Where will Croatia end the WC?

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Croatia Defeat Senegal 2-1, Next Stop: Russia

June 7, 2018

Hrvatska - Senegal

 

 
Croatia Starting XI: Subašić; Strinić, Lovren, Ćorluka, Vida; Badelj, Rakitić – Rebić, Modrić, Perišić – Mandžukić
 

 
It was another tale of two halves.

 

 

In Croatia’s final friendly before the World Cup begins in Russia, the Vatreni came from behind to defeat Senegal 2-1 with two second half goals from Ivan Perišić and Andrej Kramarić.

 

 


Senegal goal as Vida slow to cover in the back

 

 

Coming out of halftime, Croatia manager Zlatko Dalić shifted around the defensive line; moving Vida from the wing to center back. The move may have affected Vida as he fell asleep in the 48th minute with the ball coming over the top to Ismaila Sarr, who beat Vida with speed and slotted home to give Senegal the lead.

 

 

However, immediately after the goal, Croatia woke up and started playing with pace and urgency. A beautiful link up in the in the final third saw halftime substitute Andrej Kramarić bang the ball off the crossbar as he chose power over placement.

 

 

But Croatia would finally equalize through an Ivan Perišić free kick in the 63rd minute with the ball deflecting off the wall. It’s a good morale goal for Perisic as he has been cold for Croatia lately.

 

 


Perišić free kick deflects to tie the game up

 

 

Andrej Kramarić stayed active down the stretch and you could tell the Hoffenheim striker to score today. In the 78th minute, Kramarić had his shot blocked in the crowded Senegal box and with the ball coming right back to him, struck home with his left foot on a perfect line to beat the keeper on the far post.

 

 


Kramarić scores the game winner for Croatia

 

 

Things we learned today:

 

 

Kramarić needs to start in front of Mandžukić

 

 
Ćorluka should be in the starting XI, alongside Lovren, Vida and Vrsaljko on the backline
 

 

Rebić wasn’t the same today as he was against Brazil, which is worrying
 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 176 comments





  1. Soul Champ says:

    I have it 12 pm EST.

    Many questions indeed.

    Mandžukić and Kramaric can coexist …

    Mandžukić is a world class finisher and is an aerial assassin.

    Kramaric is a clever finisher with good ball skills.

    Neither have explosive speed.

    Potential look, 4-1-2-1-2, Diamond:

    ________Mandzukic___________Kramaric

    _________________Modrić
    Perišić_____________________________Rebić

    _________________Rakitic
    Strinic _____Corluka___Lovren________Vrsaljko

    Mandžukić has something to offer.

    Need to utilize his beast like presence … however NOT at LW.

    Subs:

    Kovačić
    Pjaca
    TBD



  2. LAknat says:

    Dalic with his atheism squad (without present of a G0D)
    won’t do something at World Cup.



  3. Goku says:

    Idk if it was mentioned already but Argentina’s last game with Israel was called off the other day due to some issues with Palestine. Now Israel wants Argentina kicked out of the World Cup lolz.



  4. Iggy Iggy says:

    The argentina israel thing was all over the news so i think we all saw about that for sure. At least they get one less game to warm up lol

    Man could Ghana’s shirts get any tighter? LEL



  5. Anonymous says:

    ^
    First I heard about it was from Goku.
    I don’t watch the news, I get all my news from this site.



  6. Ustasa says:

    Ok, I’ve read a couple of articles on this “Israeli” company wanting Argentina kicked out of the WC.
    The conclusion I’ve come to is that they want Argentina kicked out for not doing “Israel’s” bidding, and also, because of religious discrimination because Argentina is Catholic.

    I hope Fifa kick “Israel” out of the European qualifying zone and put them in Asia, where they can play against Palestine in Jerusalem.



  7. Melbourne Hrvat says:

    Gents,

    First time posting on the website. Are any of you going to Russia and if so will there be any places to meet in advance.

    I leave on Wednesday.



  8. CroatianPerson85 says:

    Is this a defining tournament for a generation of our players? Do you think they are better now or in 2016? I don’t think players slowed down since 2016 except Corluka considering he’s always been slow and coming off injury. I’ve read a few posts on here even saying Rakitic, I don’t see it personally. I think we have a better team although I can’t remember who was in what form and/or played for a different club then. This team is more mature. Hopefully they can pull it together.



  9. CiganJeCigan says:

    I’m starting to think we may be at our best with a 4-4-2. Modric at center attacking mid is nothing special tbh, i would rather have him playing deeper starting our attack. The lack of goals is a real concern, our attack down the middle is clearly not as effective. our crosses dont work well either because we usually only have one attacking player in the box.

    We need 4 flank players and 2 forwards. Modric and Rakitic are easily good enough to hold down the mid. Our attack is beautiful, if we play 5 in the back that will be the biggest pussy move ever.



