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National Teams

Change of fortunes in the second half

Sharbini for the
lead, Messi for the
win: Argentina beats
feisty Croatia

12.11.2014.
Sharbini for the lead, Messi for the win: Argentina beats feisty Croatia
photo by: HNS
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The friendly international at London's Boleyn Ground ended in Argentina victory, although aggressive Croatia took an early lead.

 

CROATIA - ARGENTINA 1:2 (1:0)
Friendly international.
Boleyn Ground, London.

Referee: Andre Marriner (England)

Goalscorers: 1:0 - Sharbini (11'), 1:1 - Ansaldi (49'), 1:2 - Messi (57' - 11m)

Yellow cards: -

Croatia: Kalinić (89' Vargić), Vrsaljko, Jedvaj, Lešković (84' Mitrović), Leovac, Antolić, Badelj, Milić (71' Tomečak), Kovačić (46' Halilović), Sharbini (65' Jajalo), Čop (84' Rog). Head coach: N. Kovač.

Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Fazio, Vergini, Ansaldi (76' Silva), Mascherano, Banega (70' Pereyra), Perez, Di Maria (76' Lamela), Messi, Aguero (62' Tevez). Head coach: G. Martino.

West Ham's ground hosted the international friendly between full-squad World Cup runner-up and Croatia national team without some of the major stars, yet Croatia managed to offer quality resistance and presented very high level of play.

Croatia's undaunted opening minutes were rewarded in the 11th minute, when Mateo Kovačić found Anas Sharbini, who put the ball behind Sergio Romero with a neat touch to give Croatia a valuable lead and an additional injection of self-confidence.

Even though Argentina had more chances in the remaining minutes of the first half, Croatia showed quality and enough dynamics to hold on and wait to strike on counterattack.

Lovre Kalinić was comfortable in goal, with a couple of fine interventions after Aguero, Di Maria and Messi strikes, while Aguero and Messi shot wide in two promising opportunities.

However, Argentina scored the equalizer in the opening minutes of the second half. Cristian Ansaldi struck from distance, and the ball bounced off Sergio Aguero to find the way past Croatian goalkeeper.

Under a ten minutes later, Messi sent an excellent through ball to Aguero, and Kalinić rushed out only to clip the Argentina striker in the box. Barcelona and Argentina number ten had no trouble in scoring from the penalty spot.

Afterwards, Carlos Tevez missed a golden opportunity, while Messi hit the woodwork ten minutes from time. Croatia head coach Niko Kovač introduced Halilović, Jajalo, Tomečak, Rog, Mitrović and Vargić in the second half and waits to decide on the players from the London delegation that will represent Croatia at the San Siro, in a European qualifier against Italy on Sunday.

12.11.2014., Boleyn Ground, London. Spectators: 25000
Referees: Andre Marriner (ENG), Gary Beswick (ENG), Peter Kirkup (ENG)
Fourth referee: Lee Probert (ENG)
Argentina
2
Croatia
1
1Sergio Romero12Lovre Kalinić
89'
2Santiago Vergini2Šime Vrsaljko
3Christian Ansaldi
76'
4Marko Lešković
84'
4Pablo Zabaleta5Tin Jedvaj
7Angel Di Maria
76'
7Milan Badelj
8Enzo Perez10Anas Sharbini
11'
65'
10Lionel Messi
57'
13Duje Čop
84'
11Sergio Aguero
48'
62'
19Hrvoje Milić
71'
14Javier Mascherano20Mateo Kovačić
46'
17Federico Fazio21Domagoj Antolić
19Ever Banega
71'
22Marin Leovac
Bench
12Willy Caballero1Ivan Vargić
89'
21Nahuel Guzman6Matej Mitrović
84'
5Lucas Biglia8Alen Halilović
46'
6Nicolas Otamendi9Nikola Kalinić
9Gonzalo Higuain11Ivan Tomečak
71'
13Facundo Roncaglia14Mato Jajalo
65'
15Martin Demichelis15Ivan Strinić
16Roberto Pereyra
71'
18Marko Rog
84'
18Erik Lamela
76'
20Nicolas Gaitan
22Javier Pastore
23Carlos Tevez
62'
24Jonathan Silva
76'
Coaches
Gerardo MartinoNiko Kovač
galleryimg2
foto: HNS
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