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Kramarić Keeps Cardiac Croatians World Cup Dream Alive!

October 8, 2017


Andrej Kramarić scores two goal for Croatia




HRVATSKA Starting XI : Subašić – Vida, Mitrović, Lovren, Vrsaljko – Badelj, Rakitić – Kramarić, Modrić, Perišić Mandžukić



If Croatia could have played like that the entire qualifying campaign, they would have booked their tickets to Russia four months ago. But then again, it wouldn’t be fun.



Croatia deafeated Ukraine 2-0 in Kiev Monday night to book a spot in the November playoff round. The opponent will be determined on October 17th with two games played in the second week of November.



What did we learn tonight?



This Croatian team can play with anybody in any stadium. And win. If they play to win. 2017 has seen the team put forth lackluster performances where minimal effort was given with lots of lolly-gagging. It’s a team of professionals, where in my honest opinion, don’t even need a coach to get through qualifying. Yet, here we are.



Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramarić had his Croatia ‘coming out party’ tonight with two goals. His second goal was a simple tap-in, but that first goal from Modrić; that is not an easy header to beat the keeper with. Kramarić’s two goals within eight minutes of the second half sealed the deal in Kiev and that will only bolster his confidence with the team moving forward.



Luka Modrić was Luka Modrić. Ivan Perišić had another off game. But where the hell was Ivan Rakitić? Yes, he supplied the assist on Krama’s second goal, but other than that, non-existent. It’s officially time to start thinking of Raketa as a bench player.



Croatia’s defense was suspect in the first half. Vrsaljko looked nervous with what appeared to be miscommunication multiple times with his center backs. Ukraine pressed and pressed in the first 45 minutes but couldn’t figure out how to break in for a goal.



Substitutions. This is something we crucified former manager Ante Čačić for. New coach Zlatko Dalić did not use a sub until the 80th minute. The first goal dropped in the 62nd. Are we going to have sub issues in November?









Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 375 comments

  1. Iggy says:

    We are absolutely FUCKERED. I give us about 10% chance of winning on recent form tbh, happy to be proven wrong of course tho

  2. Maminjo says:

    I’m hoping for a goalfest, but I’m expecting very nervous timid play from both sides with neither team wanting to get scored on first.

    Both teams will try to snake a 1-0 win.

    I hope I’m wrong and we just go all out.

  3. Iggy says:

    Scoring has been an issue for us though so don’t see us getting 3 or 4 goals.. i mean unless SuperMario suddently decides he can go back to scoring headers every game??

  4. Poglavnik says:

    We need service from our fullbacks.
    Our only goal on Friday was due to Pivaric getting a good low cross from nearly the goal line. Vrsaljko needs to serious step up and be one of our best players tomorrow and provide some quality crosses.

  5. Iggy says:

    I honestly think we have buckley’s chance of winning

    i’ll be super surprised if we someone do get a win

    that’s my new philosophy for supporting the repka – expect diddly fuck all even against teams like san marino and maybe that way when we actually win a game once in a blue moon i’ll be pleasantly surprised, lol

  6. Slavonac from Canada says:

    My positive side says:

    Expect a redemption game from Vrsaljko, he’s gonna be extra inspired. If the rumours are true and Rog starts in place of Rakitic, expect to see Rakitic come in as a sub and score…it’s wayyy different playing when your spot isn’t guaranteed. Modric will be motivated for so many reasons, this may be his last major tournament. Mandzukic will most likely come out with fire in his eyes…I believe the Slavonac in him will show hard work pays off!

    My pessimism says this:

    It’ll be easy to not preserve and let this game fall through the cracks…maybe they’ve already defeated themselves.

    Me…like I said, I’m gonna shag my wife first thing tomorrow morning…have a coffee, make breakfast, take a shower and plop on the sofa after a quick prayer! I’m far too proud to allow my dislike of some people to overshadow a nation I was raised to love…uh uh…and I think the players feel the same!

  7. BZ says:

    @Slavonac- wouldn’t it be Rog for injured Brozo? Are you hearing he will sit Rakitic? If so, let me be the first to start the “Bring back Cacic” chants ;)

  8. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I read it today…but it wasn’t from Dalić, it was said he might do that…speculation!

  9. HZFC Legend says:

    Croatia with a tough but deserved win. The pressure and atmosphere will be all too much for the Ukranians. The playoffs round the corner will be another interesting battle to come. I have always said it – our beloved Repka will never do well in a major tournament until 2 things happen: 1) our youth teams finally win a trophy and 2) the senior squad is managed by a foreign coach who will bring respect, hard work and discipline to the squad. Kaman Hrvatska

  10. Croatian says:

    This is for the National team of Croatia. Guys play with your hearts like the 98 team did!!! If you guys are making too much money and don’t want to get hurt step down and give the younger guys a chance that are hungry and will give evrything they got. Modric make some noise and get the other players to step it up. Peresic and Brozovic you need the games of your life today wake the fuck up. Rakatic don’t even play if you have no heart. Wake the fuck up guys you have to play to win we can’t do it for you on this site. Lakonoc and I pray you guys show up for a win and make us proud.

  11. Maminjo says:

    Slavonac, please stop talking about shagging your wife.

    Some of us find it very offensive, on account that we don’t agree or believe in Mexican intercourse.

  12. Toronto Croatia Toronto Croatia says:

    Past Croatian teams have gone to England and won in a big game…

    Gone to Turkey and won in a big game…

    Now they gotta go to Ukraine and do it.

    So is this impossible? No …but they just need to WANT to win in this big game.