  10. The truth says:

    There is buzz you’ll see a 3-5-2 formation at some point today with a back line of strinic, corluka, lovren, vida , vrsaljko

    Mids mosric rakitic badelj
    Forwards perisic and mandzukic

    It’s almost impossible for this team to better than they were 2 years ago given the formation dalic is likely to play

    Most players have moved 2 years away from their prime than the other way

    Mandzukic:. Way down
    Perisic:. Down
    Rakitic:. Down
    Badelj:. Flat to down
    Modric:. Flat to maybe down
    Corluka: way down
    Strinic: flat to down
    Lovren: up slightly
    Vrsaljko:. Up but worse than srna
    Subasic down
    Rebic: up



  11. crnkovic says:

    but what you are not taking into account truth is motivation, tactics, chemistry

    ..and how about kramaric?

    your basing everything on age. strinic is a better player now. lovren is twice the player now having been man of the match in a champions league final (for his team) (along with sadio mane). corluka is just as good as he was before he looked sharp against brazil. rakitic is not down he is up considerably given he has finally proved to himself that he has what it takes at barca AND in dalic new system with modric pushed forward he can relax and play make from deep….perisic is in poor form but that could change in an instant…



  12. The truth says:

    The only conceivable way for Croatia to better than last go around would be

    1) better tactics
    2) replacing some of the older players like mandzukic, corluka, even rakitic with young blood. Not saying it will actually make the team better, but it’s the only way that gives you a chance



  13. Iggy Iggy says:

    The big diff from two years ago is Perisic was an awesome player two years ago and that makes a monumental difference to our chances. Personally, i think we had a better shot in 2016 than we do here but i hope im proven wrong



  14. Dubrovcan says:

    Truth has got it spot on. Our current team is on the wrong side of their prime. We can hold off a big team for 60 minutes without creating many chances of our own and then we will concede due to ageing legs. Our chance was the Euros but they blew it. The last Brazil friendly and the 1 penalty goal in 4 games showed that we were no contenders for more than maybe (fingers crossed) the second round. We qualified below Iceland. Mandzo is not scoring much, Krama and Rebic are OK to below average and nothing special when you compare to a slightly above average strike like Harry Kane. I’m still gonna be a hardcore fan but need to be realistic. Time to freshen up the team with new players for the next Euros.



  15. Dubrovcan says:

    My prediction is we scrape second place in the group, then face France in the next round. They score a goal in the 65th and shut up while our sub (Kovacic and Pjaca) dance around the pitch like headless chickens with little effect and minimal chances.



  16. elcroato says:

    We just need to have some luck. Just like In 98, were we barely beat Japan 1-0. Had we not won that we would have probably been eliminated in the first round. In the second round we scraped by Romania 1-0. Again, it could have gone either way. Let us hope luck is on our side again 20 years later.



  17. mixed grill says:

    We failed to develop a defensive line that could contribute offensively and this is why I don’t expect us to be better than last tournament. I would play Modric deep to help the defense (sorry) and pack the midfield with offense, that means Kovacic Modric Rakitic, all playing at the same time. Why not? At least we would play with some flare and go down in style. The worst would be watching us play dull, flat footed, paceless, football and losing.



  18. Adame says:

    Modric Kovacic and Rakitic need to all be in at the same time. That’s will see us keep possession and win the midfield regardless of the opponent. All we need after that is some finishing which I think we can get from a trio of Rebic, Kramaric and Mandzu. Perisic to the back line or bench him.



  19. Soul Champ says:

    @ Adame

    Toooooooooooo … !!!!!!

    Kovačić needs to start because his explosive speed and technical ability allows to dictate tempo.

    Plus he can support our shaky defenders in playing the ball out of trouble.

    He can also make a slalom run or two to break open a stalemate.

    You know the same other talented teams do it to us!

    @ Dalić

    Coach to win.

    Everything else will fall into place.

    One pointed intention … infinite flexibility.

    @ Svima

    God bless Slavonian people as they will enjoy the match today in Osijek.

    They will give the boys a proper send off.



  20. Dubrovcan says:

    How Lika Joey? Its what the world media has said too. Mandzo 10 goals in 46 games, Krama 13 in 46, Kalinic 46 games and only 6 goals, Perisic 11 in 45 , Rebic 9 in 32. Are we suddenly going to give our players a magic pill where they will all perform over the odds against teams whose players are scoring 20,30, and 40 goals per season? We have the best midfield in the competition no doubt! Its just not going to be good enough to get far ‘far’ as we all expect without better forwards. If we had one of these top strikers no doubt we would have gone past Portugal in the Euros. We need more than passing and a bit of pressure on defenders when facing the big teams.



  21. Adame says:

    Dubrovcan –
    Safe to safe that we all feel the same whether we admit it or not. But it’s not like we don’t have good finishing power. We do have that in Krama, rebic and sometimes Mandzu. To say we cant go far is wrong, because we can. Just depends on which team shows up. We don’t know if it will be the team that lost 3-0 to Estonia or the team that beat Spain in the euros. But hey, a little optimism doesn’t hurt.



