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National Teams

Croatia defeats Cyprus

Pašalić the hero,
Modrić the legend

27.03.2021.
Pašalić the hero, Modrić the legend
photo by: HNS
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In its second qualifier on the road to Qatar 2022, Croatia hosted Cyprus, celebrating both a 1:0 victory and the captain Modrić's jubilee.

CROATIA - CYPRUS 1:0 (1:0)
2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Group H.
HNK Rijeka Stadium, Rijeka.

Referee: K. Tohver (Estonia)

Goals: 1:0 - Pašalić (40')

Cautions: Ćaleta-Car (48'), Perišić (69'), Kovačić (90+3')

Croatia: Livaković, Barišić, Ćaleta-Car, Lovren, Vrsaljko (46' Juranović), Brozović, Pašalić (66' Oršić), Modrić, Perišić (77' Kovačić), Brekalo (66' Vlašić), Budimir (57' Kramarić). Head coach: Z. Dalić

Cyprus: Demetriou (39' Michael), Laifis (82' Andreou'), Soteriou, Kousoulos, N. Ioannou, Kyriakou, Artymatas (57' Kastanos), Psaltis, Pittas, Ilia (46' Sotiriou), Tzioni (67' Papoulis). Head coach: N. Kostenoglou.

photo by: HNS

On Saturday, World Cup finalists Croatia have hosted Cyprus in Rijeka, in their first competitive meeting with the Cypriot national team, celebrating the first victory on the road towards Qatar 2022 - following the introductory defeat in Slovenia.

Zlatko Dalić's men have seeked to score from the kick-off, but sturdy Cyprus defence held firm. Pašalić twice tried a header, while Vrsaljko, Modrić, and Brozović tried long-range efforts.

In the closing minutes of the first half, Cyprus goalkeeper Demetriou was forced off with injury, and just moments later Croatia took the lead. In a scramble in the box, the ball was bounced towards Pašalić, who headed it in. 

CAPTAIN BREAKS RECORD 

Team captain Luka Modrić is now Croatia's most capped player (135), as he topped previous captain Darijo Srna (134).

In the second half, Croatia continued to search for more opportunities, but Cyprus started to open more on the counterattacks. However, Livaković was calm when called into action. Vlašić and Oršić failed to convert the final chances, and the scoreline did not change.

This afternoon, Russia defeated Slovenia 2:1 at home soil, while Slovakia later faces Malta. Croatia continues its qualifying campaign on Tuesday, 30 March, when Malta comes to Rijeka.

2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Group H:
1. Russia 6 (2)
2. Slovenia 3 (2)
3. Croatia 3 (2)
4. Slovakia 1 (1)
5. Cyprus 1 (2)
6. Malta 0 (1)

photo by: HNS

27.03.2021., Stadion HNK Rijeka, Rijeka. Spectators: 0
Referees: Kristo Tohver (EST), Silver Koiv (EST), Sten Klaasen (EST)
Fourth referee: Juri Frischer (EST)
Croatia
1
Cyprus
0
1Dominik Livaković12Demetris Demetriou
39'
2Šime Vrsaljko
46'
2Paris Psaltis
3Borna Barišić4Nicholas Ioannou
4Ivan Perišić
69'
76'
8Chambos Kyriakou
5Duje Ćaleta-Car
48'
9Marios Ilia
46'
6Dejan Lovren13Ioannis Kousoulos
7Josip Brekalo
66'
16Costas Soteriou
10Luka Modrić18Kostakis Artymatas
67'
11Marcelo Brozović19Konstantinos Laifis
82'
14Ante Budimir
57'
21Marinos Tzioni
67'
15Mario Pašalić
40'
66'
23Ioannis Pittas
Bench
12Lovre Kalinić1Kostas Panayi
23Simon Sluga22Neofytos Michael
39'
8Mateo Kovačić
90'+3'
76'
3Stelios Andreou
82'
9Andrej Kramarić
57'
5Fanos Katelaris
13Nikola Vlašić
66'
6Alexander Gogic
16Filip Uremović7Minas Antoniou
17Kristijan Lovrić10Pieros Sotiriou
46'
18Mislav Oršić
66'
11Andreas Avraam
19Milan Badelj14Onisiforos Roushias
20Josip Juranović
46'
15Fotis Papoulis
67'
21Domagoj Vida17Loizos Loizou
22Dario Melnjak20Grigoris Kastanos
67'
Coaches
Zlatko Dalić (Croatia)Nikolaos Kostenoglou (Greece)