  13. The truth says:

    My model still has won/tie/loss at 25/40/35

    Maybe one thing that should give people hope is that the model does not capture a scenario like this where both teams actually need a win potentially severely opening up the game

    It’s not unreasonable to think as a result win/tie/loss would look like 35/20/45

    If that is the case, odds look like this

    Lose and out:. 45 percent
    Tie and out:. 20x.95 = 19 percent
    Tie and playoff: 20×5= .4 percent
    Win and playoff: 35 x 80 = 27 percent
    Win and direct qualify: 35 x 20 = 7 percent

    Assume 50 percent chance of winning playoff

    World cup chances look as follows
    Playoff + win = 27.4 x 50 = 13.7 percent
    Direct qualify = 7 percent

    Chance of making world cup:. 20.7 percent

  14. Anonymous says:

    Manowar – The Warriors Prayer Lyrics

    Grand father, tell me a story!
    All right, go and get your storybook
    No, no, not one of those, a real story
    A real story?
    Yes! Tell me about when you were a boy
    Well, then, I shall have to take you back with me
    A long way in time
    It was my thirteenth year on a cold winter’s day
    As I walked through the enchanted forest
    I heard the sounds of horses and men at arms
    I felt compelled to walk on and find the place of these sounds
    And when the forest did clear I was standing on a hill
    Before me there was a great plane
    Upon it the armies of the world,standing, waiting
    I thought to myself, for whom or for what are they waiting?
    Suddenly a gust of wind come up from the north
    There appeared a lone rider, holding a sword of steel
    Then from the south came another, bearing a battle axe
    From the east came a third, holding a spiked club
    And finally, from the west a rider
    Who wielded a great hammer of war, with them came their
    Soldiers of death, followed by an army of immortals
    They were few in number
    But the look in their eyes told all who beheld them
    That they would leave this day only in victory or death
    And there was a great silence
    My heart began to pound, storm clouds filled the sky with darkness
    Rain came and four winds blew with such anger
    That I held fast to a tree
    I watched the four riders raise their weapons into the air
    Without warning, screaming their war cry they led the attack
    Down to the battle they rode
    They met the armies of the world with a mighty clash
    I could feel the groundshake, the earth drank much blood that day
    Each of the four, was into himself a whirlwind of doom
    When the smoke did clear, many thousands were dead
    There was much blood and gore
    Their bodies lay broken and scattered across the battle field
    Like brown leaves blown by the wind
    And I saw the four ride together to the top of the hill
    While below them the soldiers of death assembled
    All those who would now swear allegiance to them
    And the four spoke the words of the warriors prayer
    Gods of war I call you, my sword is by my side
    I seek a life of honor free from all false pride
    I will crack the whip with a bold mighty hail
    Cover me with death if I should ever fail
    Glory, majesty, unity, hail, hail,hail
    And as I stood and looked on, I heard the armies of the world
    Hail them without end, and their voices of victory
    Carried long and far throughout the land
    Well, That’s it, did you like the story?
    Yeah, it was great!
    Oh, good, I’m glad, now off to bed with you
    Who were those four men?
    Who were they? They were the Metal Kings

  15. Razbijač says:

    For Repka…this is now the “To Be Or Not Be” moment. A game that will be the ultimate test of character, and perhaps one that will help define this generation of players….

    For Modric, this may very well be his last official game for Repka, as he may not participate in the next qualifying cycle. Given his age, he may choose to focus on his club career.

    Heck it may even be Mandzu’s last game, as he would be 34 at the next Euros, and may decide to concentrate on his club career in the twilight of his playing days…

    No matter what happens, I pray this team at least comes out Swinging! And doesn’t go down without a fight!

  16. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    In a big match like this, I can’t imagine these guys are thrilled to be managed by the likes of Dalic. Talk about no inspiration. I’m not looking forward to this.

  17. Mile says:

    I thought of this yesterday. Imagine being Modric. For the past year plus, he goes from being coached by Zidane for Real Madrid to Cacic for Croatia. That’s like being an A list actor and going from filming a movie love scene with Scarlet Johannson to doing a TV movie and a love scene with Rosie O’Donnell.

  18. Mark says:

    I have ZERO confidence that we’ll win today. Such a shame the HNS is. unbelievable.

    Who has a good US link? I thought this one would for sure be on ESPN3

  19. idemo says:

    Sastav Hrvatske protiv Ukrajine (4-2-3-1):

    Subašić; Vida, Mitrović, Lovren, Vrsaljko; Badelj, Rakitić; Kramarić, Modrić, Perišić; Mandžukić

    welp I got that one right

  20. ŽDS Lifestyle says:

    Can someone post lineup?

    They were saying Mandzo had a serious injury…..but now he’s playing….wtf?

  21. Stef T.O says:

    Sastav Hrvatske protiv Ukrajine (4-2-3-1):

    Subašić; Vida, Mitrović, Lovren, Vrsaljko; Badelj, Rakitić; Kramarić, Modrić, Perišić; Mandžukić

    Great line up zero complaints!

  22. idemo says:

    some of you literally do not read.

    “ill post streams an hour or two before” anyone have a stream

    line up gets posted 3 comments before “can someone post line up”

    give me my credit Stef!!!!

  23. Slavonac from Canada says:

    …and this is what I think…Mamic might be a criminal but he’s right about this, which is why Kvartuc and company always complain and make shit up:

    U sezoni 07/08 na vratima je Koch, tu je Mandžukić, raste Mikić. Došao je Chago. I tako dalje i tako dalje, do Machada, Henriqueza, Fernandeza, Soudanija, ali i Ćorluke, Vide, Lovrena, Badelja, sve do Matea Kovačića i Pjace. Dragi moji prijatelji i sportski suparnici iz Splita i Dalmacije, dragi navijači Hajduka. U te prve tri godine, Hajduk je iza Dinama zaostao više od 80 bodova. Dinamo je igrao Europu, Hajduk nije. I u tom je razdoblju nastao jaz koji do danas nisu ljudi koji vode Hajduk uspjeli zatvoriti. A kada je postalo jasno da je financijska rupa preduboka, da jednostavno, bez novca ne mogu dovesti prave igrače i prava pojačanja, da bi se prikrio rezultatski kolaps, morao se pronaći krivac, morala se prebaciti odgovornost. I našao se – svemoćni Zdravko Mamić i prokleti Dinamo. Ukralo, pokralo.

  24. ŽDS Lifestyle says:

    OMG – 1 striker up top again. They are playing for the tie…..how embarrassing.

    Your adding Badelj and Rakitic so you can play with 5 defenders. Rakitic will be inviting them to score.

    Dalič should be fired right after the loss!

  25. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Anyone in Vancouver know if the game is showing on Shaw? I saw I posted on Friday and now it’s gone!

  26. idemo says:

    they’re not playing for the tie as a the tie has become a dream scenario

    modern football is 4 2 3 1 or the 5 in the back with wing backs.

  27. Poglavnik says:

    On Vancouver channels I only see it airing as a repeat at 5pm on Sportsnet World. It won’t be live. Gotta find a decent feed or they should be playing it at the Centar.

  28. Sava says:

    http://www.balkaniyum.tv Yes you pay for it but you have a nice feed of Serbian Croatian Bosnian Channels. I usually pay for 6 months to the get the basic package. You have an app for android boxes or mobile phones. You can watch live or 6 9 12 hours behind. great for rewatching game that is finished without the stress.