  22. JP says:

    He’s their equivalent of Kovacic, so not exactly established as the man in the midfield, but able to contribute.



  23. Vis says:

    There is no reason why Mandzukic can’t have a great World Cup, he is proven and very capable of making it happen.



  24. Vis says:

    There is no reason why Mandzukic can’t have a great World Cup, he is proven and very capable of making it happen.



  25. Vis says:

    There is no reason why Mandzukic can’t have a massive World Cup, he is proven and very capable of making it happen.



  26. Vis says:

    There is no reason Mandzukic can’t have a massive World Cup he is proven and very capable of doing so.



  27. Brkic says:

    I’m seeing a few variations online for the lineup today, but Strinic and Mandzukic are in. Krama and either Lovren or Vida are out based on what I see.



  28. Anonymous says:

    NO. NAME
    23Danijel Subasic
    5Vedran Corluka
    6Dejan Lovren
    3Ivan Strinic
    21Domagoj Vida
    10Luka Modric
    19Milan Badelj
    7Ivan Rakitic
    17Mario Mandzukic
    4Ivan Perisic
    18Ante Rebic



  29. Lika Joey says:

    Nepoznat is a gentleman! These African trams are difficult to play against. I’m nervous watching this game.



  30. the truth says:

    i thought i was the nicest….oh wait…the smartest….not the nicest….that’s right



  31. Anonymous says:

    Can’t get anything in the final third and Strinic is getting fleeced by their wingers, imagine him against Argentina.



  32. Lovro says:

    Looks like we are going to have to play three 0-0 games to get out of the group, then do the same in the group stage and win on penalties.



  33. JP says:

    Why does every attack we make look identical to the previous failed attack? I understand Senegal is basically defending with 6 bodies in the box, but they gotta show some creativity and make something happen. How hard is it to play a 1-2 layoff pass and let somebody have a crack at goal?



  34. nepoznat nepoznat says:

    puno ti hvala!

    we had a couple nice shots early on and the Modrić one late, a ton of possession and domination but we can’t get nothing on goal let alone in

    I’m happy that Perišić seems to have woken up but the old Perišić buries that cross from Strinić with his left foot (volley and elevated and all, old Perišić scores there)



  35. crnkovic says:

    we’re just not quite clicking. promising ideas on the pitch but just lacking that little bit of cohesion…it’s close to being very good. senegal very very dangerous on the break though..



  36. CiganJeCigan says:

    we cant get anything going in the final third because mandzu is lone striker. either play kramaric as lone forward or have 2 forwards krama and mandzu, but mandzu by himself cant do shit.



  37. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    It is too early. This is the second of two warmup matches for Dalic to see his players compete against other World Cup qualified teams. If you watched the Brazil match, you would know that against Brazil, he tested a younger lineup with a rock-solid defender on the left side. He is giving Mandza and Strinic an easier opportunity to prove their merit, but it looks like Kramaric is the far better option at center forward (note how little offense has been produced with Mandzukic starting), and all that we know on defense is that no team will mess with a wing defended by Domagoj Vida. Dalic has been a smarter coach so far than were any of his predecessors after Bilic, and we have every reason to expect that to continue. The Brazil match was a good example: Dalic subbed the best players off early after they had already shown what they could do, and tried different tactics and playmaking combinations to see what he could get out of all of the others, including Caleta-Car. That’s what a good manager does.



  38. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    Strinic is the weak link. The team should be Lovren and Corluka in the center with Vida on the left, and maybe even Jedvaj on the right—this is his chance to earn the starting spot.



  39. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    4-4-2 favors a strong attack, especially when the midfield is as it is: Perisic-Rakitic-Modric-Rebic

    The two are Kalinic and Kramaric



  40. Iggy Iggy says:

    Anyhow i only saw the last 20 mins but seemed like a good hit out, we dominated possession and shots, won the game 2-1 so let’s hope that gives some confidence to the team and also perisic and krama who got the goals.

    Senegal didn’t take it lightly, they were really pushinig even in the 90th minute so a good hit out, as i said.



  41. Dubrovcan says:

    This is more than just a win. We got a win after going down a goal first. Something we havent done in a long time. Will be a huge boost.



  42. vuki says:

    I think conceding that first goal is exactly what the squad needed. They seemed complacent up until then. They woke up all of the sudden and began creating a lot of good chances.



  43. Dave says:

    Although we won we looked piss poor as usual.
    Our best chances come on the counter attack but we struggle to finish. Once the opposition counters when we miss they have good chances. We have possession but we do crap with it. Dalic has lots of work to do. Kramaric must start period. You may ask where I don’t care he can start for Strinic because he stinks. That last part was a joke but true. Our back four will be
    Vida Lovren Corluka Vrsaljko. I don’t like it but its the best we have.
    Corluka is slow as a camel but he is good a reading the game.



  44. Ganga says:

    We will tie Nigeria
    Beat Argentina
    Lose to Iceland
    and just get into 2nd round
    because this is how we like it



  45. Lika Joey says:

    Boys todays game was a definite improvement. I’m changing my mind again…Kramaric has to start. Stay positive we will do well.



