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National Teams

Friendly win for Croatia

Jelavić lone goal
breaks Australian
resistance

07.06.2014.
Jelavić lone goal breaks Australian resistance
photo by: HNS
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Croatian national football team faced Australia in Salvador and won another friendly match ahead of the World Cup opening match.

CROATIA - AUSTRALIA 1:0 (0:0)
International friendly.
Governador Roberto Santos Stadium, Salvador.

Referee: Francisco Carlos do Nascimento (Brazil)

Goalscorers: 1:0 - Jelavić (58')

Yellow cards: Vida (44'), Mandžukić (64'), Srna (84')

Croatia: Pletikosa, Pranjić (25' Vrsaljko), Lovren, Vida, Srna, Brozović, Modrić (59' Rakitić), Kovačić (59' Sammir), Perišić (67' Rebić), Eduardo (77' Olić), Jelavić (59' Mandžukić). Izbornik: N. Kovač.

Australia: Ryan, Franjić, Špiranović, Davidson, Wilkinson, Jedinak (74' Holland), Vidošić (55' Halloran), Milligan (81' McKay), Cahill (66' Bresciano), Oar (81' Troisi), Leckie (85' Taggart). Izbornik: A. Postecoglou.

On 31 May, Croatia beat Mali in Osijek 2:1, and on Friday in Salvador managed to overcome Australia as well, in the final World Cup preparation phase, with Nikica Jelavić scoring the decider.

As predicted, Australia stood firm against Croatia, and Niko Kovač's men managed to produce only one dangerous Modrić cross in the opening minutes, together with Socceroos goalie Ryan's mistake.

Eduardo then came close after a Jelavić pass, but Ryan stopped the Croatian striker's shot. Moreover, Pranjić was forced to leave the pitch due to injury.

Second half eventually produced a goal, that was to prove decisive. In the 58th minute, Modrić tried to break through the Australian defence, and the ball ended at Jelavić's feet, who put it at the back of the net off the crossbar.

Croatia head coach Niko Kovač used Rakitić, Sammir, Rebić, Olić and Mandžukić as substitutes, with the latter having another injury scare in the closing minutes.

Croatia now awaits World Cup opening against the host nation, Brazil, on 12 June in Sao Paulo.

Friendly, 06.06.2014.. Spectators: 8000
Referees: Francisco Carlos do Nascimento (BRA), Alessandro Alvaro Rocha Matos (BRA), Cleriston Cley Rios (BRA)
Fourth referee: MArielson Alves Silva (BRA)
Croatia
1
Australia
0
1Stipe Pletikosa1Mat Ryan
3Danijel Pranjić
25'
2Ivan Franjic
10Luka Modrić
60'
3Jason Davidson
20Mateo Kovačić
60'
4Tim Cahill
66'
6Dejan Lovren5Mark Milligan
81'
4Ivan Perišić
66'
6Matthew Spiranovic
22Eduardo Alves Da Silva
77'
7Matthew Leckie
9Nikica Jelavić
58'
59'
11Tommy Oar
81'
11Darijo Srna
85'
15Mile Jedinak
74'
21Domagoj Vida
44'
20Dario Vidosic
55'
14Marcelo Brozović25Alex Wilkinson
Bench
12Oliver Zelenika8Oliver Bozanic
23Danijel Subašić9Adam Taggart
18Ivica Olić
77'
10Ben Halloran
55'
7Ivan Rakitić
60'
12Mitch Langerak
5Vedran Ćorluka13Bailey Wright
2Šime Vrsaljko
25'
14James Troisi
81'
19Ante Rebić
66'
16James Holland
74'
8Ognjen Vukojević17Matthew McKay
81'
17Mario Mandžukić
64'
59'
18Eugene Galekovic
16Jorge Sammir Cruz Campos
60'
19Ryan McGowan
21Massimo Luongo
23Mark Bresciano
66'
Coaches
Niko KovačAnge Postecoglou

Croatia's dress rehearsal ahead of the World Cup will be an international friendly against the Australian national team.

Croatia - Australia
International friendly.
6 June 2014, 20:00 local time (01:00 CRO time)
Governador Roberto Santos Stadium, Salvador.

Six days before the World Cup opening match in Sao Paulo, Croatia will face the Australians, who await Group B matches against the last World Cup finalists Spain and Netherlands, as well as Chile.

Australia's FIFA ranking in June was at 62nd place, but under the leadership of head coach Ange Postecoglou, it is the team that must not be taken lightly.

"Australia plays nice, direct and aggressive football. It can certainly be one of the surprise packages of World Cup", warned Croatia head coach Niko Kovač. "However, we want to achieve a positive result".

Kovač is still in search for a couple of answers regarding Croatia's first team for the Brazil showdown: "There is always a possibility of an injury, but that exists at the training pitch as well. We wanted this match mostly because of the weather conditions, since it is different to play a serious opponent in Brazil than having practice sessions and friendlies in Austria or Croatia".

Croatia has already met Socceroos during the final preparations for the World Cup. On 6 June, 1998, Miroslav Blažević's team won 7:0 in Zagreb and went on to win a bronze medal in France. Croatia encountered Australia at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, with Australia progressing to the second round after an exciting 2:2 draw in group stage.

Friday's friendly will be played at the Governador Roberto Santos Stadium in Salvador, Bahia, starting 20:00 local time (01:00 Croatian time), with Brazilian Francisco Carlos do Nascimento as the referee.

"Every victory brings more self-confidence, but the most important thing is to avoid injuries and not get into trouble", summarized Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.

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foto: HNS
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