. It will be one match football fans won't want to miss. 

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Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Retired Croatia Goalkeeper Danijel Subašić Returns to Hajduk after 9 Years!

September 22, 2021 - 2018 World Cup finalist and respected former Croatia national team goalkeeper Danijel Subašić returns to Hajduk, the club he first joined in 2008. 

Danijel Subašić will defend Hajduk's goal again after 9 years! The experienced 36-year-old goalkeeper signed a contract with Hajduk until the summer of 2023 and arrives at Poljud as a free agent. Danijel will wear the number 1 jersey, reports the official Hajduk website

The former Croatia national team player, who won the silver medal with Croatia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, will return to Poljud after leaving in 2012 when he was transferred to Monaco. Subašić arrived at Hajduk from his hometown of Zadar in 2008, and in the next three and a half years, collected 126 official appearances for Hajduk while keeping his net clean in 47 games.

He was part of the Hajduk team that won the Croatian Football Cup in the 2010/2011 season, and a season later, advanced to the Europa League group stage. After that, he played for Monaco until 2020 and recorded a total of 44 appearances for the Croatia national team.

"With Danijel, we got an experienced goalkeeper, our former player, and captain, who will be a role model for our young players, but also great support for the more experienced ones. Unfortunately, Josip Posavec is injured, and we will not count on him for the next three months. We reacted immediately and brought a goalkeeper who, with his rich experience and pronounced winning mentality, will greatly impact the locker room and is a great choice for the second goalkeeper. Subašić defended his entire career at the highest football level, he is an authority, and he will have an immeasurable influence on the development of our young goalkeepers," Hajduk's sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius said after signing the contract.

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

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Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Croatia against Russia at Poljud to Decide 2022 World Cup Spot

September 8, 2021 - Croatia against Russia at Poljud Stadium - the match that will decide the winner of Group H and a direct spot at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Croatia completed their September World Cup qualifiers with the victory against Slovenia (3:0) at Poljud on Tuesday, winning seven out of nine points. In the last six days, all three games were played against the main competitors for direct placement in the 2022 World Cup, reports Index.hr.

Croatia must finish the qualifications at the top of the group to directly qualify for the World Cup. Recall, finishing second leads to the most difficult additional qualifications for the World Cup in history. It is important to emphasize that these qualifications for the World Cup are completely different from all others so far. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the schedule is condensed, so the European part of the World Cup qualifiers is played across eight months, instead of the previous one and a half years. Namely, Qualifications run from March to November this year.

Furthermore, only ten group winners will secure a spot at the World Cup, while ten runners-up will play additional qualifiers. Thus, two winners of the 2020/21 Nations League groups will join those national teams, but only those who did not directly qualify for the World Cup and did not secure additional qualifications as runners-up in the World Cup qualifying groups.

Unlike in the past, during these additional World Cup qualifiers, the national teams will be divided into three groups. Only one knockout match will be played to define which three European national teams ensure their spot at the 2022 World Cup.

Four games before the end, it is clear that Croatia and Russia will decide the winner of the group. Both national teams have 13 points, and one goal only divides them. 

Before the qualifications, coach Zlatko Dalić said that he thinks 20 or 21 points will be enough for first place in the group. However, Croatia could again finish in the additional qualifications with 20 points, just like for the 2018 World Cup, when Croatia overcame Greece.

Apart from Croatia, Denmark also went to the playoffs with 20 points, but it is worth noting that in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Portugal and Ukraine went to the playoffs, even though they had 21 points each. So Dalić's calculation should not be taken as relevant.

Croatia has 13 points after six games, and by the end of this part of the qualification, four more games will be played from October 8 to November 14.

If Croatia, as expected, beats the two weakest national teams, Cyprus and Malta, it would have 19 points. Still, the decision will fall in Osijek and Split against the significantly stronger Slovakia and Russia. A mitigating circumstance for Croatia is that they play against both national teams at home.

Until the end, Russia's schedule and results will be equally important to Croatia, and the derby will decide the winner of the group in the last round, Croatia - Russia at Poljud

Croatia's schedule until the end of the World Cup qualifiers:

October 8: Cyprus - Croatia

October 11: CROATIA - Slovakia

November 11: Malta - Croatia

November 14: CROATIA - Russia

Russia's schedule until the end of the World Cup qualifiers:

October 8: Russia - Slovakia

October 11: Slovenia - Russia

November 11: Russia - Cyprus

November 14: Croatia - Russia

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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Tops Slovenia 3:0 at Poljud!

September 7, 2021 - Croatia tops Slovenia in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier this month thanks to goals by Marko Livaja, Mario Pašalić, and Nikola Vlašić! 

Croatia met Slovenia in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier this month at Poljud Stadium in Split. Around 20,000 spectators were expected for this match, though only those with COVID certificates were able to enter the stadium. Split Police have been vigilant since the morning to avoid any incidents. 

Recall, Croatia already played two qualifiers in the last week - against Russia in Moscow, and against Slovakia in Bratislava, taking 4 points.

