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Croatia Beats Wales 2-1 Behind Perišić Strike

June 8, 2019


A short-handed Vatreni side should have scored more goals against Wales in Osijek Saturday afternoon – but at the end of the day – they got the job done in a 2-1 win.



Croatia came out strong with Modrić, Brekalo, and Kovačić in the midfield with Perišić and Kramarić as the main attacking options. Although the stats won’t show it, the Vatreni peppered the Welsh goal in Osijek with urgency on the day, which eventually led to an own goal in the 17th minute after a strong pass across the box from Ivan Perišić got redirected. Perišić would score the eventual game winner in the 48th minute when he struck home from inside the box after some sloppy Welsh defending.



However, Croatia couldn’t keep a clean sheet and made things tight – once again – after David Brooks sent a long shot, which was deflected, into the back of the net in the 77th minute.



All in all, Croatia got the victory they needed without three key players going into the summer break. They currently sit tied atop their Euro 2020 qualifying group with Hungary and will play a friendly against Tunisia in Varaždin on Tuesday.






Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 156 comments

  1. Iggy Iggy says:

    I looked at the odds and we are hot, hot favourites to win this match.

    But… im scared.

    I know you will all say im a doomsayer on this but honestly..

    After 98 WC Bronze we failed to make the next Euro

    After 2018 WC Silver we are currently open to go through or not.

    The issue is this:

    After you achieve something awesome, something that truly unites and romanticises the country in the way we’ve done, it’s kinda hard to come back to the day-to-day grind and lower matches like this.

    You go from the heights of WC final in front of the eyes of everyone on Earth to little games against Hungary or Wales no one cares about or will ever see. And the thing is this: if you drop your intensity even 10% these countries will fucking eat you up.

    Europe is that tough that you can’t blink. We need to maintain our intensity despite the drop off in significance and that’s the difficulty. So yeah im just scared cos of this that we’re gonna miss this Euro.

    Sorry for the rant – just sharing my fears, plz can we wineth and i’ll feel better plz : )

  2. Anonymous says:

    Starting line-

  3. CroatiaU14 says:

    Yup same I’m a little nervous but I feel that we will get the win…Kovačić needs to step up playing at the 10 role

  4. Anonymous says:

    Berkalo looks great and if kalanic was starting Wales scores that goal just now in the 41st min I like livakovic I’m goal so far

  5. CroatiaU14 says:

    Yup Brekalo is playing great. So is Jedvaj. Thoughts on Kovačić’s performance? He’s playing aggressive but not creating many chances as a CAM.

  6. Suba says:

    Excellent half the job done

    Still bonehead defending by vida but livakovic seems composed for a young kid good signs

  7. Andrej L says:

    There’s only 17k people there but they haven’t stopped singing. One of the best crowds in long time. Bravo Osijek!

  8. Dannyj says:

    Good first half
    Livakovic a bit shaky on couple plays but overall looks good as nerves are high I’m sure
    He knows it’s his job to lose right now
    Way diff pressure then knowing you are number 2 and just come in here and there

    Let’s hope we close this out with another girl early here and can go into summer with a bit of relief

  9. Bale says:

    Sorry to intrude boys, I’m Welch, and stumbled upon this cool site. Anyone mentioning Brekalo and Jedvaj as key players, without touching on Modric’s brilliance is a partisan idiot.

  10. Bale says:

    Who is this Badelj clown? Comes on for Kovacic and gets rolled by one of our Welsh scrubs. Let’s go

  11. Maminjo says:

    Why the hell did Dalić sub out Brekalo for?

    Our team died after that and now it’s 2-1

  12. Bale says:

    Is your coach retarded? Just noticed Halilovoc on the bench, and he goes with Pasalic at the wing?

  13. CroatiaU14 says:

    Lets go boys. Huge win. I almost had a heart attack when the ref didn’t call the game until the 6th extra minute.

  14. Maminjo says:

    Whatever. I’ll take this win. Now the group is all squared up with each team beating each other.

    June is usually a bad month for us anyway. These guys are probably going to hit the coast right after.

  15. Suba says:

    Coach stuffed up and how many chances does Kramaric wants wasteful

    Why the hell dalic took off Brekalo and Kovacic off is beyond me

    Who’s Skoric what a joke we like to make it hard on ourselves

  16. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    To put all comments in context, the game was bad at the end because the players were all exhausted from playing in the scorching heat. The managers even complained to UEFA about the timing because they knew this would happen. Badelj was a good choice for stability, to slow the game down while they grinded out the last minutes. Škorić was a good choice for the Osijek fans, only the Perisic injury messed up the chance for them to give Modric an ovation. The important things at the end were to preserve the win and give the fans a good time. The conditions were not ripe for quality the full 90 minutes. Only Lovren actually seemed fit enough to keep playing.

  17. Toronto Croatia Toronto Croatia says:

    Happy with the win …and if we had Rakitic and Rebic we could have punished them.

    I can just picture everyone hitting the beach after that game lol

  18. Mr. Black says:

    I barely survived the end of the game.

    Modric was superclass again. He lead his to the 2-0. Everyone was doing a great job. Only Lovren was awful to relance the game.

    Only Dalic subbed out three players who were very decent (Brekalo, Kovacic and Perisic) and replaced them by Pasalic (who didn’t shine but was not that bad) and Badelj en Skoric who were awful.

