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Croatia vs. England: What You Didn’t See

November 18, 2018

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It would have been a perfect ending to an already perfect 2018 for the Vatreni. Up 1-0 at Wembley, Croatia were on the brink of relegating the Three Lions to UEFA Nations League B while clinching a semifinals berth for themselves.



And if it wasn’t for some poor defensive lapses in the final 15 minutes, striker Andrej Kramarić would have been celebrated for scoring one of the most amazing Croatian goals in the country’s history. Following a Josip Brekalo pass, Kramarić danced around in the box for what seemed like an eternity, before finally having his shot slightly deflected on its way to the back of the net.



Kramarić Takes On Entire English Defense



Unfortunately, Kramarić’s efforts will go down in vain as England scored twice in the final 15 minutes of the match to completely flip the script on the Vatreni; winning 2-1.



But take a closer look at how England got those goals.






On Jesse Lingard’s 78th minute equalizer, Joseph Gomez’s foot was completely over the line on the initial throw in. It looked liked an obvious foul throw that should have been given back to Croatia.



Following England’s second goal in the 85th minute, just after Harry Kane toe poked the ball into the net, John Stones completely knees Croatian keeper Lovre Kalinić in the face. That’s easily a red card.



The Vatreni should have buried the game in the second half with a second goal – but just like the World Cup Final – obvious calls went against them facing a big name in world football.



I’m not here to make excuses as Croatia definitely had their chances to finish the game, but you have to call a spade a spade when the evidence is sitting right there in front of you.




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 27 comments

  1. Lovro says:

    What you also may not have noticed is that the English have been trolling their past few opponents by pairing up the tallest kid to walk out with the opposing teams shortest player and vise-versa during the opening walkout to the field

    Yesterday, the kid walking with Luka Modric was as tall as he was while Lovre Kalinic (6’5”) was paired with the shortest.

    Pretty funny

  2. vuki says:

    I noticed that his foot was on the line right away. Before a replay or anything. But of course the English commentators aren’t going to say anything. I still think our attack was very weak and our defense cracked after that goal, but that was the turning point in the match, we were countering them non-stop and then they managed to get that goal. Either way, so many players could have stopped both of those goals and they didn’t so kudos to England for capitalizing on it.

  3. Soul Champ says:

    Say what you want.

    But we once again competed through adversity.

    @ packed Wembley

    Starting RB goes down in first 20 minutes.

    No Rakitic.

    Kovačić would be a boost for this one.

    We had our chances to put this match to bed in the second half.

    Brekalo is the goods.

    Haven’t seen something like his skill since Modrić came on 2006.

    And he is an attacking winger.

    Loss sucks.

    But UNL forced Dalić to give both Vlašić and Brekalo a chance.

    Kalinic also stepped up this week to show he is presence between the pipes.

    You got England only scoring BS cheating set pieces vs us.

    I actually see more upside with us.

    U21 crew is stacked.

    Sosa and Colina are LB’s of the future.

    Milic came in played solid in a tough environment against explosive wingers.

    Rebić could have put this match away in the first 10 minutes.

    Not sure why he takes a wack at the ball like that?

    He had time and open goal to simply pass it in?

    He still provides running but with Brekalo on the rise his minutes are numbered.

  4. Poglavnik says:

    Biggest blame goes to the idiot fans that forced that empty stadium game on us. If we had a rocking Maksimir in our home game against England like we did on Thursday the table would be different.

  5. Zoki says:

    You’re not here to make excuses???
    The picture you show has Gomez’s foot clearly on the line. Which, you should know, is legal.
    Our goalie got kneed in the face in the 85th minute? Oh no! If it wasn’t for that, surely we would have won. Seriously?
    That’s pathetic. Have some dignity. The English played better. Period.
    That doesn’t mean they’re a better team. IMO our FULL team is better than theirs. It was only one game. Let’s not make it worse by making feeble, clueless excuses.
    Win with class. Lose with class.

  6. vuki says:

    @Zoki Completely agree honestly. I truly did not check to see if it was legal before my last comment, but I’ll take your word for it. England outplayed us for sure. They were on the front foot all game until we got a lucky deflection. We could have definitely put the game away, but we could not finish and England finally squeaked one in. And in typical Croatian national team fashion, we get deflated by one goal and lose. At least it was against a half-decent team this time. The world cup was probably the first time in my life time that I can remember our team consistently playing with heart and pulling through adversity. I think this loss could definitely help in the long run, but I really hope we don’t end up in a Euro qualifying group with a couple of really good teams.

  7. Razbijač says:

    @ Poglavnik

    I agree, having an empty stadium really sucked. With the maksimir rockin’, especially with it being our first game after the WC on home soil, surely we woulda taken care of business vs. england.

