free counters

Tunisia Beats Croatia 2-1 On Penalty, Petković Scores 1st Goal For Vatreni

June 10, 2019


Bruno Petković scores his 1st goal in Croatian checkers



Croatia Starting XI: Sluga – Vida, Lovren, Benković – Brekalo, Kovačić, Badelj, Pašalić, Melnjak – Kramarić, Petković
For those of you worrying about Tunisia beating Croatia 2-1 in a friendly. Don’t.



The Tunisians are headed to the African Cup of Nations. The Croatians are headed to the beach! Silver lining: Dinamo’s Bruno Petković scored his first goal in the Croatian checkers!



Some new, young faces got the start for the Vatreni Tuesday night in Varaždin and it showed on Tunisia’s opening goal as Anice Badri was left wide open on the back post following a counter-attack. With manager Zlatko Dalić electing a new 3-5-2 formation for this friendly, there was tons of miscommunication at the back as Tunisia hit Croatia with three shots on goal and five corner kicks on the day. Croatia did not manage one shot on goal in the first half of play.



The one positive from this match: Dinamo Zagreb’s Bruno Petković scored his first goal for Croatia two minutes after the break to tie the game up at 1-1. Petković faked out his defender inside the box and slotted the ball home off the left post. It was a great response out of the locker room but Croatia couldn’t get past a decent Tunisia side – who played in the 2018 World Cup – as a Vida handball in the box led to the game winning penalty in the 70th minute.



The main concern in these friendlies is for no one no get hurt – which they didn’t. And the same goes for the U-21 players who are headed to Italy next week for Euro 2019. Big things are expected from the Mladi Vatreni, as a top-four finish will see Croatia book their first ticket to the summer Olympics.


Croatia-Tunisia Match Highlights




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 134 comments

  1. Maminjo says:

    Hopefully we can use this to experiment appropriately.

    Try out Benković, and see how he plays with Lovren.

    Give Halilović a good amount of minutes with Modrić and Brozović and see how it works.

    Play both Perišić and Kramarić, and hope that they can develop at least a tiny bit of chemistry (sigh)

  2. Goku says:

    Hope to see Karlo Bartolec at RB. Benkovic-Lovren would be dope. Start Barisic and sub in Melnjak. Throw in Mijo Caktas for shiet and giggles and make the hajduk fans a little happy

  3. Goku says:

    I’m pretty excited for this game. Just sit back and relax..unlike Wales where I was pissin my pants

  4. Maminjo says:

    That Wales game was huge.

    Croatia ALWAYS fucks up in June after the long season, with half the players banged up, with their eyes on the Jadransko more.
    I can’t remember the last time we had a great June.

    Next games are in September, when the new football season is just starting, and everyone is match fit with few injuries.

    Getting a win at home against Wales was our most important game, and got it done.

  5. Maminjo says:


    Well, a Hungary win today wouldn’t be terrible.

    It’s a Hungary home game, so it’s not like it would be something that would put Hungary far and away from us.

    Remember, nobody in this group has done anything out of the ordinary. Nobody has won a game on the road. All have been home wins. Until a team wins a road game, then they are someone that has an advantage over the others.

    If Hungary wins today, they are 3 point ahead of us…but having played one more game than us AND we still play them in Croatia. That’s not an advantage.

    However, if Wales win today (in Hungary)…this means they did something we didn’t…and we make have to make up for it by getting a result (at least a draw) in Wales, in order to prevent Wales from getting an advantage over us.

    It’s easiest to just root for draws.
    I’m hoping that all our opponents lose points to each other and just collect draws. :)

  6. Pavo says:

    I think its ok if Hungary gets the win. Let them think they are running away with it. It also means that the other teams don’t get points. Hungary still have to come to Cro, that’s or chace to top them. 2 horse race including us is better than everyone battling it out.

  7. Maminjo says:

    Just looking at the standings now…

    and Wales has already played their toughest games in Slovakia, Croatia and now Hungary (with two games being away games).