    I don’t blame Dalic too much. I know he’s an excellent coach. Not every decision turns out to be a good one.

    At the end we missed some chances but I guess they were exhausted.

    I’m very very very extremely pleased by this victory. Our chances to make it to Euro 20 significantly increased today. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.

    I also like Brekalo very much. He’s young, makes some mistakes but you see the guy has class to dares to try things on the pitch.

    Bravo Hrvatska.

  19. CroatiaU14 says:

    @Toronto Canada I agree about Rebić and Rakitić. We would’ve killed them.

    In the end, we played much better than Wales. We should have scored 4 goals though I feel. Kramarić needs to finish and Perišić can’t be offsides on a shot from outside the box. I’ll definitely take the win though. We can relax a little until September vs. Slovakia. And Livaković has gotta be our new #1.

  20. Dannyj says:

    Let’s just pretend the Hungary game was our normal June game and this was our Hungary game
    All good
    Modric bossed as we needed
    Kramaric pass the ball dude for Pete sake
    Brekalo made chances like others said
    Perisic strong. But man if bale had those kind of chances how many goals would he get But still perisic so important
    Thought barisic was solid nuff for us
    The goal against. Bad break. Vida meh today
    Livakovic while looked a bit shaky at times looks like we should
    Be ok with him going forward. Till one of these young bucks really pan out

    Interesting to see the lineup for Tunisia

    Remember guys Wales ain’t no joke sure they ain’t England but bale alone is nuff to kill. I was impresssd how they didn’t implode after the second goal

    Overall I give our game 7.5-8 out of ten
    Job done

    On to the next

    What are some results we are looking for in the other games??

  21. CroatiaU14 says:

    We are hoping for a tie today between Hungary and Azerbaijan or Hungary to lose. We then want Wales to beat Hungary.

  22. BZ says:

    How did I not know the game was today?
    Sounds like Modric, Brozo, Perisic locked it down.

    Read a British article which said something about Kramaric inexplicably being offside, which negated a goal by Kovacic!? Apparently it would have negated a great move and goal by Brekalo too.

    Say it isn’t so! Can I start a kickstarter to bring Mandzukic back?

    Next meaningful game, let’s start Rebic and Perisic at wings. Put Brekalo at RB and Jedvaj at LB. Unless of course Vrsaljko is back.

  23. Maminjo says:

    I didn’t see the slow motion replay on that Kovačić goal… But so what if Krama was in an offside position.

    He was not involved in the play at all.

  24. Maminjo says:


    We don’t need a kickstarter to bring Mandžo back.

    He slowed down at the end of the season, and will continue to do so next year too. It’s what happens to older players, and we need to be careful not to fill our squad and rely too much on dudes entering their mid 30s.

    We need to continue to start Brekalo and possibly Jedvaj to build that chemistry.
    We need to begin integrating Vlašić into the starting lineup as well…and play Filip Benković and Ćaleta-Car in the back if they continue to perform at their club.

    The only “old” dudes we should be starting are Perišić, Modrić and Rakitić.

    Vida and Lovren should be monitored closely, especially if they are not playing first team football at their clubs.

    Seniority should not come into play, especially if Benković wins a starting gig at Leicester and Ćaleta-Car continues to start at Marseilles.

    The entire 2019 year should be a prep for the Euros.

  25. Drek says:

    How many times do we have scoring options with the end result having the ball blasted 2 yards over the cross bar?
    Beyond frustrating!!

  26. CroatiaU14 says:

    @Maminjo I agree about letting the young guys have a chance. We gotta make our depth a lot stronger, like shown today when we brought our subs on and they almost costed us the game.

    I fee that we are now in a great position after this win. I’m confident that we will be playing in the Euro in 2020.

  27. Maminjo says:


    Or play them where they are most comfortable.

    I didn’t like seeing Pašalić at RW.
    Lots of experimentation going on, but it’s completely unnecessary.

    We have multiple players at pretty much every position.
    Not sure why Dalić is trying to reinvent the wheel here with Rog at RB, Santini, Livaja, Brekalo at RB, now Pašalić on the wing… He’s never going to use this in a tournament.

  28. Maminjo says:

    Livaković in net was the right call.

    Kalinić would have botched one of those on target shots. It probably would’ve been a 2-2 draw if he played.

  29. CroatiaU14 says:

    @Maminjo…I agree about Pašalić playing at RW. He doesn’t have the pace and dribbling abilities to be a winger. Not sure why Dalić even subbed Brekalo out, unless it was because of the fear of a second yellow but I doubt it

  30. BZ says:

    Just watched highlights.

    @Maminjo-Kramaric was in the most inexplicable position on that offside. He actually got called for the offside on Brekalo’s shot. He was absolutely in a position that is considered part of the play. Weird, rookie-like mistake.
    Not going to even mention missing the sitter, cause it was a decent save.

    Playing random youth, playing old mediocre players, and playing guys out of position. Strange days, especially when Dalic doesn’t repeat a successful experiment eg Brekalo at RB, Jedvaj at LB, & Vrsaljko at LB.

  31. Soul Champ says:

    Thank god for Osijek!!

    Best June match I have seen in years.

    Modrić is still his genius Self.

    Brekalo is the truth.

    Halilovic was made for this one as the game opened up.

    Perišić was percolating.

    Kovačić was solid.

    Brozovic balled out.

    Livakovic represented.

    Dalić ?? Respect the 3 points ..