  29. Anonymous says:

    This lineup is pretty much our strongest on paper.

    It all comes down to three factors:

    – If we actually USE Mandzukic and our guys from the wing can send him some crosses

    – If Rakitic and (to a lesser extent) Modric take some risks and play more offensively and launch a few bombs onto goal

    – If kiks Lovren doesn’t show up and give Ukraine a goal

    My guess is that if Rakitic continues to plays neutered, he will be the first to come off with Brozovic replacing him.

    If our wingers do not send anything to Mandzukic all game, then you may as well put Kramaric up top and put Mandzo on the wing. We won’t win this game if we don’t involve Mandzo our špica in some way.

  30. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I have a pirated version Roku…several satellite feeds so hopefully I find it there.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Wish we would go out in some form of a 3-4-3, maybe a 3-4-2-1 and dominate the midfield. Balls to the wall total football. Absolutely suffocate these guys.
    Never going to happen.

  32. Ante Montanic says:

    Remember we did miss the 2010 World Cup and i do feel our moment has passed when we couldn’t even defeat Mexico in the 2014 World Cup with a younger team with World Class players like Modric,Rakitic,Mandzukic. Now we are even older so I can’t see us getting any better with those three players unless someone outside of those three steps up. Kovacic is to inconsistent,Rog who knows,Halilovic not playing same goes for Coric, Brozovic is alright but hes know Modric. If we miss we will start to rebuild teams always miss one or two major tournaments even Argentina is struggling to score goals at the moment. It would be good to make the World Cup but i think our main players would rather play club football than International.

  33. idemo says:


    relax we get it, he isn’t responsible for the single events but the man is part of the underlying problem in the federation.

  34. Maminjo says:

    Missing the World Cup is always devastating.

    But what’s worse than missing the World Cup is not learning from our mistakes and continuing with the “former player” coaches and the “Middle East” coaches that we always turn to.

    I fully understand that there is no guarantee with foreign coaches (more often than not, they fail and then cost you a ton of cash to buy them out). Countries that don’t have any money (i.e. Serbia) have hired foreign coaches who have failed more miserably than their own.

    This is why the HNS is scared to pull the trigger. They want to swing and hit a homerun with the Bilic and Kovac types. It’s just so much safer. Zlatko Dalic is apparently a great person and player’s coach, but again, we’re continuing the same old ‘diamond in the rough’ approach where we hope to score big with zero risk (other than missing a tournament every 10 years).

  35. idemo says:

    I repeat, the only thing separating Zlatko Dalic and Zoran Mamic is dailc time with u21 (as an assistant albeit) other than that to me they are interchangeable

  36. BZ says:

    Zds Lifestyle- I agree with you, but I don’t think Rakitic will be that bad. To me he wasn’t that bad vs Finland after watching the game again.

    Why four back & Badelj? Whatever. Just win.

  37. Maminjo says:

    I think Perisic was saving himself for this game because of his yellow card.

    He didn’t want to miss the Ukraine game (again).

    He’ll go all out. Make a few individual runs on his own if he has to.

  38. Mississauga says:

    I just purchased a package on from sportsnet for 16.95 for the month. They say it will be on HD channel 1412 on bell in the GTA or channel 873. So far on the guide it says no info available for that time slot.

  39. idemo says:

    because badelj releases Luka modric from alot of defensive duty. thats why.

    why does Man U become so much better in the 70th minute when Fellaini comes in?

    Hadley has played in nearly every game this campaign for a reason

    that was our go to guy hopefully he can catch spark

  40. Mile says:

    For Canadians that have Rogers, I got Sportsnet World for $20 less a $10 statement credit, and I only need to keep it for a month. Not a bad deal. I figure if Croatia shit the bed again, I can flip over to the Wales-Ireland game.

  41. joe says:

    We’ve got to play 3 in the back in order to put balls in the net this game… to be honest not looking forward to the game. Really nerve racking.

  42. ŽDS Lifestyle says:

    Rakitic was horrible…..can the man run?? Does he know that there are times when you have to sprint? I’d rather have Rog in there.

    He was clearly the worst player. It looked like
    Modric wanted to bitch slap him a few times.

  43. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Kvartuc promoting players walk off the field on twitter and Facebook.

    What does this say about him and croatiansports.com? I’m baffled and think it’s gone too far! He’s even go Holiga promoting his ridiculous claims that players should walk off the field.

    How many here feel that’s a patriotic gesture, to walk away from playing and believe it demonstrates something good? Where the hell do you get the idea that these players are protesting the savez? This site gets some attention and the platform is spewing some deep rooted bullshit…ie…Mamic shot himself? WTF is the purpose for all this nonsense? You’ve said it’s your opinion but you know something, some stupid people believe what you write cause they’re idiots…and then they repeat the bullshit elsewhere.

    I’m really disappointed in these stupid allegations. This divides people, not unites them! Hrvat protiv Hrvat!

  44. Anonymous says:

    agree with all the Raketa comments. But unfortunately I can’t imagine that as his 1st order of business, a young unproven coach 2 days after taking the job in one of the most important games imaginable would have the balls to bench the midfielder who plays for Barcelona. It is what it is. :/

  45. idemo says:

    outside of us no one cares or knows about our corruption problems. the most I get from non- pro people is “whats wrong with your racist fans”

  46. Anonymous says:

    Conspiracy theorist Kvartuc turning his back. How about he practice what he preaches and shuts this website down.
    Dividing croatian fans around the world.

  47. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Idemo, I’ve been pissed at you in the past but I’m glad to see you love the game and you love our team…some guys seem to have their own agenda…at least you’re a domoljub and are not dividing us over a Hajduk conspiracy theory!

  48. Maminjo says:


    Well, Holiga is not really a Hrvat. Dude is probably half Serbian (with the Aleksandar first name) and half Hungarian (as Holiga is a Hungarian name).

    Sure, he may be born in Zagreb, but not a good thing if you’re raised to love Yugoslavia and hate Croatia. Very political dude. You have to be careful with people who are partisan with their politics.

    Kvartuc is just falling into the political trap.
    As a journalist, you gotta steer clear from people who have political agendas and bias.

  49. Stef T.O says:

    Listen if these guys want to play this roster can absolutely beat anyone! Yes it does take a good coach to motivate and get tactics and substitutions correct. At the end of the day the players and a little luck will decided the game today.
    I think we will win 3-1 and roll into the knockout stages.