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Slobodan Kadic

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Slobodan Kadic

Lineups:

Croatia: Ivušić, Juranović, Lovren, Vida, Barišić, Brozović, Kovačić, Pašalić, Livaja, Perišić, Kramarić

Slovenia: Oblak, Stojanović, Bijol, Mevlja, Balkovec, Gnezda Čerin, Stanković, Kurtic, Lovrić, Iličić, Šeško

Croatia's first attack happened in the first minute of the match. Ivan Perišić ran the ball up the wing and shot on goal. Andrej Kramarić had a chance two minutes later which went out for a goal kick. 

Another attack for Croatia in the 5th minute saw Juranović carry the ball up the right wing to find Kramarić who crossed into the box. Barašić played the ball back in from the left and Pašalić headed to the keeper. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia's first corner kick came in the 6th minute. The ball ultimately found Barašić who shot over the goal. 

Croatia's best chance came in the 9th minute - a Perišić cross made its way to the penalty box with 3 Croatia players in front of the goal. 

Another incredible chance for Croatia in the 19th minute - a beautiful play between Kramarić, Perišić, and Barašić found Andrej at the top of the box, though his shot went straight to the keeper. 

Another almost goal happened in the 25th minute - Oblak was out of his goal but Livaja was unable to shoot before the ball went out for a goal kick. 

Livaja tried his luck and shot from 30 meters out in the 28th minute which Oblak touched out for a corner. 

Then it finally happened - Hajduk superstar Marko Livaja scored for 1:0 Croatia in the 33rd minute!

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Slobodan Kadic

Pašalić had a chance two minutes later off a corner but headed to the Slovenia keeper. 

A cross in from Juranović in the 37th minute found Perišić's head but was an easy save for Oblak. Perišić dribbled up the left wing a minute later but shot over the goal. Oblak made an unbelievable save in the next minute to keep it 1:0. 

Croatia was playing really beautiful football, which was a huge improvement from their game against Slovakia. The momentum from the home fans was certainly helping. The match ended 1:0 for Croatia at the half. 

Croatia's attacking game did not dwindle to start the second half. Balls were launched into the box from both sides, though Oblak always seemed to find his way there. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Slovenia was having a hard time making it past the halfway line in the first 10 minutes of the second half. 

Slovenia subbed in Hajduk player Jan Mlakar in the 53rd minute. 

Zlatko Dalić made his first sub in the 57th minute - Marko Livaja came out for Nikola Vlašić. 

Kova dribbled through the Slovenia defense in the 60th minute which went out for a corner.

But it didn't take long for Croatia to get their second goal. A Perišič cross found Pašalić who scored for 2:0 in the 66th minute! Playing at Poljud was certainly giving these former Hajduk stars an extra push. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Mateo Kovačić was subbed off for Luka Ivanušec, Andrej Kramarić came off for Mislav Oršić, and Dejan Lovren came off for Duje Ćaleta Car in the 76th minute. 

Nikola Vlašić nearly had his chance in the 81st minute after dribbling to the goal line but was unlucky in the end. 

Ivan Perišić was subbed off for Antonio Čolak in the 85th minute. 

Oršić and Ivanušec both had chances in the 88th-90th minutes, but the game remained 2:0. Four minutes of extra time were added. 

A Hajduk hattrick tonight became a reality - Nikola Vlašić scored in the final minute of the game for 3:0! 

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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Ivan Perišić to Captain Croatia against Slovenia: Every Game at Poljud is Special

September 7, 2021 - Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić and Inter Milan midfielder Ivan Perišić spoke to the press ahead of Croatia's final September 2022 World Cup qualifier at Poljud on Tuesday. Ivan Perišić will captain Croatia against Slovenia. 

Croatia needs a victory at Poljud to increase points after consecutive visits to Russia and Slovakia.

"Certainly, there will be no Livaković in goal; we will not take any risks; Gvardiol is also questionable. I am not inclined to force what I am not sure of, as in the case of Modrić and Budimir. We will go with healthy and ready players. This, after all, was shown by this census at the beginning of the September cycle. Some players played a lot, Sosa, Juranović, Lovren… I'm a little scared to start a game with players who played a lot. We won’t change and invent much because we have nothing. I will say that Livaja will start the game, he has known this for several days, and I expect great things from him; he deserved it with his performances for Hajduk. In what position will he play? Everyone is there to play what is meant for them. Nobody plays a dominant position, even though the media constantly emphasize it," says Zlatko Dalić, who went on to discuss the importance of a victory and the demands of the third game in a week.

"We have to be favorites at our stadium, in front of our fans. Perhaps this will be the most difficult match for us because it is the third in just seven days against an aggressive and combative opponent who beat us in Slovenia. If we do not show the energy from Bratislava and Moscow, it will be difficult for us. However, I doubt that the audience will carry us in our motive, and I believe we will win the match. In which way, it doesn't matter; only the points are important."

Slovenia is no easy opponent. 