    Solid game plan .. but would have liked to see earlier subs on a hot day.

    Halilovic would have attacked tired legs.

    Pasalic instead of Badelj.

    ALL young players Tuesday please.

    Modrić to get proper holiday and give 1-2 more years of mythical level of play.

  32. Slavonac from Canada says:

    This was not an impressive win if you ask me…and thank God Perisic was interested in playing today! Perisic is just dominant whenever he is on (I always feel like his mental game goes up and down)…games like today…damn he’s dangerous.

    Brekalo did decent today, I do agree we need to keep giving him opportunities but he’s far from being a real good, full time option.

    I’m not sure if watching the game on my iPhone screwed my view but based on what I saw, I thought Lovren was steady today…not sure why the negative comments?

    I have a beef with Kramaric. Yeah, he can score but for goodness sake is he ever a downer to play alongside. What bothers me the most about him is he only passes the ball when he’s completely covered and has tried every single option to do things himself…and that’s very frustrating to play with a guy like him. He throws out every logical rule in the game. Sometimes I see players making and outside run and he’ll take every effort to go at defenders instead of doing the right thing and making the pass…them once he loses it, not only is he caught but so are two or 3 other players!

    Livakovic did well today, I was happy for the guy!

    Cutest thing was Vida’s son before the game, lining up with his dad during the anthems!

  33. Facts says:

    Today was not an easy game. Injuries and weather. They played at 3pm and it was hot af out there. They stopped for water breaks. It was a tough game and luckily we got 3 points

  34. BZ says:

    Two biggest things learned over the last few days:

    Reports of Luka’s demise have been greatly exaggerated
    Reports of Serbia’s rise have been greatly exaggerated

  35. Anonymous says:

    @vuki. Olmo is the best we got. Again fifa rules allows this even though he has played for Spain. I went through the rules back and forth. He gas not been capped by the senior squad. He meets all the requirements to play for Hrv. If any lawyers out there please correct me.

  36. Soul Champ says:

    @ Slavonac

    I owe you a pivo.

    Kramaric breakdown was your best yet!

    I played basketball so I couldn’t quite articulate what was going on with Kramaric.

    He lacks understanding of group movement.

    Perišić also waits to pass to him as well.

    Modrić balances all that BS out with his group genius awareness.

  37. Razbijač says:

    @ Slavonac

    I felt Kramaric lacked urgency and wasn’t really fighting for the ball and pressing. He looks like someone too comfortable out there, knowing there is no one real competition for his position.

    @ BZ

    Krama was just standing there on that play, just showing the lack of hustle to get back into an onside position while the play was developing.

    @ CroatiaU14

    I think he subbed out Brekalo because of the yellow card, he just wanted to play it safe.

    So he subs Pasalic in there in the 66min, prolly ’cause there are no other RW options and he doesn’t trust Halilovic yet. (Pasalic is ideally suited in the AM or CM positions).

    But Pasalic had one nice defense splitting pass to put Krama in on goal.

    And I can’t believe David Brooks, a rookie, sold Badelj on that pull back–and mind you Badelj was fresh and just came on.

    @ BZ

    We are the ENVY of all Balkan nations. They wish their football was as good as ours. To compare Serbia to Croatia, is like comparing Bolivia to Argentina. That’s how great the gap is.

  38. Maminjo says:

    Hey man. We’re helping the rest of the former Yugo countries with what we are doing.

    If Luka Jović were called Lucas Jones… There is no way Real drops that kind of money on him.

    The only reason why people are dropping money on Serbs and Bosanci is because they think they’re the same shit as Croats.

    Unfortunately, Serb players have a waaay higher bust rate than Croats. It’s incredible how many of their youngsters have flopped.

  39. Medo says:

    Hence the envy of our success at the World Cup …if there was 1% of Serbs Bosnians or macs rooting for us in the final I would be shocked.
    Our success Forces Them to look at their constant failures and realize we are superior,though they would never admit it!

  40. Maminjo says:

    Makedonci generally cheer for Croatia in sports… much more than they would for Serbia. I recall when we were all in the same qualifying group, there were Maci fans wearing checkers when they were playing the Serbs.

    I think about 10% of Serbs and Bošnjaci cheered for Cro at the World Cup. But it was largely those who are being Yugo nostalgic and try to associate Croatian success with some sort of regional Yugoslav success.

  41. crnkovic says:

    i watched the game twice. i think it was a really good performance. lovren was almost perfect. Barisic was very good, i like him, he is solid. brekalo played well. kramaric was absolutely brilliant it was his movement that allowed us to open space and create chances. kovacic had a solid game in midfield. modric was at his brilliant best. jedvaj looked very confident. livakovic was safe. what pleased me most was the rhythm the team played with, using forward passing to bypass midfield and release runners with third man movement. the first goal came from that. ball from vida all the way into kramaric feet, lay off back to luka and a first time through ball into space ahead of perisic. too often we have seen sideways passing and trying to attack on the wings or from the fullbacks crossing. a slow build up. yesterdays game we looked far more fluid and able to penetrate the wales defence often. if the forwrds had been more clinical it could have been a big score. overall very impressed. we have talked about the need to play quicker more incisive football now that mandzukic is not there. to benefit our ball players. i saw that yesterday so it bodes very well moving forward

  42. Soul Champ says:

    @ Maminjo

    “If Luka Jović were called Lucas Jones… There is no way Real drops that kind of money on him.”