  50. Hercegovac says:

    I’m no hajduk fan, but I don’t see this as a hajduk conspiracy theory.

    I love Dinamo and hate Mamic. So, I actually agree with what they say about mamic. He did steal money from Dinamo and players like Lovren and Modric helped him do that.

    Here is how I feel…..I hope we win, but I wont lose and sleep or shed any tears if we get eliminated today. The players haven’t earned that from us. Too much self interest is in involved with this current national team structure.

  51. Hercegovac says:

    I’m no hajduk fan, but I don’t see this as a hajduk conspiracy theory.

    I love Dinamo and hate Mamic. So, I actually agree with what they say about mamic. He did steal money from Dinamo and players like Lovren and Modric helped him do that.

    I hope we win, but I wont lose and sleep or shed any tears if we get eliminated today. The players haven’t earned that from us. Too much self interest is in involved with this current national team structure.

  52. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Too many like Holiga in Croatia…then people find a common ground with him and push their narrative!

  53. Maminjo says:


    I don’t think anyone here likes Mamic.

    But whatever he stole with Lovren and Modric, is on par with what guys like Fiorentini, Stimac, Pletikosa and Srna stole at Hajduk.

    There is no single boogeyman. There are many of them, just one of them is more successful at it than the rest (and refuses to fly under the radar like they do).
    But they’re all smrad nonetheless.

  54. idemo says:

    @maminjo and hercegovac

    when has a Hajduk exec handpicked a foreigner for the national team.

    @slavonac holiga = dubre

  55. LAknat says:

    LAknat absolutely right saw the lines up’s pretty enchantment and far better compare to stupid Cacic. but still worried about Perisic will just make arbitrary shoots. I suggest to take him out if He throws away the opportunities.

  56. Adame says:

    download and sign up for a free trial to fox soccer match pass. They already have coverage of the game going on.

  57. Ante Montanic says:

    A Manager can only do so much its really up to the players at the end of the day even if Jose Mourinho was coaching them we will still find a way to mess things up.

  58. idemo says:

    I disagree ante, maybe if Jose took over on Friday for todays game sure. but that man in the long round would take effect.

  59. BZ says:

    Ante K- seems many disagree with your protest concept. Win or lose I will support this team. We hope u do too.

  60. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    I’m just saying if you’re not going to show up to play, you might as well leave the pitch and shake things up. Obviously, I shook up the status quo around here.

    Any one got links?

  61. Iggy Iggy says:

    im surprised i actually got up for this game when i have zero confidence in us but here we go

    prepare for disappointment, lol

  62. BZ says:

    Hopefully having no Pivaric will help us on set play defense. Defending corners and crosses has been a disaster since 2014.

    Ante- all good.

  63. Iggy Iggy says:

    how did we go from being so good in euro2016 to so shit now in such a short period of time with basically the same team and coach?

  64. Iggy Iggy says:

    it basically is going as per expectation, we look like we have no chance to score and are basically just hanging onto 0-0, there would have to be a turnaround for us to do this which we’ve shown no ability to exercise tbh

  65. Iggy Iggy says:

    the only thing i can think of is we playing for 0-0 at half time and then come out in econd half but obviously that’s dangerous as fuck cos we’re lucky to be 0-0

  66. Mishko says:

    I hope we loose, MAYBE we can work on fixing the country rather than focusing on shit that does nothing for us. Just saying since I live here

  67. Anonymous says:

    Maybe every fan in Croatia can be coach for a week , I’ll bet we would never lose one game. We have 4 million geniuses. Every time we don’t win , there’s someone that’s blamed, how about just, the other guys were better…. !!!

  68. Igor Dubrovnik says:

    I think to calm myself down over this Im just going to accept the fact that theres no WC for us next year.

  69. Anonymous says:

    we would be better playing 3 at the back. Sub Vrsaljko out.
    He is in over his head. Add attacking midfielder or another forward. If we are going to fail i would rather fail trying to score than trying to defend. Rakitic and Kramaric Invisible. Put in a hustler like Rog

  70. CiganJeCigan says:

    Vrsaljko is playing like utter shit LB, if we had strinic we would do way way better. 2 out of our 4 defenders are displaced.

  71. Dannyj says:

    I just turned it on the Ukraine feed or whatever it is
    All they showing is Ukraine highlights
    Either it’s biased or we sucking
    And scrolling up the comments we are sucking
    Well it’s basically a 45 minute game

    Is the tie possibility srill a possibility?

  72. Crobo Cop says:

    At this stage I don’t even know where a goal would come from for us?
    Every cross I have seen us put into the box we have been outnumbered at least 4v2, usually 5 or 6 v 2.

    Everything is a gamble, there is no plan, there is no strategy.

  73. Crobo Cop says:

    At this stage I don’t even know where a goal would come from for us?
    Every cross I have seen us put into the box we have been outnumbered at least 4v2, usually 5 or 6 v 2.

    Everything is a gamble, there is no plan, there is no strategy.

  74. Mishko says:

    And for the record, the Serbian that was coming on here commenting. Please for the love of GOD, clean up Belgrade before you EVER make a comment about Croatian soccer. Belgrade place is a disaster. trash everywhere and smells like piss, people that know understand I’m not being an a-hole, it’s the truth. At the end of the day, clean your own house before you comment about shit that’s irrelevant.

  75. Dannyj says:

    The longer this game goes favors us for a fluke goal from all their pressure:). Like how it’s happened to us many times before

    Our chance fir damage was last euros guys

  76. Croatianperson85 says:

    I’ve said it before we lack ideas. It’s been the same game for years. Midfield plays the wing, overlap and cross for the big post up forward, Mandza, he scores, creates a rebound or nods it back for a shot. That’s it. That’s what we do and we do it slow as hell. Where was the Croatia that dominated the Italians in Italy for most of the game? Hope we progress but based on the body language as Lika Joey noted, it says it all.

  77. Mishko says:

    BTW, their stadium is super nice. We’re going to win the game, go on and nothing with change in Croatia unfortunately. Calling it.

  78. Mali Ante says:

    Let’s hope for half time adjustments. We’ve looked confused and can’t create anything. That’s what happens when you play people out of place. At least they are trying to change up the status quo…better than nothing. Ajmoooooooo!!!!

