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National Teams

Successful qualifying campaign

Croatia comeback
against Slovakia
seals EURO 2020

Croatia comeback against Slovakia seals EURO 2020 berth!
photo by: HNS
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Croatia secured a place at the upcoming EURO 2020 as the top team from the qualifying Group E, following a comeback victory over Slovakia in Rijeka!

EURO 2020 qualifying, Group E.
HNK Rijeka Stadium, Rijeka.

Referee: C. Turpin (France)

Goals: 0:1 - Boženik (32'), 1:1 - Vlašić (56'), 2:1 - Petković (60'), 3:1 - Perišić (74')

Cautions: Ćaleta-Car (13'), Mak (23'), Rebić (43'), Dubravka (79')

Sent off: Mak (66')

Croatia: Livaković, Barišić, Ćaleta-Car, Perić, Jedvaj, Modrić, Brozović, Perišić (81' Oršić), Vlašić (75' Kovačić), Rebić (54' Brekalo), Petković. Head coach: Z. Dalić.

Slovakia: Dubravka, Hancko, Škriniar, Vavro, Pekarik, Hamšik, Lobotka, Kucka (79' Hrošovsky), Rusnak (63' Haraslin), Mak, Boženik (72' Duriš). Head coach: P. Hapal.

photo by: HNS

Zlatko Dalić's men have overcame Slovakia challenge in Rijeka, despite being a goal down at half-time, and secured the top spot in the qualifying Group E. Therefore, Croatia will play at 11th major tournament in its history!

The Vatreni have had several promising opportunities in the first half (Petković, Vlašić, Perišić), but it was Slovakia who took the lead on 32 minutes, when Boženik scored from close range. Visitors' goalkeeper Dubravka remained a mystery to Croatia's forwards. 

However, things have changed after the break. On 56 minutes, Vlašić found the bottom corner from the edge of the box, and four minutes later Modrić crossed from a corner kick, and Petković headed the ball in to make 2:1. Soon afterwards, Mak was sent off due to second cautionable offence.

Croatia's victory was sealed on 74 minutes, when Barišić crossed from the left, and Perišić reacted brilliantly to beat Dubravka, who had to produce more saves in the closing minutes.

In other Group E match on Saturday, Wales defeated Azerbaijan in Baku (2:0). In the final round, on Tuesday, Wales hosts Hungary, while Slovakia hosts Azerbaijan.

The EURO 2020 Final Draw will be held on 30 November in Bucharest.

EURO 2020 qualifying, Group E:
1. Croatia 17 (8)
2. Hungary 12 (7)
3. Wales 11 (7)
4. Slovakia 10 (7)
5. Azerbaijan 1 (7)

photo by: HNS

Euro 2020. - qualifiers, 16.11.2019., Stadion HNK Rijeka, Rijeka. Spectators: 8212
Referees: Clément Turpin (FRA), Nicolas Danos (FRA), Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth referee: François Letexier (FRA)
1Dominik Livaković1Martin Dúbravka
10Luka Modrić2Peter Pekarík
4Ivan Perišić
17Marek Hamsik
18Ante Rebić
20Robert Mak
11Marcelo Brozović19Juraj Kucka
16Tin Jedvaj10Albert Rusnak
5Dino Perić14Milan Škriniar
6Duje Ćaleta-Car
22Stanislav Lobotka
20Bruno Petković
3Denis Vavro
13Nikola Vlašić
9Róbert Boženík
3Borna Barišić16David Hancko
12Lovre Kalinić12Marek Rodák
23Simon Sluga23Dominik Greif
19Milan Badelj21Michal Duris
14Mile Škorić6Jan Gregus
8Mateo Kovačić
11Matus Bero
9Mislav Oršić
5Ľubomír Šatka
15Mario Pašalić13Patrik Hrosovsky
7Josip Brekalo
8Ondrej Duda
22Karlo Bartolec7Lukáš Haraslín
17Marko Rog15Nikolas Špalek
21Josip Juranović18Samuel Mráz
2Dario Melnjak4Martin Valjent
Zlatko DalićPavel Hapal

On the eve of the EURO 2020 qualifying decider in Rijeka, as Croatia hosts Slovakia, head coach Zlatko Dalić and team captain Luka Modrić held a press conference.

Zlatko Dalić

"Everybody was motivated and focused during our practice sessions, it was a pleasure to prepare this game. Whoever gets out on the field will have full support and do his best. I have told my players to relax, the pressure must not get to them. Croatia has to play as favourites, enjoy the match and secure EURO 2020 berth. I expect maximum approach, regardless of the weather conditions, since the pitch is perfect. I am sorry that we didn't reach the final tournament in the previous encounter, but we are ready, and we are expected to do so. Slovakia's performance will undoubtedly be better than the one from Trnava, and Croatia will stay true to its style. Our objective is a victory"

Luka Modrić

"Croatia has to stay focused on the game, not on the weather conditions. It is crucial to reach EURO 2020, and then we will see what we can do there, since I am convinced that we have a great team. Slovakia is a quality opponent, much better than we have seen in Trnava, and we have to be careful, especially of their midfield. Croatia does not know how to keep a 0:0 scoreline, we want to attack and I believe the fans will carry us to a positive result. Some important players are missing, but the replacements have always been exceptional. There is pressure, but we are aware of our quality. To wear Croatian jersey and listen to Croatian anthem has always been enough motivation, I enjoy playing for the national team since it is one of the major honours a player can experience. As captain, I hope to set an example to the younger teammates"

photo by: HNS

foto: HNS