    Best line ever !!

    Dražen Petrović did the same for basketball players .. Darko Milicic ??

    Lovren actually looked fresh and fast from his lack of usage this season. He looked healthy.

    They showed a clip of him recovering on Bale break away and he looked explosive, he does get turned and allows left footed shot, but he shows his recovery speed.

    Funny Bale actually looked RUSTY and not sharp, like a man who has been riding the pine.

    Defensive players can come in and put in a shift from a long lay off but forwards need to be in rhythm.

    Someone tell Bale you don’t attempt to shove Modrić off the field under any circumstance. My 7 year old daughter noticed and wasn’t having it!

  43. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    I agree with @Crnković. We corrected the biggest mistakes from the past two matches by using our possession to attack the goal and by actually scoring on our two best-created chances. We didn’t have so many clear chances at the goal because of bad angles, from the side, so it was important to score when we did. The players were working well together, too.

  44. Kruno says:

    Why the hell would you want Olmo? First he’s not that good. Second, and even more importantly to me, he’d rather play for Spain—-if he could. Eduardo was a special case. He came as a teenager and had a real connection to our culture and married a Croat. Croatia plays well when they get on a roll and start feeling the national pride.

  45. crnkovic says:

    we dont need olmo. i am a huge fan of ivanusec. he could be our best player. but i’ve started to temper my expectations of young players. talent is not enough, they need dedication, wise advice on carrer pathh, and a bit of luck

  46. crnkovic says:

    10 years ago what type of young players did we have coming through? now we have vlasic, brekalo, ivanusec, halilovic, coric, majer, all attacking midfielders who dribble and create and score goals. olmo is another one in the same mould. we dont need olmo, we dont need pulisic. we need our guys to continue to improve thats all

  47. crnkovic says:

    coric needs to stop playing fortnite and concentrate on his athleticism so he can become the genius playmaker he is

  48. crnkovic says:

    i think the problem with coric (just a guess) is that he missed out on some of his youth with so much pressure on him to succeed from a very young age. now he just wants to chill out and relax. hopefully he can get that out of his system quickly. he should be the first at training and the last to leave each day. perfecting his fitness, technique and tactical awareness. he could become truly worldclass, that has to be more fun than playing computer games

  49. Don’t be gay like Crnkovic says:

    I judge DaSilva by what he said after that
    Turkish match, He said he kicked his Tv
    Off in disgust. Good enough for me.

  50. Drek says:

    Lovren did play well but he allowed that long throw in over his head which gave Wales a great scoring opportunity.
    Kova can’t catch a break…guy hasn’t scored in ages and a bs offside goal takes it away from him.

  51. Maminjo says:

    We really need to practice defending the long throw ins.


    So, do you think bringing slowpoke Rakitic back in the lineup will hurt our fast play?

  52. Razbijač says:

    Coupla things…

    Anyone notice Bale’s long throw-in in the 9th minute? That was something! As it created a scoring opportunity out of nothing.

    I think we need to incorporate that weapon. And have a coupla guys work on their throwing skills. It could really take the opposition by surprise.

    Also, given we’ll likely have the majority of the possession going forward, we need to improve on free-kicks. Since many of these less technical sides we’ll foul us to stop the flow of our attack.

    And I like how yesterday, Vatreni were tighter on set pieces. That’s been the achilles heel of late.

  53. . .Crnkovic says:


    Yes I think it’s possible. However he plays for Barca so he should be able to cope just fine. In fact if the rest of the team are bright with lots of movement it could bring the best out of him. When we go sideways there is a lack of forward movement and rakitic then can’t use his long passing. He can play the deeper role

  54. . .Crnkovic says:

    Against Spain in Zagreb he looked much more aggressive than he often does. It’s up to him to play in top gear

  55. Goku says:

    “Jamon Iberico says:
    5 yellow cards against. Was the referee’s mother a serb or gypsy?”

    lol i think the ref was romanian so that makes him a gypsy

  56. Croat Canadian says:

    Good win..they defended well, played consistent, produced chances and it payed off. But they can’t get ahead of themselves. The Bratislava match will be extremely tough in September.

  57. CroatiaU14 says:

    @Crnković I agree. Ivanušeć is very, very talented. His style of play actually reminds me of Xavi in his prime with Barca. He can dribble and move the ball with precision, and score if he has the chance. Ivanušeć is most likely going to make a move to Dinamo this summer, according to reports in Croatia. It would be a pleasure to watch him alongside Moro, Sunjić, and Majer next season. I saw something about Man United having interest in Moro, a little while back. It’s best for him though to stay at Dinamo and develop. He had an outstanding season. Him and Palaversa have the potential to be two very strong CDMs or just CMs for us.

    @Soul Champ Brekalo is the truth! He played an outstanding game yesterday, probably impressed some big clubs if they were watching.

    Our wingers were on fire yesterday. Imagine Marin and Brekalo starting at the wings in a couple of years. If both reach their potentials, that would be nuts. We’d have a ton of speed on the sidelines. Next qualifier we gottta go like this.

    Barišić.Vida.Lovren.Vrsaljko (if healthy)

    Bring on Kramarić later in the game as a sub. He didn’t impress me much yesterday. We gotta show him that his starting spot isn’t guaranteed. Maybe we could also play Vida at LB, and play Benković at CB with Lovren. I was impressed with Livaković yesterday. Not only his goalkeeping, but also his morale and communication with the defense. We need that from the back.