  79. Iggy Iggy says:

    yeah when we cross it in, as crobocop said, it’s always 2 guys forward against 6 defenders, whereas when they come forward it’s more like 5 v 6

  80. Peter North says:

    I would be shocked if we got 3 points after watching that first 45. Ukraine look more likely to put one in.

    The only thing is both teams need he win so the game will have it further open up the longer it stays tied. Maybe we can knick one home, but that’s hoping against hope.

  81. CiganJeCigan says:

    i still cant wrap my head around the vida RB and Vrsalkjo LB positions. Why not just have Vrsalkjo play in his natural position and vida play LB, after all vida has played LB before. therefore youre only displacing one player.

  82. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Perisic sucks balls! He’s lazy and doesn’t anticipate anything …always hoping he has to do the least possible!

  83. Iggy Iggy says:

    anyway i was abotu to say we were looking way better, the odds actually changed to favour us winning even before that goal

  84. Vatrena cast says:

    I’m back.

    Anyway that’s what happens when you press and press and press, force mistakes and you actually get the ball forward.

  85. Sime says:

    Idemo your an ignorant idiot! Can we stop with the negative comments. Yes the savez are a bunch of communist assholes but the guys that come out to play for our National team are playing because of National pride. Lets give them the respect they deserve.

  86. Crotown says:

    Keep pumping the cabbage roll boys – 2-0

    I’ll give the ukies cudos on the food front- yum yum

  87. idemo says:

    CiganJeCigan says:
    this is wut happens when the opponent team doesnt bunker like little bitches against us.

    great comment, they played very well football tho, we were at risk

  88. Dannyj says:

    Hey when opens up anything can happen we all know this. Little luck little skill and we least in playoffs
    Knock on wood

  89. Iggy Iggy says:

    ironically i think this is our best game of the campaign lol, and it comes after qall the shambles, sacking the coach, basically as ante said the darkest period we’ve been in!?

  90. Anonymous says:

    Where you at @truth you little bitch can’t wait to hear whatever dumb shit you have to say nowwww :))))(

  91. Brkic says:

    It was Rakitic’s run as the defense was clearing out that created the goal. The cross and the goal were easy and clinical.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Truth Troll will claim “he told you so”, because he said his Xbox said there was a 33.3% chance of winning.

  93. Iggy Iggy says:

    to be fair i think truth gave us a 25% chance of a win, which – u know, i thought it was more like 10 tbh and had zero hope for this game, very happy to eat my words on this one tho! once these games are over we’ll have to look at the potential playoff opponents and seedings cos there will be 2 pots wont there? so we will have one of four teams (i think)

  94. Iggy Iggy says:

    WE DID IT!!!!

    WD TEAM! i think it’s clear the croatiansports.com nation should get the credit for this terrific achievement, lel

  95. Anonymous says:

    Anti-cro Kvartuc Holiga won’t know the result because he turned his back on cro and walked out of the room

  96. CiganJeCigan says:

    Badelj is underrated, we really missed him in the finland game. He is why modric get be in more of an attacking position.

    Everyone looks really good…except subasic he is a liability lol.

  97. Peter North says:

    So looks like potentially Ireland, N Ireland, Denmark and Greece as unseeded teams for the playoff.

  98. Poglavnik says:

    That 2nd half was the best we’ve played in a looong time!
    Hope all you quitters are enjoying your little protest..

  99. Dannyj says:

    I agree maybe he is a better shot blocker then pleti was but felt way more relaxed when pleti played the ball

  100. idemo says:

    he releases our guy instead of Luka being a 50/50 guy
    he can be 60/40 70/30

    did u see all that fucking space he had he was literally all over the fucking pitch

    badelj also had a game saving tackle against one of Ukraine fastest players in the first half

  101. Vis says:

    Yes!!!!! We did it. I was right about a brace just picked the wrong player. Well done,now off to win the playoffs and to the World Cup!

  102. Hercegovac says:

    OK, I know we will be seeded in all likelihood for the playoff, but do we know if the seeded team will get to play the return leg at home or will that be decided during the draw?

  103. Mr. Black says:

    Ranking numbers 2 :

    Portugal still have to play against Switzerland. I suppose they still could win their group, which would mean Switzerland would be the number 2.

    Slovakia gets eliminated as worst number 2:

    1. Portugal 7 6 0 1 22:4 18

    2. Italy 8 5 2 1 12:8 17
    3. Denmark 8 4 2 2 13:6 14
    4. Croatia 8 4 2 2 8:4 14
    5. Sweden 7 4 1 2 17:7 13

    6. Northern Ireland 8 4 1 3 10:6 13
    7. Greece 8 3 4 1 9:5 13
    8. Ireland 8 3 4 1 7:5 13
    9. Slovakia 8 4 0 4 11:6 12

  104. Mile says:

    For the playoff, the good thing is there is no superstar to deal with in N. Ireland, Ireland, Denmark and Greece. Croatia should be favored to advance. Denmark looks to be the most dangerous team. And we don’t need to see another Scandinavian team, do we? The other three will be defensive battles.

  105. Mr. Black says:

    According to the last Fifa ranking :


    1. Portugal or Switzerland
    2. Italy
    3. Croatia
    4 Northern Island

    Non-seeded :
    5. Sweden
    6. Denmark
    7. Ireland
    8. Greece

    If I’m right, we will meet Sweden (if they don’t get beat with 7 goals tomorrow against The Netherlands), Denmark, Ireland or Greece.

  106. Mishko says:

    I really wish people could see this interview with Modric. He was in shock with the Iceland result and the guys did what they needed to do today.

  107. Hercegovac says:

    It would not be 1 v 8, 2 v 7, etc……it would be draw with the top four teams in one pool going against the bottom 4 in the other pool.

  108. ŽDS Lifestyle says:

    Badelj had a great game. Modrič master class as usual.

    It all changed when we played 2 strikers. I don’t ever want to see that outdated 1-4-2-3-1 formation again.

    Great second half. Well done!

  109. CiganJeCigan says:

    I dont want bosnia to get 2nd or else there would be a chance we have to play on their cattle grazing pitch.

  110. Brkic says:

    We’re the last ones that should be making fun of another Countries pitch. The pith in Zagreb against Kosovo was an embarrassment.

  111. idemo says:

    ZDS lifstyle

    we never played two strikers. mandzukic and kramaric swapped positions.

    there is a seeded pot and unseeded pot u can get anyone from it…. the draw is on the 17th

  112. Mike says:

    I remember when Mandzukic played for Dinamo years ago, he played many times as right winger. He was very good on the wing today. Also, Kramaric is far more effective as a central striker.

