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#5 The First One

June 10, 2018

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In anticipation of Croatia’s 5th World Cup, we are counting down the top 5 goals Croatia has ever scored at the tournament.



#5 The First One


Back in 1998, Davor Šuker hits the crossbar and Mario Stanić scores off the rebound in the 27th minute to record Croatia’s first ever goal at the World Cup as an independent nation versus Jamaica. Unbeknownst to the team, it was the start of something historic in France.





Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 49 comments

  1. Jordan says:

    who else thinks Modric and Rakitic need to swap places, I feel as though Modric is more effective in a deep lying midfield role with Rakitic playing in the front 3 behind our striker, whoever that may be come June 16th

  2. Poglavnik says:

    Oh I like this!
    Let me take a stab at what might make it.
    Jarni Vlaovic or Suker vs Germany but I’m leaning towards Jarni’s
    Suker or Prosinecki against Holland (both awesome goals)
    Rapaic vs Italy
    For the last one I’m going with Suker vs Japan. Sweltering day in Nantes, down to the last 10 minutes and the Sukerman comes through! Without that goal we may not go on that run.
    As far as team goals go maybe none are better than that first goal against Cameroon starting with Modric’s pass down the wing.
    Good stuff Ante!

  3. Soul Champ says:

    Man … seeing the ‘98 crew … the quality was unparalleled.

    Prosinečki was transcendent.

    Benching by Blažević for France match … could have gave him a half for Boban who was injured and gave away the ball for a goal.

    I digress …

    Dalić better have the courage to follow his heart with who to play vs Nigeria.

    I sense he knows what he needs to do but has never dealt with this caliber of squad before in his career.

    T-5 days …


  4. CroatianPerson85 says:

    @Jordan, I agree with that. Rakitic played well in a more attacking role with Sevilla.

  5. Stef T.O says:

    I think all of us for the most agree that Rakitic needs to play up front. Dalic for some stupid reason thinks playing Modric out of position works better. Idiots gonna cost us what could of been a historic run.

  6. CroatianPerson85 says:

    Would they not rotate on their own when playing based on how things are going? Players do it all the time I wouldn’t worry too much personally. I think these guys are just going to play how they want to a degree really regardless of the coach. They know this is the last chance to do something at a WC for a decent number of players. For some guys this is their last world cup.

  7. Soul Champ says:

    Rakitic also played at the base of a diamond and looked like Franz Beckenbauer, as he captained his side.

    Kovačić is needed to balance the characteristics of Modrić and Rakitic.

    Modrić is not the problem.

    Rakitic needs support.

    Badelj is not dominant defensively and he is not quick enough to support offensive transitions.

  8. Maminjo says:

    True, but I’ve been seeing Rakitić play verrry deep in these friendlies.

    Dude has been playing like some Lothar Matteus role on our team.

  9. crnkovic says:

    i told everyone that modric is not a number 10. unfortunately nor is rakitic. at sevilla they played counter attack and all the other attackers had pace which created space for rakitic. the main advantage to this dalic formation is the high press. modric is integral to that. the kramaric chance against brazil came from the high press and modric quick reactions. it has many merits, in order for it to be successful though modric will need to drop deep often looking for the ball. when he does that one of the other midfielders has to run forward past modric, if not we become stale and slow in possession. therefore brozovic must start instead of badelj. to swap with modric as the game goes on. rakitic is good where he is he will be a deep playmaker from now on i think. at least he gets time on the ball to use his long range passing. its just very small margins now. the formation and tactics are good, its just yet to spark into life. hopefully the inspiration of the actual world cup will push those guys into action…if so we’ll see some sweet football..,and goals will flow

  10. Nizic says:

    I like the goal they scored against fuck who was it to get in that 98 WC I’m pretty sure it was in a playoff long goal to either sucker or boksic put it in to make it to France .

  11. Lovro says:

    Croatia plays better when Modric is on the field without Rakitic. The reverse is the same. It would allow a midfield of Kovacic, Brozovic, Badelj, and one of the two. It would also allow a front line of Kramaric, Perisic and Mandzukic.

    The chances of goals would increase dramatically. Play Luka first 60, Rakitic last 30.

    That’s what Dalic should have experimented with.

  12. canuckcro says:
    Ya can’t teach gifted talent like boksic not saying he’s pele but he had that old school ball control..last minute on the highlight video with his club team lazio,coach from the other team and goalie ..clapping at his astonishing goal..dribbling through a few players ,chipping ball over the goalies head.

  13. Stef T.O says:

    Boksic and Suker could not play together just like Modric and Rakitic. If Boksic played in ’98 Suker might have not won the golden boot and Cro might have never made it that far.

  14. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I love Modric but as I said here a couple days ago, I do believe Rakitic is the better option closer to the opposing goal. Not only are his final passes better, his own shots are far better and can score better.

    We need to use our players where they perform the best. I don’t think having Modric playing in behind the forward is a bad idea but I think Rakitic is better suited for that role.