    As I like to say, the future is bright.

  58. BZ says:

    Again, Olmo would be our 7th best wing at best. Keep our team with Croatian blood, this ain’t club football.

  59. BZ says:

    @Raz-teams have created havoc on us with throw ins (ie Wales, Denmark etc) I like when we take quick throw-ins (Perisic does it well, but it requires hustle by others), but we don’t have that great long throw.

    I still think we suffer in set pieces, because we grab less than others ever since the new rules were implemented. Refs will give us no leeway, unlike when other teams tackle us (Mandzukic in World Cup) without fear of being penalized.

    I’d hire a Dutch/Icelandic consultant to teach our boys some set piece defense and throw-in offense.

  60. . .Crnkovic says:

    @croatia u14. I think ivanusec is more like iniesta than Xavi, because Xavi could never dribble. In fact the player ivanusec reminds me of the most is Paul gascoigne

  61. . .Crnkovic says:

    Also trust me guys kramaric was good against Wales. He just didn’t score. The rest of his game was top standard. His movement, touch, awareness. He is a false 9 he pulls the defence out of position creating space for others. If he bags the goal at the end we say he was great. It was a good save from Hennessy but kramaric created that chance with his movement and skill.he had another similar chance in the first half but shot just over after cutting inside two defenders with class. He also created the own goal with his movement to come short and take the ball from Vida, lay it off to Luka then get in the box for the cut back by perisic, which he would have scored if not for the own goal. So he could easily have scored 3 goals on another day. He is a very good player and he worked very hard for the team. Give him a break

  62. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Crnkovic, you’re confusing the Krama situation. Nobody here said he doesn’t make good runs and gets into good positions. He’s just a selfish prick once he gets the ball and it throws off his teammates that make their runs

  63. Maminjo says:

    Kramarić is our most lethal finisher.

    It’s just a shame he has such tunnel vision when he is in the box with the ball.

  64. Horvat says:

    Just watched the game.

    Don’t know what people are talking about. Other than the last 15 minutes, our boys played well, most especially considering the heat and time of year.

    Agree with Crnkovic 100%. Kramaric was good. He’s way better than Mandzukic!

    Selfish? People don’t make any sense. Strikers are supposed to be hungry to score. Why would he pass the ball if he is in just as good of a position to score. Especially if it’s from a position he often scores from.

    People always find something to complain about. When players pass the ball around to much, everyone’s yelling, “shoot, shoot!”

  65. Horvat says:

    Other than Mandzukic’s tap in goals and hard pressing he offered nothing. How many games was he totally invisible over the years?

    I love Dalic! First time Croatia has ever had a solid coach. I wouldn’t trade him in for anybody else on the planet. However, I think he made a HUGE mistake starting Mandzo over Kramaric. Hard to complain though considering we made it to the finals. Mandzo was our weakest link by far!

  66. Suba says:

    No one is dumping on Kramaric but I think people are just noticing some bad attitude by him

    If Kramaric thinks there’s no more improvement in him he will never take that next step up

    Some of his choices I am afraid can cost us in big moments

    All i am suggesting is that management keep a close eye on him and start finding alternatives to the Kramaric option up front

    I wonder if there will be such defenders of Andrej when he screws up at a big tournament

    No wonder Mamic had an issue with him

  67. Maminjo says:


    I’m sure Serbs getting trounced 5-0 had a bit to do with the Ukrainian national team not being too appreciative of Serbian Chetnik volunteers going to Ukraine to fight with the Russians in that conflict.

  68. Maminjo says:


    Dalic is good, but he makes his mistakes here and there.

    I notice that he likes to experiment alot, but kinda stupid experiments that he will likely never use in a tournament (so it kinda is moot to do them in the first place).

    He also seems to LOVE LOVE LOVE subbing out his best winger at the 65 minute mark.

    He did this to Perisic twice in the World Cup, and he did it yesterday with Brekalo.

    The two Perisic subs in the World Cup (against Denmark and Russia) almost cost us dearly. Perisic cracked the post in both those games, and then was subbed out, lol. Dude was the most effective player on the pitch in both games, and it was only a matter of time until he scored. Luckily we got through anyway.

    Yesterday, he got cute and subbed out Brekalo when he shouldn’t have. He also pandered to the crowd and subbed in local favorite (Skoric) when the game was still within reach for Wales (who had the momentum). He has to be smarter than this.

    Either way, I’m glad he learned from his goaltending mistake at the World Cup (when he stuck with an injured Subasic in the finals)…by switching to Livakovic this game. That was a key change that needed to happen. If Kalinic was in goal, we don’t get the three points.

  69. Horvat says:

    Agree about his substitutions.

    The good thing is that he seems to learn from his mistakes.

  70. . .Crnkovic says:

    Can you kramaric “watchers” please point out a moment of “selfishness” in the Wales game?? Honestly like a bunch of medieval villagers some of you. “He’s a witch!!”

  71. . .Crnkovic says:

    Yes at the world cup he should 100 percent have passed the ball to perisic on more than one occasion. Yes he stole a hat trick from his strike partner at Hoffenheim for absolutely no good reason which is frankly embarrassing. But judge from what we see. Who’s to say the boys didn’t sit him down and tell him straight already?

  72. . .Crnkovic says:

    Also agree some of dalic decisions as bit strange. You realise skoric is a central defender? He came on for perisic but played in attack. With the team defending a 2-1 lead!!!!