  46. Slavonac from Canada says:

    ok, I’ll be the positive cheerleader, cause no-one else is.

    I watched this game on my phone, the quality was below average but I saw a few things that looked ok.

    1) we controlled possession for the most part
    2) Perisic kinda woke up…at least a bit more than his recent self
    3) we got some early chances and there was activity from different options
    4) we are progressing
    5) I think we really haven’t seen the first team on the field as we will see it next weekend. I believe the shape and lineup along with formation will be a bit tweaked…ie…Krama will start, Vrasljko will start, Rebic will start. we haven’t seen all of them on the field at the same time…we saw variations that were close but not exact

    the bad:

    1) defense was horrible
    2) too many passes cut off
    3) not enough service into the box
    4) looked disorganized at times
    5) left back is our sore thumb

    I really can’t see how we can lose to Nigeria, even with a bad defense. We have far more quality, we just need to be careful of the counter-attacks and I’m fairly certain we will win!

    Each time Kramaric scores, he gains more momentun and he keeps getting hungrier. I cannot see Mandzukic playing in front of him in any system we play, other than if we play with twin strikers. With that said, I honestly would like to see Rakitic play in behind the striker sometimes, I think he’s got the better final touch than Modric does…and he shoots far better as well!

    left back is our very weak point but every team has one, ours just happens to be in a position where its the last line before the goal…and thats scary!



  47. CiganJeCigan says:

    ffs modric couldnt even finish a sitter. idk why modric is playing CAM. why is he up there pressuring and chasing balls, that is rebic/perisic/mandzukics job. we need him to start our attack from the deep.

    second half we started with two forwards one of which was kramaric. its not surprise we started to get alot of chances.



  48. Iggy Iggy says:

    Yeah what is it that siphons some comments off for moderation and not others? Some of mine get stuck too, it’s not swearing so i have nfi why some are moderated and not others; is it RANDOM? LOL



  49. The truth says:

    Another troubling performance from Croatia

    Dominated possession but undoubtedly Senegal got the better chances and several of them. If the Senegal players were any good, they would’ve bagged 3 goals easy

    The two goals Croatia scored cannot be counted on. A lucky strike by perisic and an incredible single effort by kramaric

    My push for kramaric to play continues. I really lead this charge on this site and glad to see people come around. Although we all know well still see mandzukic starting and flailing around

    Up until the 60th minute , Croatia had played 420 minutes with only scoring one penalty goal

    This after being the lowest scoring qualifying team.

    It c continues to baffle why mamdzukic spot is cemented



  50. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    The Senegal goal wasn’t Vida’s fault. He was covering his man. If you watch the run that Sarr makes, his defender was… Ivan Strinic!



  51. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    Best lineup:

    Subasic; Vida, Lovren, Corluka, Vrsaljko; Kovacic, Brozovic, Modric; Perisic, Kramaric, Kalinic.

    Why Kalinic? Because of the link-up play. He may not be so effective in his own right, but he is a clever player who makes distracting runs that free up his teammates. Just look at how close to the goal our players were getting solely by passing on the ground: that’s what that midfield and attack give us.



  52. Vis says:

    Kramaric start over Mandzukic, sub Mandzukic in after the 65th minute for Rebic keep Strinic on the bench and we will win the Group.



  53. Rafael says:

    I am not sure what is so confusing:

    Kramaric Rebic

    Perisic Rakitic Modric Kovacic Vrsaljko

    Corluka Lovren Vida

    Subs who can make a diffrerence-Mandzu, Brozo, Badelj, Jedvaj, Pjaca,

    Its 2018. Soccer is faster than ever. Pressing is normal. We must start young legs up top and Fu$5ng RUN!



  54. Lika Joey says:

    Truth, your a fucking goof who never kicked a ball in his life! This bird is an idiot.



  55. Mark says:

    We’ll be lucky if we score 3 goals in group stage and advance. I haven’t seen anything to look forward to based off of our friendlies. Brazil played terribly against us. Sorry to be a downer but that’s the way I see it. Truly.

    Looks like it’ll be another disappointing tourney and just an excuse to take off work and get drunk.



  56. Lika Joey says:

    Mark, go smoke a joint and relax. Everything will be fine. Lol…Portugal never won a group game and lifted the euro cup. Not every game can be a show stopper. Spain lost there first match of the group stage and lifted the world cup. Guys this is soccer….you need a little luck and tons of heart. We have REAL quality this time around, and experience. Mark you will be happy!



  57. ZDS Lifestyle says:

    It hurts to say this…..but I don’t have them leaving the group stage. Talent alone does not guarantee success. Nigeria is younger and Iceland is the hardest working team in the group.

    The fact that this no name coach starts Strinic for this crucial warm-up says it all. What wereDalic’s his credentials again?

    Hopefully they start fresh after this world cup.



  58. Soul Champ says:

    @ Rafael

    Exactly!

