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National Teams > Men > A

Three subs, three goals

Croatia breaks
Maltese resistance,
sits at the top of
the group

30.03.2021.
Croatia breaks Maltese resistance, sits at the top of the group
photo by: HNS
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Croatia national football team celebrated its second 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory: in Rijeka, Zlatko Dalić's men defeated Malta 3:0, with all three players coming on in 54th minute on the scoresheet.

CROATIA - MALTA 3:0 (0:0)
2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Group H. 
HNK Rijeka Stadium, Rijeka.

Referee: L. Tschudi (Switzerland)

Goals: 1:0 - Perišić (62'), 2:0 - Modrić (76' - 11m), 3:0 - Brekalo (90')

Cautions: Vida (81'), Vlašić (90+2')

Croatia: Livaković, Melnjak (57' Barišić), Ćaleta-Car, Vida, Juranović, Badelj (54' Modrić), Kovačić, Oršić (78' Lovrić), Vlašić, Pašalić (54' Brekalo), Budimir (54' Perišić). Head coach: Z. Dalić.

Malta: Bonello, Borg (67' Muscat), Pepe, Shaw, Camenzuli, Kristensen (81' Gambin), Guillaumier, Mbong (67' Corbolan), Pisani (62' Grech), Teuma, Satariano (46' Nwoko). Head coach: D. Mangia.

foto: HNS

Following the opening loss to Slovenia and the home win over Cyprus, Croatia emerged victorious against Malta in Rijeka, completing its first 2021 international break at the top of the qualifying group.

In the first half, Croatia did not find many openings in the Maltese stronghold. Vlašić was quick to fire just wide, Pašalić later hit the woodwork with a header, but the visitors did not give in.

Vlašić was first to threaten after the break, BonelIo intervened when Oršić had an promising opportunity, and on 54 minutes head coach Dalić sends captain Modrić, Perišić, and Brekalo onto the pitch.

foto: HNS

Less than ten minutes later, Croatia took the lead. Barišić crossed from the left, and Perišić finished off the move to make it 1:0. The Vatreni then played with ease, Vlašić tried once more, and on 76 minutes Modrić converted a penalty to double the advantage.

Alongside some other clear-cut chances, it was Brekalo who sealed the victory in the closing minutes, tapping the ball as Perišić assisted. This completed the Croatia's super-sub scoresheet, while Lovrić made his international debut.

foto: HNS

In other Group H matches, Cyprus defeated Slovenia 1:0, while Slovakia overcame Russia 2:1. World Cup qualifiers are to continue in September, when Croatia visits Russia and Slovakia, and hosts Slovenia.

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

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