  73. BZ says:

    Skoric plays for Osijek, it was a combination between a defensive and a player ovation type move. Had Wales tiedit up, we’d all be asking WTF Dalic?

    Yes we dominated 66% of the game vs a clearly inferior team.
    That said, funny how some of you guys think the heat should only impact us. I would think we would get stronger as the game went on, as the Welsh aren’t used to the Croatian heat.

    I like the funny joke above about picking Kramaric over Mandzukic, that was rich.

  74. BZ says:

    You watched the game right? Skoric was originally coming on for Luka, but Perisic got hurt as the change was about to be made, so Skoric came on for Perisic instead.

    Why sub Luka out?
    -Best player on field that day.
    -He is fit as a fiddle
    -is used to playing full minutes in LaLiga.
    -no upcoming game for months.

    I like Dalic, but he is pulling some dopey moves (even in the World Cup), and deserves to be called out for them.

    Can we all agree Badelj should just retire, and make way for the younger generation? Poor Dalic is forced to give him minutes like a washed up tenured professor at your local juco.

  75. BZ says:

    Weird situation for those who wanted to see our young guys play Tunisia.

    Tunisia game is june 11, but U-21 team has a friendly on June 12th.
    Was hoping to see Brekalo and Halilovic etc, but might be more like Pasalic, Bradaric, Rog, Petkovic, Skoric, Caktas etc. Boring.

  76. Suba says:

    Crnkovic there’s no witch hunt out for kramaric

    You need to face the fact that he is a polarising figure where u either love him or have reservations

    No one hates kramaric but we are not going to make out he’s the next suker when he’s clearly not

  77. Miloš Hvar says:

    Huge huge huge three points. Brekalo is the truth, I was bummed to see him subbed off. We really don’t need Badelj in anymore. Kinda of a waste. Livakovic was good, agree with others in here that If Kalinic was in net the game might not have ended in the fortunate result that it did. With the players that were missing this game was setup to be one that got passed us but we put our heads down and got an important 3 points. Now we can feel good for the summer and focus on cheering on the u21s!

  78. Slavonac from Canada says:

    “Other than Mandzukic’s tap in goals and hard pressing he offered nothing”

    I’m not even sure how to respond to this? The difference between watching a game and noticing the value of a player comes down to understanding players, understanding their roles, understanding the team strategy, understanding the game…comparing two very different players is one thing but saying Krama should have started over Mandzukic at the World Cup clearly demonstrates a complete lack of soccer knowledge and a total lack of player knowledge as well!

    WTF!!!: “Mandzo was our weakest link by far!”

    I’ll leave this here!

    This speaks for itself!

    Let me remind some of you that there was almost a revolution on this site, partially lead by Crnkovic. so many were calling for Mandzukic to sit on the bench and start Nikola Kalinic…well…these same people are now stating Krama isn’t doing anything wrong!

    Yes, every striker has to be somewhat selfish, we all know this BUT there are circumstances when you have to do the right thing.

    If, during the England game at the WC, England tied it up…we would all be talking about how Kramaric did the absolute biggest bone-headed play and instead of passing to Perisic for an open net easy goal, he opted to shoot from an angle he’d miss 9/10 times.That really isn’t my arguement about him though. I watch his receive the ball 22-25 yards away from the goal and he simply doesn’t look for his passing options…and that fucks up everyone else around him!

    I honestly can’t believe some of you can’t see that! It’s frustrating and can cause a lot of issues in the changing room!

  79. Horvat says:


    What soccer knowledge do you have that the rest of us don’t?

    Who ever suggeted Kramaric has no faults? Is Mandzukic without faults?

    Prior to the world cup, most people were certain Keamaric was going to start. Many of us were shocked when we saw Mandzo in the starting lineup, but it’s hard to complain when the team is doing well.

    In my opinion, Kramaric is as underrated as Mandzukic is overrated.

  80. Horvat says:

    Please answer this question since you are the self proclaimed expert on this site.

    If we had Suker right now, where would he play? As a centre forward? Winger? Second striker? Bench?

    Please kindly provide your reasons why. He was certainly not a pressing, hard working, and defending beast.

  81. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Kramaric is an excellent striker, I agree…BUT to state that “Other than Mandzukic’s tap in goals and hard pressing he offered nothing” is definitely telling! You also said “Mandzo was our weakest link by far”…I really don’t know where to begin with comments like these!

    Prior to the World Cup, this site was opting for Kalinic. Kramaric was the 3rd option…. Kalinic and Mandzukic were considered before Krama. I remember it well!

    I was never shocked to see Mandzukic start at the WC. As I mentioned a few times before…what can I possibly say to a person that degrades the play of Mandzukic? Even when Kramaric scored his goal vs Russia, it was Mandzukic that set him up and if the roles were reversed, Kramaric would have tried to shoot and we would never have scored on that play.

  82. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Are you comparing Suker to Mandzukic? or to Kramaric? Suker was an incredible finisher and he’d never be on the bench when he was in form…not sure what you’re getting at?

  83. Horvat says:

    Kramaric is a technical player and finisher like Suker. Mandzukic is a workhorse and beast in the box that cannot dribble, shoot, make plays, etc…

    If we had Suker right now, would he be our center forward over Mandzukic?

    If so, why is it so inappropriate to start Kramaric over Mandzo?