    That line up is TOO simple for complicated Croats.

    If Strinic is not on the level then go 3-5-2.

    Vida looks clumsy as a RB … LB adds even more awkwardness.

    Kramaric along side Rebić is a bundesliga beast.

    Kovačić needs to start.

    Perišić and Vrsaljko are prototypical WB’s.

    La Liga midfield is peerless in this formation.

    Dalić plays conservative and we will be dead men walking.

    There is enough talent to beat anyone if we are deployed to maximize our potential.



  59. Poglavnik says:

    Relax a little boys.
    Way too hard to make anything of these friendlies.
    No one wants to get hurt a week from the tourney.
    As Nuke Laloosh would say, we just gotta take em one at a time.
    3 points in 8 days time and everyones outlook will be a heck of a lot better.



  60. Poglavnik says:

    Well said Maminjo!
    Earlier someone mentioned 3 0-0 draws and it got me thinking of Greece. Was gonna make a joke and say we just need Mandzukic to be our Charisteas and head in a deadball a game.
    Plenty of ways to win a tournament boys.
    And I don’t care if it’s Greece/Portugal ugly.



  61. Soul Champ says:

    Dalić said we need to play FASTER and show more QUALITY.

    Kovačić = FASTER+QUALITY.

    El Classico midfield = EPIC.

    Heart and balls for the Nigeria match.

    Save that conservative crap for Argentina.

    Dynamic and creative for Iceland.

    We are a couple finely tuned adjustments from becoming a force at the World Cup.

    You know every neutral wants to roll with the Vatreni.

    Love Ćorluka vision and composure … but damn he is one misstep from a jail break counter.

    SLOW as Christmas.

    Is his slowness too much of a liability?

    Compounded by the fact that our keepers are glued to the goal line, we are always one move from disaster.



  62. tomo says:

    So far none of these friendlies have remotely resembled the games against greece and ukraine. Not sure how to read it.

    Yeah they’re friendlies but how do you build confidence and momentum by playing at 50% intensity. These last 4 games they have leaked goals and just look sloppy. Players of their repute its just embarrassing to watch.

    As soon as i see that mother fuking 4 2 3 1 formation with mandzo up front the result is already certain.

    Who was the fuckwit coach who started it. Seems to be the default formation. Same shit result over over over again.

    Seem that dalic is deviating from what has worked to organizing shit. Once again shows coaching is our weakest link. Look at australia – team of nobody talentless hacks but with desire to fight for 90 min and a good coach.
    Its just embarassing. Fuck Im sick of it.
    Unless the team deliberately play this way I cant see anything different in russia.



  63. Iggy Iggy says:

    Senegal’s pretty good and we won; i mean they’re better than Nigeria arent they? So today was a positive. Dunno why so many Debbie Downers after this result.

    But then i remember there were people who werent satisfied after we beat ukraine or greece 4-1 too lol.. so i shouldnt be surprised! It’s a confidence booster, this result, so it was a good day



  64. Anonymous says:

    The other day prior to the Brazil match I was on here saying how bad Mandzukic was, and some of you were ridiculing me. Like I said, he sucks for us.. He can only score the same goals I would, tap in bullshit. He does nothing but fall around, grab his head, argue with ref, and fight with the opposition. I wish him well, but if you can’t see this, I don’t know what to say. And I don’t want to hear about goddamn service, or his goals for club.please



  65. ZDS Lifestyle says:

    At some point this team had to show it’s quality in one of these friendlies. They did not. They showed that they are an average team with a nobody coach once again.

    They simply do not learn from their mistakes.

    I feel for Modric in his final World Cup



  66. Anonymous says:

    Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

    “You know every neutral wants to roll with the Vatreni.”

    With Modric the perjurer and man of no principles as our captain, I don’t see that being the case. Only Croats can roll with Croatia and Modric. Has any other team at the world cup got such a morally corrupt individual as captain?
    I’m concerned about the atmosphere in the dressing room between Kramaric (man of principles according to @Poglavnik & Holiga) and Modric. Surely Modric would find it hard to walk around Kramaric with his head up.

    I don’t feel for Modric at all, needs to be in jail.



  67. Iggy Iggy says:

    Cheers for the post-game vid too Ante. Watching it on FB now. I wasn’t around after the game as i went back to bed but catching up now : )



  68. The Golden Child says:

    Everybody saying we’re not going to score and our current form is terrible is a homer.

    These guys are going 60%. You think they want to end up like Lanzini? Senegal was playing extremely rough for a friendly, and we had a couple guys go down.

    You would all rather a 4-0 drubbing and 2 injuries than a 2-1 come back win with no injuries. Now I know why Ziva left.



  69. Anonymous says:

    “We need to have plan A – B – C – D and E for excellence!”

    I’m more concerned about what cell block Modric will find himself in.



  70. Anonymous says:

    Again all these asshole comments bashing the coach, gimme a fucking break. Losers, sitting home on your couch as if you all know shit . We’ve changed how many coaches already??? And always same result, did you ever think maybe coaching is not the problem??