  15. Lovro says:

    If you can, go back to about the 38 minute, 18 second mark of the first half in the game against Brazil where an offside is called against Rebic off a flicked header that would have sent him in on a clear breakaway.

    When the ball was flicked, he was still in his own half of the field. There was even another defender across the field keeping him on.

    Would have been nice to see the outcome. We were robbed.

  16. Nizic says:

    I loved watching Alen play with Lazio man he would rule that whole left side speed, technical , talent power and a bunch more , regardless if they couldn’t play together they woulda in France Ciro woulda knew how to get them to klik.

  17. Nizic says:

    Stanic was a powerhouse I’d love to have now too ,the Hercegovac was a big boy and loved Hrvatska love that emotion in the vid.

  18. Uglibić says:

    On crack like my mayor Rob Ford?
    >Modric played an excellent game attacking v Senegal. Pass to set up Kramaric on his goal was vintage Luka.
    >>Short memories? It was Dalic’s decision to put Modric as attacking that saved our qualifying campaign.
    >>Hard to attack when u lying on yo back. Modric was fouled hard at least 4 times. All 4 times he was in an advantageous attacking position, surprised only 1 yellow given.

    >Rakitic and Modric can both attack, Dalic just needs to start Kovacic wit them. My nigga* Crnkovic, already preached da truth about our middies needing to rotate during the game. Kova makes this possible.

    *Half black myself, so I can say that. My Croatian/Canadian mother was part of the Peace Corps in Ghana. Yup. Never met my dad, so I support Croatia 100%.

    Vlaovic vs Germany, even tho tainted by 11 v 10.

  19. Horvat says:

    I think Dalic might know what he’s doing.

    I agree Modric needs to return to his deeper role. We tried him as a number 10. He was O.K, but not what was expected of him.

    I agree with Lovren and Vida as the CD pair. I was afraid we were going to learn the hard way that Corluka isn’t the same player.

    Great idea playing Kramaric behind Mando.

    Dalic has correctly identified Perisic and Rebic as our top wingers.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have a better option than Strinic at LB. Maybe Vida or Pivaric? Any option is poor. I’m afraid this is the one thing that’s going to kill us this world cup.

    The only thing I would question is Subasic over Kalinic. Subasic has been very mediocre for us! Don’t know for sure if he’s better than Lovro at the moment?

  20. Horvat says:

    Also, great idea Dalic has insisting on playing strong teams in friendlies.

    We would have never identified our weaknesses, especially defensively, playing weak opponents!

  21. JaSeKurvam says:

    Raktic controlling the back was a pleasure to watch against brazil…..I love seeing raktic playing a defensive role….modric is the better passer and has to play offensive, when it’s world cup time, and teams are nervous af and u have such a precise passing machine like modric in the offense you’ll be sure to cause some havoc…modric is used to big matches…U want him in those areas where our opponents are uncomfortable with him…

    Croatia will score some goals this WC, we have kramaric in form and mandukic as u know only does well in big games, as he showed that many times in the champions league

  22. The truth says:

    My sources are confirming that things are trending toward perisic-rebic-mandzukic-kramaric starting

    I’d still rather see mandzukic head to the bench.

    They made the necessary move of getting kramaric out there but is leaving mandzukic out there really with sacrificing the midfield?

    You’re going to leave modric and rakitic alone in there?

    We all know that neither perisic nor rebic are high percentage passers

    And kramaric is no midfielder

    It’s clear that as a result the strategy will be a very high pressing game

    But with such a skinny midfield, expect a generally sloppy game and one that might leave Croatia exposed to Nigeria’s quick counters

    Remember Nigeria by far lead teams in fewest passes before scoring

    The ball bouncing all around aimlessly has the potential to play into that

  23. Maminjo says:

    Lol @ crnkovic

    Leave it to the only other nigga* on this site to get the oogly bitch reference.

    * I’m white myself, so I can say that ;)

  24. BZ says:

    I finally got a chance to watch the Senegal game in it’s entirety. A few things:
    1-Watched the slow motion replay when Corluka missed a tackle at midfield, and ran full speed to track back. The only problem was it turned out not to be a slo-mo replay. Damn he is slow.

    2-Love Rebic, but I get what ppl are saying about him on the ball. Two games in a row he had clear and obvious options on the break, and he didn’t see them. Not too worried about it tho.

    3-Save the witch hunt comments, Strinic is actually really bad.
    a-Always caught out of position. He lost his guy like 4/5 times but lucked out that Senegal couldn’t finish.

    b-He also lacks the urgency of his position. I get it, you can’t sprint all game, but he needs to understand the time to sprint for him is when his glank is under attack. He strolls back and doesn’t really mark anyone.

    c-Lost the ball again at the 18 trying to do too much. Just clear it, you clumsy goof! He got lucky Senegal didn’t finish.

    4-Duting the friendlies, all our forwards are getting lost when they are put on the RW. All of their best work is done when they switch to the left. I guess put Rebic out right and have him beat the shit out of their LB, all gsme.