    And when you’re up against 2 evenly matched opponents, advantages like being able to play in front of your home fans goes a long way.

    Hopefully, that was the last of the stadium bans!

  8. Z says:


    Maybe not a player, as I think coaches and staff get them too? Might not be someone falling on financial hard times, it could be the medal of someone who died (I don’t know if there’s a list of everyone who got one) or someone who just wants to raise some money for charity as they get older.

  9. Jakets says:

    It’s easy to be negative after losing a game like this but, you have to remember the point of these games is to build the team and prepare them for the Euro. Lets be happy that Dalić is working on important things like playing our youngsters, disciplining selfishness, finding a backup for Vrsaljko and finding a decent LB. Sure our set piece defence is shit but we have improved our set piece offence which leads me to believe our defense against them will also improve. Maybe we still don’t have a solid LB option but I’m sure Dalić will be able to work out these kinks before the Euro.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hard not to be negative after finishing second place in the world… Then go unseeded in (possibly) the qualifications for the next two tournaments because of a rule change (and partially because our coach decided not to prioritize these games).

    If we end up with a weaker Pot 1 and Pot 3 team, then it doesn’t matter. But it would definitely suck if we are grouped with a France or Belgium, then have to deal with a team like Serbia, Turkey or Ireland.

    We’re still obviously better, but you still want the easiest route as you can never predict injuries (and guys checking out for summer vacation, as we all have seen our qualification results always dip in June).

  11. Maminjo says:

    France, Croatia and Belgium are all out.

    Switzerland, Portugal, England and Holland.

    Kind of a shitty semifinals actually.

  12. Mile says:

    So pot 1 it is. If Poland gets a point tomorrow, Germany is in pot 2 for the Euro draw. Probably one of the worst years in the recent history of German soccer. Watch Croatia end up drawing Germany. That would be a laugh.

  13. Maminjo says:

    Hopefully Poland drops to Pot 2.

    I like the Poles and all but qualifiers are different this time. They begin in the summer and are done over a short period of time. One or two injuries, plus summertime fun in the Adriatic, could easily lead to a slow start.

    I’d rather play the big teams once tournament time begins, and you’re ready for it.

  14. Jv says:

    @Zoki, foot over the line is illegal!!! Why is it that we just accept the countless mistakes made by officials when playing against the so called ‘bigger’ nations. Why have rules then if they’re not applied to all teams?

  15. Zoki says:

    Agreed. Foot OVER the line is illegal. As I said, on the line (as it’s shown in the pic) is OK.
    Guys – no need to worry about who we’re going to play. It’s time for the other teams to worry about us. There is no team in the world today that we can’t beat. Including France.
    This is a historical, unprecedented time in the history of the country. Amazingly, with all the young talent coming up, it might get even better.

  16. Maminjo says:

    As is shown in the pic is actually NOT okay…but none of this matters anyway.

    We need to learn how to defend against these stupid long throw ins. I can’t believe we conceded two goals because of this.

  17. Zoki says:

    Hey JV and Maminjo and any other semtard that doesn’t know the rules. Once for all – it’s OK to step on the line when you’re throwing the ball in. Just google it.
    It’s better to keep your mouth closed and be thought of as a fool then open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  18. Maminjo says:


    As shown in the pic, the throw in is actually NOT okay…but again, it’s a technicality and doesn’t change the fact that Cro struggles to defend this stupid play.

  19. Andrej L says:

    Switzerland, Portugal, England and Holland; give credit where credit is due but I don’t think these are the best teams in Europe. The UNL did it’s part to get rid of meaningless friendlies. Good to see Milic play decent again. Reminds me of Mitrovic and we need young back ups like this on the squad. We finally got the U21s in but I think there will be some overlaps for Euro qualifiers so they may not be available for all the qualifiers; am I right?
    Jedvaj also got plenty of meaningful minutes which is key. Vida played RB at times for us before he fully took over for Corluka. Hopefully, Jedvaj plays more at club level and stays healthy because he could starting CB over Vida come Euro 2020.
    I though Kalinic and Livakovic did well as well so that’s always a good sign to have two decent keepers.
    I was disappointed with Rebic, Kramaric, and Pjaca. We need these guys to become more consistent. Overall, I think we made good progress in preparing for Euro 2020.

  20. BZ says:

    I heard a homophobic guy at the sports bar say the following:
    “For a guy who hates Homos, Brekalo sure plays defense like one.”

    I denounce that sentiment, but Brekalo needs to work on his D and speed. He is great on the ball, which a few of us have agreed upon for years.

    Guys, Rebic didn’t finish again, but nobody else would have been pressing that hard to get to that Pickford muffed ball. I can guarantee he is working on a chip, which would have come inuseful vs Spain & England.

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