  71. Maminjo says:

    I’m hoping Dalić is just a safe coach who doesn’t want to show too much to his opponents prior to the World Cup (and has been telling the team to take it easy and avoid injury).



  72. Toronto Croatia Toronto Croatia says:

    Kramaric is still looking like our most threatening striker.

    Hes never hesitant to shoot. For those who didnt see his shot which hit the cross bar ..it could have taken someone’s head off.

    Check around the 6:55 min mark in the highlights…

    https://youtu.be/lX-WIy686KQ



  73. Mali Ante says:

    Everyone needs to relax a bit. It’s the last friendly before the World Cup. Players will be not giving it everything and do not want to get hurt. Dalic has taken these games as an opportunity to try a few different things to see if anything works. Let’s face it, we have some holes (LB namely) but so do a lot of teams. Let’s save the judgement and negativity until they play a World Cup game. I believe they will show up.
    Kramaric has to play ahead of Mandza. Strinic hopefully sits and I’m hoping we open things up a bit and go 3-5-2. It actually plays to our strengths (midfield) and this current team.
    U Boj!



  74. Toronto Croatia Toronto Croatia says:

    Obviously people want to see Croatia at their best every single game which is unrealistic. ..but would you guys rather see them win some friendlies or perform well in the actual tournament?



  75. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Watch the Senegal goal…it’s real funny how all the defense is playing the offside trap and then you look a yard behind and there’s Strinic keeping that guy on side. I honestly feel sorry for Strinic, the guy just can’t seem to have a good game for us.



  76. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I’ve read a couple of articles on this “Israeli” company wanting Argentina kicked out of the WC.
    The conclusion I’ve come to is that they want Argentina kicked out for not doing “Israel’s” bidding, and also, because of religious discrimination, because Argentina is Catholic.

    I hope Fifa kick “Israel” out of the European qualifying zone and put them in Asia, where they can play against Palestine in Jerusalem.
    If “Israel” can’t play Palestine in Jerusalem then no other country should play against “Israel” in Jerusalem.

    Did you guys know that Jerusalem means Vision of Peace?



  77. Rocky says:

    @Slavonac

    Actually Strinic made the right decision by not playing the offside trap considering the attacker was coming from about very deep and Infront of all 3 defenders. There was no way an offside trap would’ve worked and he was actually level with Ćorluka.

    I’m no Strinic fan but equally not a fan of witch hunts.

    He should’ve been more aware and tucked in centrally – he was caught ball watching if anything. Not offside trap.



  78. crnkovic says:

    i saw some positive signs in this game and the brazil game. tournament football is different to club football. each game is epic at the world cup. like a movie or a book you need to find solutions that cannot be predicted you need to battle. pre tournament friendlies are about testing defensive shape and some new solutions. we wont know until the heat is on whether the players can come up with the goods. i totally believe they will. think modric vs spain, vs turkey etc we have options now. if the players dont produce, there are viable alternatives from the bench…unlike before..therefore i see no reason we cannot improve from the last euros performance, and lets not forget we were won of the best teams at that tournament until we shat the bed against portugal…its all about performance on the day. its up to the players. they can do it, they might not have the balls, then again they might. its all about what the do in their heads between now and then. how can anyone predict that? its up to them. Go do it boys. we need you to do this for us. let fly. go for broke. kick some ass



  79. Slavonac from Canada says:

    You might be right Rocky. I still haven’t seen the game on the tv, just in my phone so it’s hard to get a good view.



  80. Anonymous says:

    ^
    If you’re not sure , why make the Strinic comment then?

    You’ve lost credibility right there.



  81. Vlad says:

    Don’t care about results but more on how we look, once again modric needs to play back our transition game is aweful.
    Having badelj and rakitic next to each other is aweful hard to watch they can’t play as our holding midfielders, sooo slow. Honestly rakitic may play for Barca but he had no place in our starting 11. Modric and badelj should be playing together and kramaric should be playing behind the striker I don’t get what’s so complicated.



  82. Lovro says:

    At one point, Strinic played an excellent ball to Modric who mis-hit an easy one-timer, and then a few seconds later, Perisic put in a cross looking for Modric to head in

    Rakitic is clearly the better option to push forward as he did in the last World Cup. Let Modric do what he does best.



  83. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think we have to blame anyone for the Senagalese goal.
    It was a great pass and great finish.
    They’re the sort of passes Croatia haven’t seen since Aljosa Asanovic.
    Then again, we haven’t got a Suker who would finish like that anyway.

    “Rakitic is clearly the better option to push forward.”

    Agreed. Better than Modric!

    “Let Modric do what he does best.”

    I would’ve went the Badelj and Rog partnership like against Spain. It works, and we get rid of the perjurer and man of no principles Modric.
    Let Modric focus on his club career.



  84. Stef T.O says:

    For the love of God Dalic please stop this insanity!

    This national team needs to play with 2 strikers, this madness needs to stop! Coaches put on a different face but continue with the same idiocy.