    @The Truth-i can deal with a sacrificed midfield, that is one formation I’d like to see. Option B, take out Mandzukic and play Kovacic. …but in the end, all for naught if Strinic on the field.

  25. Maminjo says:

    LOL @truth

    Your sources?

    You mean all the Cro newspapers that have been posting that lineup for hours?

  26. Maminjo says:

    Well, for those who were concerned by our lack of scoring due to not playing two strikers… Well now we kind of are playing two strikers with both Krama and Mandžo in there.

    It’s not a bad set up, but I would have liked to test this out before the first game.

    Krama has played this role before, and it may actually work very well for us, as he has that ability to link up with our midfielders. There won’t be such a gap between Krama and Rakitić/Modrić anymore.

    Mandžo is useful in games where we dominate possession and send in the occasional cross, so hopefully Vrsaljko can find him like he was doing early in our qualifying campaign.

    Offensive setup is intriguing. The only concern is if they play too complacent like they are known to do. Hopefully Krama in the center of it all will push them to barrel through.

    Biggest concerns are the Strinić/Lovren chemistry. Those two tend to be crap when playing together.

    Also, sadly, Subašić looks shaky and Lovre Kalinić would have probably been better for us this tournament (but no coaches ever switch up goalkeepers unless a terrible set of gaffes take place).

    If this is the lineup, it probably would’ve been better that Dalić kept it to himself. Don’t understand why you don’t try this lineup out in a friendly, yet still lose that element of surprise by announcing the starting unit.

  27. Ernest says:

    @Truth I thought the same thing about leaving Rakitic and Modric in there most likely 2 on 3. It’s a risk but I think Dalic sees this as a must win and he is looking to blitz Nigeria. Rakitic and Modric should be classy enough to hold down the middle because Nigeria doesn’t really pass around you. They go over the top which is tougher to do when you’re pressed.

    I think if we score first and maintain the lead you’ll see a hange if emphasis in the second half with rebic and Kramaric/Mandza coming off for Badelj and Broz/Kova to hold the ball and kill the game off.

  28. IVO says:

    I just hope that there will not be a homo sex repeat. Remember the pool party? This would be a successful World Cup then.

  29. The truth says:

    On the world stage, it’s important for Croatia to homosexuality again like they did with that pool party to paint a positive usage to the world of Croatia

    I still support giving lovren the arm band for similar reasons

    Croatia must present itself as a modern country if it hopes to succeed

  30. Dannyj says:

    So if we seem gay friendly maybe we get some calls?
    A gay Asian and super black African would boost our chances of getting favorable calls for certain;)

    Man how many years are we gonna suck at LB?

  31. Stef T.O says:

    I like the formation but I’m not Dalic would have released the line up this early. Personally I think it’s B.S!
    That being said I support the line up, it’s well thought out.
    4-4-2 is the way to go and Kramaric linking up the final third is fantastic. If this is the line up, bravo Dalic!

  32. Poglavnik says:

    In no particular order…
    Suker vs Japan ’98. Without that goal we might not make our run.
    Jarni vs Germany ’98. All 3 were great goals but I’m going with the first of the match.
    Suker or Prosinecki vs Holland ’98. Both equally nice.
    Rapaic vs Italy ’02. I love this goal! Went ape shit after this one. Especially after the performance in the first game against Mexico.
    Olic vs Cameroon ’14. My favourite team goal we’ve scored at the WC. Love that first pass by Luka.

  33. Dannyj says:

    Say we go with that lineup
    How much more would a foreign big buck coach do better?
    I think dalic is doing just fine

    He can’t play LB himself

    I agree with the goalie issue but we actually don’t know how Kalinic would be in big games
    Subasic has had his fair share
    He will for sure be more solid then pletikosa was in Brazil

    He got some good friendlies he tried some stuff

    Many other teams are prob in worst positions then we are

    We qualified we got some talent we don’t have stuck in dear lights cacic

    Let’s see what happens

    Time to support dalic and the boys

    U Better believe the veterans gonna leave it out there this time
    That’s all we can ask

    My guy at the savez says ZDS!

  34. BZ says:

    anyone else pop a boner at second 26 of the video Ante K posted above? Jk, not really. At least funnier than the Truth and his fake account names.

  35. BZ says:

    To be honest, if Dalic goes with that lineup, expect to see Vida or Vrsaljko at LB. Strinic’s so-called offensive skills will be unnecessary.

  36. Poglavnik says:

    ^ ^
    Pretty sure I remember them were showing those girls a lot during their matches.

  37. The truth says:

    Well not having pletikosa in goal will be an incredible upgrade over the last world cup even if there were doubts about subasic

    In 2014, anything that rolled toward the goal went in

  38. Iggy Iggy says:

    The french cameramen were kinda known for being pervs during the ’98 world cup, it was mentioned often during the coverage here on SBS actually. I dont think you would get away with doing that today – just focusing on all the hot girls every chance u get lol

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