  113. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Although Kramaric and Dudu are two very different players it’s obvious that they have a similarly…they both always try to be in the position to score. I was happy for Krama today, regardless of if Ziva thinks he’s a “look at me” type of guy! He pushes the offside line to the limit and is always hungry for goals…awesome for him and us!

  114. idemo says:

    this is the first time in a while I have seen us come out totally different after half.

    that first half we were trash. came out a lot better

    would like to know who’s mater they were fucking in the dressing room or who got hands put on them.

  115. Hercegovac says:

    First half was more the same. Woke up in second half.

    Listen long way to go.

    Ukraine was garbage.

    For the playoffs…..Greece is garbage, but they are organized garbage. Always ugly playing them.

    Give me either of the Irelands. Not much skill there, just plenty of heart and fight. Over two legs, we can easily handle them.

    Denmark is an unknown to me.

  116. Poglavnik says:

    I was totally ready to right Kramaric off today. Didn’t think he played well at all for the first hour. But all it takes is a touch of class like that header from a goal scorer like him. At times though he just seemed so lost to me. 2nd goal is all Rakitic who was also invisible to me up until then. He put that ball on a plate for Krama.
    Operation October: Complete!
    It was always about 4 points. Just took the unorthodox route.

  117. Croatianperson85 says:

    @Lika Joey – ya he was a refrigerator repairmen and coached in South Sudan – sorry I just had to. Don’t know much about him other than Wikipedia.

  118. Croatianperson85 says:

    Don’t want the Greeks – organized garbage is correct. Rather the Irish/N. Irish. We don’t like teams that play physical and/or dirty (Greeks, Turks, Mexicans and any country that speaks Spanish and not front Spain).

    2 more games. We’ll see what happens.

  119. Croatianperson85 says:

    @ Hercegovac – agreed. As much as Rakitic played a nice ball for the second goal, Ukrainians seemed mentally down after the first goal. The pass should have been cut off, took forever to get to Kramaric BUT I’m not complaining. We got the W and that’s all that matters.

  120. Brkic says:

    We may benefit from the additional meaningful games to get our act together. I’m concerned that we have another unproven/unknown manager, but hoping he brings some energy and heart to the team. Barring someone like Ancelotti willing to take an unpaid rehab assignment, we probably have very limited options.

  121. Rijecanin says:

    THE difference was the second half adjustment, Rakitic was dropped back to almost the sweeper roll. Rakitic and Modric were canceling each other out in the first half playing so close together and easier to mark, Rakitic was dropped back to defence in the second half. This made them more dangerous bringing the ball out but also left Rakitic unmarked when he ran up the field. Good Adjustment by Delac

  122. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Badelj can be great but he can also appear as lethargic at times…emotionless. Today he was very noticeable for good reason but when he isn’t as good it’s usually because he misses those defensive and offensive moments like he had today!

    I was impressed with his calmness and skills…he was definitely feeling confident.

  123. Zee says:

    @croatian person85. I thought he unlocked cell phones. Maybe I’m wrong. Haha. Anyway good start we stuck with him now.

  124. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Quite funny how 30 minutes after I compare Krama with Dudu, index.com write an article comparing them as well.

  125. The truth says:

    Well, i warn Fred everyone not to react for this one

    Some luck cost the team vs Iceland, Turkey and Finland

    And some luck bailed them out of this one.

    It kind of evens out. Both teams played about the same

    I did up my win probability this morning from 25 to 35 percent in light of both teams needing a win

    World cup probability rough estimate now 50/50…

  126. Anonymous says:

    The great Oracle of Truth Troll speaks. More I told you so’s and bold predictions of 50/50 chances.
    Told you so

  127. Peter North says:

    Just looking at the FIFA rankings for October, as it currently stands, N Ireland could be seeded over Sweden. There will be new rankings prior to the playoff draw and with N Ireland losing both their recent qualifiers, Sweden could leap them especially if they can get a positive result versus Holland tomorrow.

    Go Sweden.

  128. Brkic says:

    @Truth – thanks for the “updated odds” after the game is over.

    …I knew we had 100% chance of beating Ukraine this morning, but didn’t want to ruin the suspense for you guys, so kept it to myself. I’ll even tell you the result of the next match after it’s over for my encore.

  129. Anonymous says:

    Truth Troll always predicts all outcomes as possible, then comes back with “I told you so… I predicted this” afterwards. Pizda Istina used to do the same thing, but was more subtle about predicting all outcomes

  130. OneLastChance says:

    There is nothing Sweden can do to become seeded.

    Four seeded teams as per next months FIFA Rankings are Croatia, Italy, Denmark and Portugal/Switzerland.

    Unseeded teams are Sweden, N. Ireland, Ireland and Greece.

  131. Maminjo says:


    I’d rather play Sweden over Northern Ireland.

    Sweden plays open and we have their number. Northern Ireland will be physical and painful. Probably end up 1-0 on aggregate.

  132. Mile says:

    OK guys, I just found a website that shows the projected FIFA rankings for October for all possible results for the past two games. Here is what it shows for the rankings of the eight playoff teams. I won’t bother with the #1 seed’s points, because either Switzerland or Portugal will have the highest points of the eight teams regardless of what happens in their game tomorrow:

    1. Switzerland/Portugal
    2. Italy – 1,066
    3. Croatia – 1,013
    4. Denmark – 1,001

    5. Sweden – 999 (win), 914 (draw), 872 (loss)
    6. Northern Ireland – 889
    7. Ireland – 866
    8. Greece – 682

  133. Peter North says:

    I’m just happy we can atleast talk about the possibilities.

    FWIW, we did beat N Ireland in a friendly in the last calendar year so there is a bit of familiarity with them.

  134. Mr. Black says:

    I found this on a British sports website. Apparently N-Ireland lost some places in the Fifa ranking due to their defeat in Norway while Denmark won some places.

    Up to date FIFA rankings in brackets

    Seeded teams:
    Portugal (3)/Switzerland (7)
    Italy (16)
    Croatia (17)
    Denmark (18)

    Unseeded teams:
    Sweden (21)
    Northern Ireland (23)
    Republic of Ireland (26)
    Greece (49)

    I guess Sweden could be a problem. I see us beat the other 3 teams.