    It’s proven, Rakitic and Modric cannot co-exist in the middle together, we cannot score goals without 2 strikers, Strinic sucks and Sime can’t cross balls.

    The lineup has to be

    Kramaric Rebic (or Mandzukic)
    Perisic Modric Brozovic (or Badelj) Rakitic
    Vrsaljko Lovren Corluka Vida

    Swinging Rakitic to the right will free Modric. He played the wing with Seville and Barca scoring 13, 15, 10 goals a season. Brozovic attacks down the middle.
    It’s offensive and well balanced. Badelj can replace Brozovic against stronger teams. This is what this team should be playing.



  85. Stef T.O says:

    Looking at everyone’s faces on the bench including Dalic there’s a state of panic and frustration. This idiot has had 3 games / 6 full halfs to tinker with the lineups and has done nothing. This was pretty much the same line up and formation as the last WC against Mexico, minus Pranjica and Olic. These coaches are clueless!



  86. Anonymous says:

    We won. We won, we beat a country of many more blacks than we have whites. Population size is the determinate factor in American youth sports, no loyalty to race.



  87. TGAD says:

    So Modric is not a striker… Is that news to anyone?

    Dalic is doing what is right in this situation: creating confusion for outsiders ahead of the competition. He had the team switch formation so many times in that match that no opposing coach will be able to correctly anticipate Croatia’s tactics. You are flustered by it, and so will be Nigeria’s manager.

    Dalic also makes good substitutions: they come early, and they make an impact. Note that he removed Mandzukic and Badelj after the first half (in which we only had 3 shots) and replaced them with a change of formation that created 10 chances in the second half.
    When it became clear that Rakitic was no longer contributing so well to the game play, he replaced him with Kovacic. That’s how real pros make substitutions, and I look forward to seeing this team play like the top-notch squad that they are.



  88. Soul Champ says:

    Portugal fiasco was down to stric Čačić tired line up and waiting for substitutes as we watched Sanchez come on and bum rush the middle.

    Dalić is making moves.

    I love Vida but he is not world class and seems to make bone headed mistake now and again. Look like ball watching to me.

    Strinic looked comfortable on the ball on his left foot and made some good forward passes.

    If Kovačić starts then you have a lot more pressure relief for all of our struggling defenders distribution. He will also thrust the ball forward with a pass or explosive speed dribble.

    Rakitic and Badelj are slow and slower.

    After all the meaningful work Dalić has done … I say we go to a 4-3-3 v Nigeria :

    ___Perisic ____Kramaric ___Rebic

    ___ Kovačić __Modrić__Rakitic

    Strinic__lovren_Vida_Vrsaljko



  89. Stef T.O says:

    Ante, you mentioned Vida as a left back to start the WC.
    He absolutely shit the bed in that position against Brazil.
    He got beat one on one and gave too much space.
    Victor Moses will bend him over. I honestly believe this team need to go 4-4-2. You need to score to win and we can’t score playing one striker.

    Again, the lineup has to be
    Kramaric Rebic (or Mandzukic)
    Perisic Modric Brozovic (or Badelj) Rakitic
    Vrsaljko Lovren Corluka Vida



  90. Iggy Iggy says:

    crnkovic: if u won’t start paragraphing you’re chinese great wall of texts, im not going to read it okay?

    Fuck sake, learn how to paragraph

    I appreciate your comments but sheesh



  91. Soul Champ says:

    Vrsaljko looks tentative on the LB position as well.

    Was Strinic that BAD v Senegal?

    Only Perišić has the ambi – dexterity to play LB.

    You put Kovačić on the left side of midfield and Strinic will improve 10 fold.

    Perišić could be a left wing back no matter what formation you play.

    You just both Kovačić and Lovren near him to cover when he bombs forward.

    If Dalić made that move he would become legend.

    Marcelo is Real Madrid’s third most important offensive weapon.

    We need more quality going forward.

    ALL of our Strikers can actual finish if given some steady supply.

    Mandžukić just missed that glancing header from that great cross from Perišić.



  92. elcroato says:

    You have a point. Srna used to be RW before he moved to Shaktar. It is too late for experimentation though.



  93. Maminjo says:

    It feels like we have all the pieces, we just need to make sure they’re in the right place.

    Reading a lot of articles about Modrić and Rakitić better off swapping places… Debate over how to use Mandžukić… How to best utilize that third central midfielder spot with either one of Kovačić, Badelj, Brozović… And what to do with the weak LB spot.

    From these friendlies so far, it looks like we still don’t have most of this figured out.

    It would be a shame if Dalić doesn’t figure it out and unlock the potential firepower this team should have.



  94. Maminjo says:

    At least it’s pretty much guaranteed that Kramarić will start, and that all three of Vida/Lovren/Ćorluka will start.

    It looks as though the Modrić at CAM, and Rakitić as deep lying playmaker is also guaranteed (which could turn out to be a big mistake).

    The remaining open issue is LB, striker formation with or without Mandžo, and CDM.