  84. Horvat says:

    Don’t remember what people on this site were saying before the world cup, but the Croatian media and comments on their websites were confident that Kramaric was the man. I remember being shocked when Mandzukic started in the opening match. When Kramaric was subbed in, the look on his face also suggested he was unhappy about not starting.

  85. CroatiaU14 says:

    A big part of soccer is also presence. Mandžukić was big and strong, and probably intimidating to go against. Kramarić, even though I agree that he’s better technically, doesn’t offer that much of that.

  86. Horvat says:

    Every time Kramaric gets the ball in the final third he’s a threat.

    He can dribble, pass, shoot from anywhere on the pitch, AND finish. He is very similar to Suker.

  87. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Kramaric is NO Suker, not even close!

    If Suker was here, Mandzukic might get minutes for a strategical game but Suker would be the starter.

    Kramaric is 28 so lets compare apples to apples between him and Suker:

    Both started in Croatian clubs:

    Suker had 74 goals in 151 games = 0.49 goals per game
    Kramaric had 67 goals in 128 games = 0.52 goals per game

    Once they left Croatia until the age of 28 to make a fair comparison and playing abroad:

    Suker had 76 goals in 153 games = 0.50 goals per game
    Kramaric has 52 goals in 128 games – 0.41 goals per game

    in his 10 years at the National Team, Suker scored 45 goals in 69 games = 0.65 goals per game

    in his 5 years with the National Team Kramaric has 13 goals in 45 games = 0.29 goals per game

    Overall, Krama is an excellent striker but he’s also a selfish player and less effective

    I’ll throw in Mandzukic’s stats cause you think he’s shit!

    in Croatia: 70 goals in 155 games = 0.45 goals per game

    Mandzo until he was 28 abroad:

    Mandzo had 65 goals in 138 games = 0.47 goals per game

    don’t forget Mandzukic has scored BIG goals in Champions League and he won the Champions League as the main started up front.

    Mandzo with National Team had 33 goals in 89 games over 11 years = 0.37 goals per game

    With regards to Kramaric…for now, he’s not on Suker’s level but there is still time!

  88. Horvat says:

    Kramaric’s stats with the national team are deceptive because most of the time he has come off the bench or played as a winger, second striker or attacking midfielder.

    This is precisely why I’m so happy Mandzo has retired. Watch the goals Kramaric is going to start scoring now! I’m bitter because I’m sure he would have been scoring like crazy the last four years were he starting regularly.

  89. . .Crnkovic says:

    What I’m saying is why can’t we just respect the that players have different qualities. I like kramaric I also like mandzukic. I also recognised that kalinic was a good player. Just respect the players. Respect the opponent’s. Just analyse without playing this childish game of always hating on someone or something

  90. Slavonac from Canada says:

    we can respect every player Crnkovic, but this is a forum where opinions are shared and debated…even criticized.

    you chose Kalinic over Mandzo and thats fine. I chose Mandzo over Kalinic and Krama…and I tried to make my point as to why. Back then, just over a year ago, so many people believed and followed you and your opinions while I tried to not come across as the negative guy…but damn it was hard to swallow the fact that almost all of you wanted Kalinic over Mandzo.

    We are now 1 year later and all I’m doing is proving a point. My point is that I believe I was right and I stated why…this is the same argument I am now having with Horvat regarding Krama. I think Kramaric is a great goalscorer, but he is sometimes frustrating to play with cause he doesn’t release the ball at times, when he should.

    Kalinic was never National Team material, in my opinion. Maybe for a team like Azerbaijan or San Marino but other than that he really sucks!

  91. Poglavnik says:

    Pretty sure the thought of Kalinic starting any match has never crossed my mind.
    I was impressed with him once in my life. His goal against Spain.

  92. Medo says:

    Slavonac goals per minutes played would be a more accurate barometer of effectiveness,though this would take done time to calculate.
    How many times has Krama come off the bench for the repka where Mario pretty much started every game other than his first year.
    Krama would no doubt look far better using this formula.

  93. Dannyj says:

    Forget this debate anyways
    We are where we are
    We have Rebic and Kramaric for our up front options
    Rebic has that pressing and similar presence to Mandzo
    Kramaric has a sweet touch. He does need to learn how to dish it off
    Perisic Rakitic Modric vida or Something like that need to set him straight
    If he can just improve that then watch out
    He has 3-4 years still do become elite

    Mandzo can’t be replaced. He is a special player and while at times disappeared for us he generally gave his all and that’s all we can ask for

    Perisic and Rebic I can’t imagine will put up with Kramaric for too long with bone head selfish plays
    Not striker selfish plays that need to be done

  94. Dannyj says:

    So appears like Rakitic takes a break while luka plays his ass off
    Respect to Rakitic for years of service but that’s why luka deserves to be captain right there

  95. Dannyj says:

    Was really hoping the kids would play against Tunisia

    What’s the story with Caleta car?
    I heard some stuff bout poor attitude
    Any truth to that

  96. crnkovic says:

    Slavonac. I made a case for Kalinic not because I didn’t rate mandzukic or kramaric. I made a case because he was so poorly regarded on this site. My case was not about his attitude which cleary was poor. It was about the technical and tactical considerations that a coach needs to think about when building a team. It was to do with Kalinics movement and his silky touch at times. he was and is a very subtle footballer. he did more than score against spain, he also created perisics winner in the same game with impressive calm and quality. his goal against greece in the play off to qualify for Russia was a thing of beauty, he started the move with a beautiful clever backheel flick, and finished the move with another subtle flick. in between the two flicks his movement pulled the greek defence into no mans land. these are qualities of a very very good player. I see with the eyes of a coach. Mario has lots of qualities, his touch and awareness are very underated. his cross to kramaric vs russia showed he can create as well as score tap ins and hustle defenders. But he could never do what kalinic was capable of doing. in the same way, Kramaric is not only a selfish finisher, he has other qualities which are under appreciated. From day one on this site I have tried to bring attention to some of the qualities which our players have. In particular those qualities which go un-noticed to the untrained eye. I’m a supporter of our boys. Not a fanboy of certain players…

  97. crnkovic says:

    i’ve argued in favour of badelj, rog, coric, THE GOD of halilovic, pjaca, brekalo….heck when i first came on this site I had to argue in favour of Luka!! I seem to remember a long argument with someone who claimed that to get anywhere you need players like bale not modric. i pointed out that football is a subtle game, where intelligence is king. not raw speed or power…

  98. crnkovic says:

    at the same time, later on people started saying we could just play luka as an attacking midfieder in the true 10 mould. i pointed out this wouldn’t work and gave detailed analysis of why.. I just try to give a positive, yet honest, and insightful perspective on our team and football in general. why some people have such a problem with that i don’t know. BTW plenty of other people here make a lot of great comments and analysis as well. usually when someone says something i agree with or i think is interesting i don’t tend to comment. i just read it and think “yes”. i guess arguing and debating is the fun bit sometimes. so go on Slavonac…..shoot!

  99. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Crnkovic, I think we can see a unique quality in so many…if not all players. Whatever qualities Kalinic had that were positive, he lost any serious consideration because he just was a very poor battler and had a defeated attitude. I can talk about any player and rave about his touch and qualities but at the end of the day it comes down to their effective overall play and results.

    I have a lot of respect for Kramaric’s qualities, I see his runs, I like his twists and turns on the ball. He’s tricky, has an excellent fake and then release, he gets in behind defenders…all excellent qualities. Players have to have good judgement as well. If someone is in a better position then the selfishness has to stop…otherwise there can be issues down the road!

  100. crnkovic says:

    BTW, the performance against wales was influenced by the relative success of sarri ball. kovacic had an excellent game because he had freedom to move the way sarri midfielders move. so his season at chelsea was a big help to us. sarri plays attacking inside forwards with a false 9 and fluid rotation in midfield. that suits our players

  101. crnkovic says:

    in contrast at the world cup we played with a target man and wingers. using a high press from the midfield 2 in front of an anchor man. so the tactic has completely changed. that takes hard work from the coaches and players. happy to see it pay off with 3 points

  102. Stef T.O says:

    Please DO NOT compare Kramaric to Suker, stop with the madness. Suker was a killer in front of goal where Kramaric can’t score the simple goals. He scores the impossible goals all the time. I rather have someone that can finish when it counts. Unfortunately Mandza was the guy. Irreplaceable big game player.

  103. Anonymous says:

    @Slavonac from Canada

    Man you talk a lot of shit, you’ve never even played the game, you’re just a Mandzukic fanboy.

    Here’s what happened, at the last Euro qualifying and final tournament itself Mandzukic was a fucking liability that got carried. What were you saying though, “he’s not getting the service he needs” lol. So you were even calling him great when he sucked, blaming others around him lol, fanboy.
    So how the fuck are you supposed to get credit when he hit a purple patch in his mother land Russia, lol you were praising him when he was doing fuck all, that’s what a fanboy does.

    Didn’t Mandzukic score 20 of his NT goals against San Marino and Gibraltar?

    What did you think when Mandzukic said recently if Croatia didn’t do well in mother Russia he would of kept playing for the NT?
    So the liability that was carried for years, hits a purple patch and then retires. Not that I give a shit because I never liked that cunt anyway.

    Just remember Football fan from Iceland was questioning Croatia’s work rate well before the WC, while you little muppets were talking about Strinic and Lovren costing us.

    I makes me laugh when I see you muppets talking about the “high press” now.


    You’ve never played the game, so there’s a lot you wouldn’t understand, but keep trying lol!

  104. Anonymous says:


    Did you know the Kalinic goal against Spain was the only time in that tournament that a striker got service?

    Mandzukic played 3 times and didn’t get service once.

  105. Poglavnik says:

    So in 390 minutes of Euro 2016 football our strikers got a total of 1 ball that was serviceable?
    I find that hard to believe.
    Much like most of your bs.

  106. Anonymous says:


    “I find that hard to believe.”

    Take it up with Slavonac you simpleton, that’s what he said, “Mandzukic needs service” lol?

    How many goals did Mandzukic score at the Euros?

  107. Nostrodumbass says:

    This is a site based on debate,differing viewpoints,and people who do not always agree.
    Is it really a reason to get your knickers in a twist?We are arguing over grown men who kick a ball after all.
    A person a lot wiser than myself once said”We all lose when bullying and personal attacks become a substitute for genuine conversation and personal disagreement”
    It says a lot about someone when they resort to insults just because someone does not agree with them.

  108. Miloš Hvar says:

    I like how Kovacic played. Guy has taken some heat the past year but he put in a strong performance for us. Poor guy can’t catch a break with that goal being disallowed lol

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