"Slovenia is not just Jan Oblak. Iličić rested; he is fresh and the biggest danger; he forms an attacking axis with Lovrić, and I expect Mlakar as well. Slovenia will play as much as we allow them and as we position ourselves on the field. We did not let Russia or Slovakia play with pressure; I am delighted with that game segment. We must react well to other opponents' balls again. Problems in the attack? We were a little futile going forward, but these aren’t games to die for in beauty. Points matter, not impressions. I said that I had no objections to what Croatia played, except for that final."

The team will once again be weakened with the absence of Luka Modrić.

"Luka will not be forever; we cannot keep repeating Luka, Luka, Luka. No one can replace him individually; we can only replace him as a team; we must understand that. He started training; he will be with us in October. We have to get rid of that rumor so that we can play without the captain, who we miss a lot."

There will be no lack of support at Poljud, and well-filled stands are expected.

"The support of the audience will be important to us. We remember Hungary and the fantastic atmosphere that reigned at Poljud during that match. It was an atmosphere that gave you chills. However, since I was the coach, where the point was that we played, it was beautiful for us, in Osijek, Rijeka, Zagreb… Regardless of what someone wants to do that is worthless, the Croatian people recognize the good. Therefore, I expect great support from the stands, and we will try to thank you with three points," concluded Dalić.

Ivan Perišić will lead Croatia as captain against Slovenia. Ivan is aware that the victory against Slovakia in Bratislava additionally raised the self-confidence of the national team.

"The atmosphere is great after the victory in Slovakia; it gave us extra energy. We did well in the matches against Russia and Slovakia, we did not concede a goal, and we can be satisfied with two of perhaps the most difficult away games. However, if we don't beat Slovenia, it won't mean much," said Perišić, who spoke about the hard September rhythm of these matches.

"The rhythm is tough; everything happened in a short time, it will be a little easier in October and November, but then we will already have two games a week with our clubs. Whoever survives will talk, ha, ha, ha… However, we have 25 players so that the coach can choose and distribute the forces. The skeleton of the team is there; the younger players already have a lot of serious games, they give us extra strength." 

Ivan spoke about the course of the match against Slovenia.

"We will start from the first minute to score; it will be easier if we open them at the start, as was the case against Hungary at Poljud. We definitely need to improve our attack, and we need more time for that. Poljud? Every game at Poljud is something special; it means a lot to me, family, friends, we can't wait for it to start."

Source: HNS

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Monday, 6 September 2021

Mandatory EU COVID Passports at Poljud and Croatia News Before Slovenia Qualifier

September 6, 2021 - Attending Croatia's 2022 World Cup qualifier against Slovenia in Split on Tuesday? Here's all you need to know about mandatory EU COVID passports at Poljud Stadium, Spaladium Area ticket sales, and match expectations. 

Upon entering Poljud stadium for the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Croatia and Slovenia, which is played on Tuesday, September 7, visitors must present an EU digital Covid certificate, the Split Police reassured. 

"We remind visitors that at the entrance they must have: purchased a personalized ticket, an identification document with a picture (identity card, passport, driver's license) based on which their identity and EU digital Covid certificate will be verified before entering," the Split Police Department said in a statement.

All three documents must have identical identification data because visitors will not be able to enter the stadium.

Croatia and Slovenia will meet on Tuesday at 8:45 pm, and the entrance to the stadium will be open from 6 pm.

"We invite visitors to come earlier so that after inspections and checks, they can enter the stadium and take their place marked on the ticket," the police explained.

They stressed that, after entering the stadium and during the match, spectators could only sit in the place specified on the ticket and cannot be in spaces not provided for them.

The police note that before, during, and after the match, they will "intensively observe the area of ​​the City of Split, visit places where fans and fan groups will gather, carry out measures and actions within the competence of the police, all to prevent illegal behavior and protect property and safety."

"We are informing the citizens that in the coming days, and especially intensively on the day of the match, police officers will be more present in the City of Split, but also on the access routes, and take measures and actions within the competence of the police to prevent illegal behavior," the police said. 

The police emphasized that on the day of the match, in Split, but also Split-Dalmatia County, a large number of fans and members of various Croatia fan groups are expected.

"We ask citizens if they notice groups of people who are behaving illegally or could behave in such a way, to call the police at 192 immediately," the police urged.

They informed the citizens that they would block the traffic on the promenade around the stadium from Monday, from 8 pm until the end of the match on Tuesday.

As of Sunday, around 9,000 tickets had been sold for the match so far. The Spaladium Arena box office will be open on Monday, September 6, from 12 to 10 pm, and on Tuesday, September 7, from 9 to 9 pm. 

Hajduk striker Marko Livaja spoke about playing at home, at Poljud. 

"I am happy to be in the national team again, and I do not burden myself with minutes; it will be the way the coach decides. My position? I haven't played at the top of the attack for six, seven years, the coach has his vision, he knows what I play at the club, but I can certainly do better," says Livaja, who knows what Poljud has to offer.

"I am convinced that the atmosphere will be great and that we will play the right game. A victory would push us close to the desired goal. We are of better quality; I expect that Slovenia will close and wait for their chance. If we are real, we will win. Kek is a proven good coach, and he certainly knows our team well, but we have to concentrate on ourselves, and then the victory should not be in question."

Source: HNS, HRT

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