  95. Lika Joey says:

    Maminjo, I don’t think Dalic has anything figured out. The tournament will be his experiment. Unless he is a master technician and has everyone guessing with a big surprise waiting.



  96. crnkovic says:

    they need to rotate freestyle. the midfielders. that way the opposition is never sure who to pick up. just trust each other and drift into little spaces. not many teams can do that but we can because we have midfielders who can attack, pass, move, dribble and defend with high football IQ to match. thats how we should play. with no fixed positions in midfield



  97. The truth says:

    So it’s cemented that kramaric will start, likely pushing rebic to the bench, unless dalic goes with some kind of super aggressive line up

    To all those wanting modric and rakitic to swap spots, make up your mind

    Under cacic modric was deeper lying and rakitic in cam spot, more it’s reversed…. Under cacic the goals were definitely not coming, unless you factor in the euro performance where they were actually outstanding for the most part

    Not sure what the solution is, but putting your best player more in the attack when you’re not scoring any goals isn’t the craziest thing I’ve seen



  98. Soul Champ says:

    Kovačić is the only compliment to both Modrić and Rakitic.

    His explosive speed is the element that allows Modrić and Raktic to coexist without cancelling each other out and playing to slow together.

    @ Maminjo

    Well said.

    All the elements are there.

    You have to respect the magnitude of the Nigeria match and come out with your most potent 11.

    Nigeria will be on fire to start.

    We need to match the intensity and put pressure on them.

    They will feel the weight of the World Cup only if we bring the Vatreni to the ptich.

    I pray Dalić has the courage to pick the best line up, free from worrying about failure.

    Focus on successful performance.



  99. BZ says:

    I love when people talk about Perisic at LB, the light is starting to shine…unfortunately after this World Cup there will be some major growing pains. Hopefully Dalic sees the lightbefore we get prematurely ousted with Strinic back there.



  100. Iggy Iggy says:

    Yeah ive noticed Rakitic plays a lot better in games where Modric isn’t there, like the recent Mexico friendly



  101. Poglavnik says:

    My group stage prediction:

    Hrvatska – 7pts
    Argentina – 6 pts
    Nigeria – 4 pts
    Iceland – 0 pts

    Hrvatska v Nigeria 1 – 1
    Hrvatska v Argentina 2 – 1
    Hrvatska v Iceland 2 – 0

    Just don’t ask me where those 5 goals will come from..



  102. Dannyj says:

    Krama gonna be a breakout for the world to see
    I think he has something to prove and boy is hungry for goals
    So I hope his “selfish” ways pay off



  103. Soul Champ says:

    @ BZ

    With new nations league and expanded Euros … we will have ideal situations for all the young talent to grow.

    Need a dynamic coach to harness the potential and take us to a new level as a footballing nation.

    For now we need Dalić to do this for the Nigeria match.

    Dalić has been in Asian Cup finals before and will know how to produce a result.

    @ Svima

    T – 6 days …

    ZDS



  104. Maminjo says:

    I could see us having the exact same results in sequence to what we had at the last Euros.

    Cro outplaying yet narrowly beating Nigeria,
    Cro and Argentina scorfest due to both sides’ defenders not being able to hold off the talent on the field,
    Cro revenge winning and eliminating Iceland (although we don’t actually play our B team here)

    Hrvatska v Nigeria 1 – 0
    Hrvatska v Argentina 2 – 2
    Hrvatska v Iceland 2 – 1



  105. TURKEY says:

    I’m back. Just wanna let you know that croatian players leave their little poor teams to go to Real European teams just to win championships. Then put Croatia on the World Cup international stage, THEY HAVENT MADE IT TO A WORLD CUP KNOCKOUT STAGE IN 20 YEARS!!!!



  106. Brkic says:

    Amazing that “Turkey” showed up here given who he supports. How are Turkey and Italy going to perform in Russia?



  107. JaSeKurvam says:

    Listen folks, I think Croatia will do great in the world cup. That 4-2-4 formation vs Brazil was fantastic, we dominated that game. The way raktic controlled the balls from the defense and more if turned in to a striker was amazing to see. Brazil scored a goal after Croatia made some big changes to their line up like take models out and Brazil putting never in. In all reality Brazil won 1-0 that 2nd goal was a fluke….Croatia could have easily won that game.

    Croatia needs to see the talent they posses and we need some confidence. Dalic is on the right path….I feel it in my bones, Croatia will do well.



  108. Poglavnik says:

    We’re gonna win our group and lose to Peru in the next round.
    Or play France in the next round and win.



  109. Vis says:

    Win our group we will probably face Denmark, if runner up we will probably face France. Either scenario we will advance.



  110. Vis says:

    Win the group we will probably face Denmark, runner up we will probably play France. Either scenario we will advance.



  111. Dejvid Safradin says:

    Is it me or does rebic suck? He doesn’t know what to do with the ball. Dalic tactics are freking horrible. Modric hardly sees the ball and creates less chances in his new role.





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