  135. Mile says:

    Croatian playoff history – 8 games, 4 wins and 4 draws. Interesting that three of the four playoffs were against countries in their current group:

    1998 – vs. Ukraine W-D
    2004 – vs. Slovenia D-W
    2012 – vs. Turkey W-D
    2014 – vs. Iceland D-W

    So following the pattern, next month it will be a win and then a draw. I’m hoping it’s Greece. If we can’t beat Greece, time to start from scratch.

  136. CiganJeCigan says:

    I’d much rather us play against Northern Ireland than Denmark, Erikson is scary (scored 8 goals in the 10 qualifying games).

  137. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Let the chips fall guys. Don’t wish for one or another…once we know who we play, they can prepare for it. I don’t believe we should bank much on hope and then get disappointed of things don’t work out the way we wanted it to.

    One game at a time, one half at a time!

  138. Iggy Iggy says:

    Well i’d like to avoid Sweden, tbh we should beat the others without too much worry

    i mean its’ not easy or a given, idk, do we get first half HRV or second half HRV from today? Cos second half HRV would knock off any of those teams so depends which team shows up

    anyway the positive thing for us about this whole cardiac business is we are carrying momentum and purpose, like we struggled and fought hard to get into the playoffs and are happy to make it there, some others might feel deflated at not winning their group so i hope the momentum is with us and we can do it

  139. Iggy Iggy says:

    im reading some irish comments about who they play next in their playoff and a number of their commenters are basically saying “anyone but croatia, they would make mince meat of us with modric, rakitic, perisic, etc”

    good to see :D

  140. Maminjo says:

    So…. Zlatko Dalic is potentially not going to to stay on as coach?

    Dude fixed our back four in one game

  141. Mali Ante says:

    Still to be seen if Dalic is back. I’d be really surprised if they didn’t bring him back. A lot of solid performances today with maybe the exception of Vrsaljko…he hasn’t been looking good since Srna retired. As much as I wanted Srna out near the end, dude played with so much heart I’d love to have him back for the World Cup…maybe someone can convince him.

    Krama switch with Mandza along with Modric having room to roam made the difference. Someone else also posted Badelj being back made a difference. I agree. The little in game switches in the second half proved to be key. Then after scoring they didn’t sit back and played!!! First half wasn’t great but second half was.

    As long as we are in pot 1 which looks pretty much a guarantee has us avoid Italy and potentially Portugal. Bring on the rest.

  142. Anonymous says:

    Lol at people thinking Dalic had anything to do with today.

    This team did the same thing when they wanted stimac and Kovac out. Don’t say stupid things like he fixed anything. When the team got rid of the last few coaches they returned and played well like they should.

    The squad needs a proper coach or this shit will continue to happen. But we know that won’t happen with the mafia running the federation

  143. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I was hard on Vrsaljko the other day…today I felt he was very aware and even though he looked uncomfortable, he was on top on his opponents fast. I also saw him, like most others, run their sacks off…I was so impressed to see our boys force Ukraine all the way back to their keeper on several occasions. Kramaric was chasing people down like crazy…Modric and Mandzukic too…

    Vida and Vrsaljko were solid. I kinda felt bad for Vrsaljko but st the same time I really respect him for playing in that uncomfortable position and working hard!

  144. Mali Ante says:

    @ Slavonac
    I hear ya…all of them ran their asses off today. Mandza after the goal was running around like he was possessed.
    Regardless what is said everyone gave their all. My issue with Vrsaljko is that he had a huge gaff and didn’t offer much wing play…he’s capable of being really good for us but isn’t in form.
    Although Mandza didn’t create or score, he ran all day long and pressured everyone around him…crazy effort from him today. Krama is a better natural goal scorer and he should continue to play upfront.
    Playing Luka higher up may be the only way we score a little more as we dont have much creativity aside from what he provides. Hopefully this gives the boys some confidence and they start to play like they can. Amazing effort today!!!

  145. LAknat says:

    LAknat absolutely right says the tactic was far better compares to idiot Cacic. He even almost touches my coaching level with his fingertip. I can acknowledge him as a decent coach by not ignoring a present ofGod -> Halilovic in National Team.

  146. Brkic says:

    My question is… why have so many players had bad performances over the last 1-2 years when playing for the NT? Perisic for example today. Vrsaljko over the last few games. Rakitic more often than not in recent memory. So many perform well for club but not Country.

    It’s not lack of heart nor lack of talent. I don’t have the answer, but I think it’s a combination of the following… trying to do too much, low confidence, nerves, playing out of position, mental baggage related to all the bs going on at the top of the house etc… I think a really good manager solves so much of this or at least gets the players to put the bs aside and focus on what they can control. I guess it’s a roll of the dice with Dalic, but Cacic was not able to accomplish these things so the choice was clear.

  147. Anonymous says:

    Other than pulling out the big win, a couple other positives of note:
    They seemed to actually make effective adjustments mid game/2nd half. Too often in the recent past, we seemed to fail to do anything like that.
    Rakitic actually wasn’t invisible the entire game.

    Can’t judge the new manager after 2 days on the job and one game, but I hope and wish him the best.

    I really wish we didn’t always have to make things so hard, and only seem to step it up when our backs are against the wall

  148. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone heard anything about Dalić’s staff? I assume once Čačić was let go, the other coaches went with him.

  149. Zee says:

    Let’s all take a deep breath and enjoy. Let your fingernails grow back and get ready for playoffs. We’ve done it before. Let’s do it again. Who cares who we play we gonna make it. U boj!

  150. David Tarabocchia says:

    A nice win…..FINALLY! That’s the team that we are used to seeing. That was a great away win. Although, it should have never gotten to the playoffs, let’s see who we get…looking forward to it.

  151. The truth says:

    I think you guys are fooled by random results again.

    Today’s performance was nothing different than what had been delivered throughout qualifying.

    Just so two perfect balls were hit to kramaric . One he made a great play on. The other a chippie

    If not for that, Croatia was getting outplayed and at risk

    Croatia massively outplayed Finland but had a lucky goal scored on them

  152. Maminjo says:


    RE: your comment about Dalic having nothing to do with the win today…

    I disagree with this.
    There are a lot of changes that were made which made a big difference.

    1. He went with our most talented back four available (and benched Pivaric despite him having a ‘good’ game against Finland). Most people would’ve benched Vrsaljko after that Finland game and continued to start Pivaric, but this was the more difficult yet better decision. He even took the chance on Vida playing RB, which worked out well.