    Coming out of that with wins over Slovakia and Hungary (and an expected away loss in Croatia) is actually very good.

    It’s better that today’s result is a draw…and quite possibly even a Hungary win.

  8. Maminjo says:


    I agree.

    We still have a game in Croatia against Hungary. Very unlikely we lose that. However, an away game in Wales can be tricky.

    Would prefer that Wales doesn’t pull any surprise victories.

  9. vuki says:

    Are we sure the u21 guys are available? I remember reading somewhere that the plan was for them to be at the Wales match and then join the u21 team?

  10. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    Croatia has had a couple of pretty bad Septembers too… The thing to do is approach every match like a must-win until we clinch qualification. That seems to be Dalić’s attitude, so maybe the players will finally approach qualifiers that way too.

  11. CroatiaU14 says:

    Unrelated to the friendly today, but Transfermarkt claims that Rebić will most likely make a move to Inter or Athletico Madrid this summer. They even posted it on their Instagram and they almost always get things right.

  12. Razbijač says:

    Given our June history, thank god we don’t have TWO qualifying matches this month like Italy!

    Today’s formation as per SN:

    HRVATSKA: Sluga – Vida, Lovren, Benković – Brekalo, Kovačić, Badelj, Pašalić, Melnjak – Kramarić, Petković.

    Looks like we’re goin’ back to the ole 3-5-2!

    This will suit Kramaric well, as he is likely to play in the hole behind Petkovic as the second striker. This is his natural position, he’s not a number 9 like Mandzukic.

    This will give him the opportunity to play between the lines, and pop up in open space causing all sorts of problems.

    In this formation he’ll be tasked with the FINAL PASS, as Kovacic, Badelj, and Pasalic will be running the engine room behind him–doin’ the dirty work!

  13. Miloš Hvar says:

    Rebic and kova to inter would be so sick. And if Perisic stays,,, looks like that Lukaku deal has fallen through

  14. Maminjo says:


    Top two teams automatically go.

    Winners of Nations League Groups go into a playoff with each other in each league (A, B, C, and D) for the final four spots.

    So, there will be one team from each of those leagues going through, making the whole qualification cycle kinda pointless for them to try in lol.

    Example: Serbia is in a group with Portugal and Ukraine. All three of those teams won their Nations League groups in League A, B, and C…so the team that does not qualify via their Euro qualification group, still gets a second chance to qualify via their Nations League playoff.

    League D had Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus, and Georgia top their groups…so Euro2020 will have one of those teams qualify via the League D playoff.

  15. Maminjo says:

    League A winners: Portugal, Holland, England, Swiss
    League B winners: Ukraine, Sweden, BiH, Denmark
    League C winners: Scotland, Finland, Norway, Serbia
    League D winners: Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus, Georgia

    One of these teams from each group will be qualifying for the Euros, even if they finish last in their Euro qualification group.

    If one of the teams qualifies via their current qualification group, then the next placed team in the Nations League group gets a shot via this Nations League playoff.

    So, in our case, I think if both England and Spain qualify… that means we still get a shot by having to beat the remaining teams in League A (i.e. Portugal, Holland, Swiss).

    Not sure what happens if every single League A team qualifies via the regular qualification cycle (leaving us nobody to play for the playoff).
    Does it mean we automatically get the spot? lol.

  16. CroatiaU14 says:

    Let’s hope that Wales and Hungary tie today. That would be good for us.

    For all in America, our friendly today is on ESPN 3

  17. Maminjo says:

    The old guard has mostly been playing though.

    Modric, Rakitic, Perisic, Lovren, Vida, etc…are all still with the team and have played the majority of our games since the World Cup.

    It’s been 10 games since that France game, and we haven’t had a real good game (other than maybe that dramatic 3-2 win on Spain).

