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#4 The Italian Job

June 11, 2018




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


#4 The Italian Job


In 2002, Croatia tried to replicate what they did in France, but 1-0 losses to Mexico and Ecuador quickly stopped that. However, when Ivica Olić and Milan Rapaić scored within three minutes of each other to beat mighty Italy in the second Group Stage game, Croatians around the world were in a state of euphoria!






Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 11 comments

  1. Zee says:

    Yay that was awesome! Anyway see you guys there or on tv. Long live the Republic! Hopefully we do well!

  2. Bobby V says:

    Subasic- Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, Strinic – Modric, Rakitic – Perisic, Kramaric, Rebic – Mandzukic

    With Croatia going 5 games now with only 1 goal from the run of play, this was the lineup Dalic is forced into. More offensive opportunity but at a risk.

    In effect, we are gambling by giving up on Badelj for adding Mandzukic and Strinic plays over Corluka because he provides crosses into the area that Vida cannot – another gamble.

    Kramaric can at least create on his own and will be relying on Modric and Rakitic to set him up, while Mandzukic will be waiting to flick or getting his head on crosses mainly from Perisic, Vrsaljko and Strinic.

    That’s basically where we are at. If we didn’t struggle so much to score, we could have added Kovacic and or Brozovic to our starting midfield.

    I still go back to the claim that Croatia does not have enough quality players between the ages of 23-27 years old, which not coincidentally were the years 1991-1995 – the war. Even our best player in that age group, Kovacic, was born in Austria.

    Just a thought, never know what might have been, but, we do now have one of the oldest starting lineups at the tournament because of a large gap of missing talent in the most important age group.

    I truly believe this will be our last best chance for many years in a major tournament. You can throw out promising youngsters names at me, but, I just don’t see it. None of them were even considered for this World Cup and I see plenty of young talent in other neighboring countries that makes me wonder.

    I still would have brought Halilovic, who, by the way, was in Brazil to put him in the last 15 minutes of a game when you need a goal. Sort of like pulling your goalie in hockey when you let him take the field, but, he’s one of our very few who can create his own goal with his dribbling and strong, accurate shot….definitely better than Kalinic.

    So, let’s do this! I really do have a good feeling about this teams attitude and we still have enough talent to comfortably get out of the group.

    Nigeria is young and their defense is vulnerable. Argentina barely qualified (down 0-1 to Ecuador in the last qualifying game) before Messi saved them.

    Iceland is very overrated – can’t live on one victory over England forever, plus we have have a winning record and even more impressive goal difference against them.

    Looking forward to watching our boys and reading your comments. We might have lost a few of our better characters on this site, but, thanks to all of you for your comments and staying loyal.


  3. TURKEY says:

    ‘We don’t have enough quality players from 23-27 because we were fighting the war.’
    REALLY BOBBY V. Is that the reason why Croatia has sucked in soccer. OMG…….pathetic. Who is this clown???
    – Croatian soccer hasn’t done anything in international play. You are over exaggerating talent.
    The war….what a fool.

  4. Lovro says:

    @Turkey –

    The gap in the previous World Cups would not have mattered. In 2012, these players would have been 19-23.

    How could you think he’s implying it’s the reason we haven’t done anything in twenty years, you dumb ass.

    He has an interesting thought. The population growth did drop dramatically. Too bad you somehow made it from somewhere.

  5. Bobby V says:

    I’m saying that age group is the backbone of almost every other team at the World Cup this year except ours. Amazing the talent we still have to even qualify.

  6. Soul Champ says:

    @ Bobby V

    Love the insightful post!

    I am a Halilovic believer and thought he could add to this group. But support Dalić is giving the veteran crew one last shot to make something special happen.

    I am a go for this line up as well .. even though Kovačić is the odd man out.

    This stating 11 gives Dalić many potential substitution options given the game situations.

    Croatian managers having plan B, C, D and E have not been available to us in many a moon.

    I have good feeling that Dalić has the experience to win big matches.

    I do disagree with the projection of Croatia football going forward.

    Beyond the talent I see, is the UEFA structure to support our talent.

    Nations league gives us Spain and England matches.

    Expanded Euro 2020 gives us opportunity to play in a major tournament.

    We have 2 years to give all this young studs a run out.

    Fully confident that we will have a competitive crew.

    We do need a dynamic manager to cultivate the next generation.

    I digress …

    T -4 days


  7. Anonymous says:

    Come on momci…. have we forgot the great run our u17’s had couple years ago in South America? Combine that team with the players slightly ahead of them i.e. Halilovic, Caleta-Car, Rog, Coric, etc. A slightly older Pjaca and Kovacic for leadership. Who knows…. the next generation could be better than our current one.

  8. Bobby V says:

    @Soul Champ – Thanks, let’s hope you are right about our near future.
    @ Poglavnik – Thanks, I’m with you, but maybe somebody gives our young players a chance so we can get a better look.
    @ Ustani – thanks

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