    2. He pushed Modric much more forward than he usually plays for us (and Modric created a ton of chances and actually sent in a cross resulting in a goal and took a shot on net, which is rare for him)

    3. He benched Brozovic instead of continuing to force him to play on the wing, and had Kramaric and Mandzo take on that role (which they do successfully at their clubs). He found a good equilibrium in the central midfield with Raketa playing a bit back, Badelj running around like a lunatic, and Modric playing further up.

    4. He didn’t bunker at all during the game, not even for a little bit. We actually played even more offensive when we were up, and Ukraine only created one chance in the last 30 minutes of the game.

    5. He made in-game adjustments. He switched Mandzo and Kramaric, after Kramaric gassed himself with his non-stop running earlier in the half. He turned UP the pressure after we scored each of our goals with Mandzo taking the lead on this.

    The only “mistake” was after we dominated those first 5-10 minutes of the game, we sat back a bit to take on some of that Ukrainian offense (which could have resulted in a goal against us, as there were some Ukrainian chances on our goal).

    But other than this, we looked fully in control of the second half (in addition to those first few minutes of the game where were were also very unlucky not to score an early one).

  153. Anonymous says:

    Truth Troll, that’s only part accurate. The first half they looked terrible, with Ukraine threatening repeatedly. The game and its flow is often subject to a lucky bounce of the ball that changes everything. We have been victims of it the last few games, and benefited in others. The bigger takeaway was creating chances for that lucky shot/break that changes the game. We weren’t doing that the first half, but did enough to make it happen 2nd half.
    Any one of our last several games could have gone the other way with a little less bad luck… but ypubhave to do your best to create ypur own luck.

    Sports fans are temperamental and fickle, and even more so when it comes to the repka. Overreacting to the negative and positive is par for the course.
    What we all wish for or expect is more consistency in playing up to our potential… that in itself separates the good/great teams from the average. This past year, we rarely do that.

  154. Iggy Iggy says:

    No the second half performance was very good.

    I was commenting how we’re playing good all of a sudden before the goals came, you could see them coming. I had the live odds visible and they were changing by the minute and began to favour us even before the goal

    the first half was terrible, but as i said at half-time, often teams that play away go to play defensively for the first half and then have the game open up in the second. Aussies talked about doing it with Syria even just last week.

    Now, i don’t like the tactic and we rid our luck in that first half, but i believe they went in with a plan to do that and as it turns out, it worked. I’m not sure if there have been post-game interviews with players/coach who said anything of the sort but i wouldn’t be surprised.

    To me it wasn’t a case of we wanted to play shit one half and good th enext, it was a case of trying to be more defensive for the first half, but that is just too risky cos we’re defensively not solid enough, so we got lucky.

    In the next games i hope we play more attacking for more of the match

  155. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I agree Maminjo. Vrsaljko is physically stronger and faster than Pivarić and I noticed Vrsaljko took a few chances to not let his guy receive the ball and he knocked the ball away…it was s good choice.

    Also, I felt they collectively pressed…this was a huge difference maker and when you turn their possession into ours, we definitely gained so much confidence.

    Anyone notice the seva Modric, Badelj and Mandzukic played down the right side…it was s good 30 seconds of keepaway!

  156. Razbijač says:

    Great display by Croatia today, they passed the test!

    I like Luka being pushed forward. Of all our midfielders he’s our most technical and creative, and therefore should be tasked with playmaking in the attacking 3rd as a Central Attacking midfielder. Let Rakitic and Badelj take on the defensive burden.

    Now in the play-offs, I’m hoping because Croatia is one of the better sides in UEFA, that Croatia gets some favoritism and has calls go their way against a weaker unseeded play-off team.

  157. Mali Ante says:

    @ Maminjo…well said and couldn’t agree more. Too bad the injuries have depleted our bench. Maybe we have some of these kids come up like Vlasic who could help if needed.

  158. Iggy Iggy says:

    is there any chance Pjaca is actually okay by mid november, anyone know? That being said either way we should be okay against greece or ireland’s ilk

  159. Zee says:

    I don’t know about pjaca. We sure could use him. Very mum on him for some reason. Maybe juve doing that. Dunno. Iggy relax we gonna make it no matter who we play. The ship is righted.

  160. Iggy Iggy says:

    oh i feel more confident now, i thought the ukraine game was the hardest one for sure.. our playoff record over the campaigns is great and we’ve never lost them, plus we’re seeded, so i would say it’s not a sure thing but it looks to be in our favour

  161. Anonymous says:

    So who else is on the coaching staff now? Anyone with any sort of name recognition or tactical genius?

  162. Brkic says:

    Don’t have high hopes for players that have been injured for 6+ months and have yet to play a minute for their clubs this season. I think this is why Vrsaljko was off his game over the recent stretch whereas he was one of the bright spots before his injury.

    Corluka may be a bigger factor just because he’s such an upgrade compared to who is available at the moment. But, who would you pull off for a recovering Pjaca in November? At best, he fills the role of fresh legs off the bench.

  163. The truth says:

    Let’s not kid ourselves and count on Marko pee-ass-a

    The guys Career may very well be over before it even starts

    Those of injuries probably take another year to get over even once your back on the field. And you still may never be the same again

  164. The truth says:

    No doctor. But there are stats on injuries and subsequent performance

    The history on acl tears is terrible. Although a bit better for younger players so maybe there is still hope for pee ass a

  165. Poglavnik says:

    Vrsaljko was even worse today than on Friday. The performance of the team overshadowed his game. Even Suker looked disgusted after one of his many gaffs today. And why he was on the left is still beyond me. Does anyone know if he’s ever played there before? He’s got the same qualities as Lovren for me. Physically and athletically impressive but not trustworthy.

  166. Super Mario says:

    Really not understanding the anti Badelj people. He’s the only true Defensive Midfielder we have. If you think we should go with 3 creative midfielders that really worked well when Kovac was in charge.


  167. Anonymous says:

    I like Badelj (played when we beat Spain and should be our starting DM until we find someone better), but I believe that Slavonac from Canada has summed him up beautifully, “at times lethargic and emotionless.”

  168. Brkic says:

    I don’t think anyone mentioned him, but Lovren had a solid match.

    Also, Vrsaljko will be fine.

    In the run up to the Euros, Srna also had a stretch of 4-6 games where he looked old and slow. Every cross was into the defender or way over cooked and out of bounds. Players go through poor stretches, especially coming off injury, but Vrsaljko will improve and have a regular spot in our first XI.

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