    Whether it’s England or Spain…or one of Hungary, Azerbaijan, Tunisia or even Jordan…I dunno man. Just not really doing anything impressive (despite a lot of main guys playing in each of the games). It’s a very long drought.

  18. BZ says:

    Obviously half kidding, but we do look sloppy, but expected with this weird lineup and new formation
    3-5-2…that said if we dont win, oh my.

  19. Maminjo says:

    Yea, and Tunisia isn’t a bad team.

    But with talent like Brekalo, Kramaric and Kovacic on the field…you’d think we could create one chance, lol.

  20. CroatiaU14 says:

    We are creating chances just not finishing. Dalić will probably bring in some of our stars at half.

  21. Maminjo says:

    Nah, we’re doing what most of us hate here.
    We’re overdribbling in a crowded Tunisian defence without even attempting anything on goal…and Tunisia pouncing nicely with some counterattacks.

    Even the Croatian announcer is criticizing them for not even attempting a shot when they have a half chance. Just a fake, turn, and trying to pass or dribble by an eleven man defence.

    We’ll still win this game though. The quality gap is still noticeable.

  22. Razbijač says:

    Croatian defense looking like SWISS CHEESE at the moment…..

    They are playing a high 3 man back line, and they are exposed on the wings, as Tunisia is getting in behind the wing-backs…

  23. Maminjo says:


    Wow, should be 2-0 Tunisia.

    Croatia is lucky that these Tunisians don’t have the class to finish their chances.

  24. Razbijač says:

    These 2nd and 3rd String players aren’t exactly making a case for themselves to start….

  25. Maminjo says:

    Man, Vida has not been playing well lately.

    Two of those chances were from his side.

    I guess he’s not used to playing in this type of formation?

    Looks like such a big hole there.

  26. Rennan Brambati Gomes says:

    Dont have blood in their veins.

    The opportunity to show something.

    C’mon Perisic, Modric,Brozovic.


  27. CroatiaU14 says:

    Brekalo and Lovren have been the only players that have shown up tonight. We need Modrić on the pitch.

  28. Maminjo says:

    Pasalic seems to look okay, but he’s not starting caliber yet.

    Sluga is a good backup keeper at least. Well positioned on those shots from Tunisia.

    Everyone else is mediocre…but it was expected from most of these guys. I don’t really think anyone truly thought Melnjak was really going to win a starting gig with us.

    Disappointed in Vida. Dude was a rock.
    Mateo Kovacic is completely invisible. Doesn’t make sense for a guy that really needs to show us he can start.

    Haven’t seen enough of Benkovic (except for that terrible slip on the field that caused a breakaway). Was hoping to see him do more. He’s a big defender. Hopefully he can show more.

  29. BZ says:

    Should be 4-0 Tunisia.

    Contemplate that youth movement hype machine, if you are one if those guys. You’ll kniw workd class whenu see it eg Modric, Rakitic, Mandzukic, Vrsaljko, Perisic…don’t look at a stat line and assume anybody us great.

    Pasalic, Badelj, Benkovic, Petkovic, Kramaric, & Brekalo exposed.

    I expect big changes and a better 2nd half.

  30. Maminjo says:

    This second half is all Brekalo.

    Dude just turned it on, and is attacking hard…causing chaos.

    Everyone else is just benefiting from him.

  31. Horvat says:


    Hindsight is 20/20.

    Did any of us know any of those guys were going to be world class when they were 20-21 years old?

    The crop of kids we have now have huge potential. None of us know whether they will or will not live up to that potential.

  32. CroatiaU14 says:

    Very true. A nice ball in by Badelj. Too bad we couldn’t finish that chance. We are playing much better though.

  33. Maminjo says:

    Yea, Badelj is doing well this second half. Brekalo and Badelj.

    Now that Kovacic is being subbed out for Perisic, we will probably win.

  34. Maminjo says:

    Hungary and Wales are still tied.

    Azerbaijan lost 5-1 to Slovakia, after losing to Hungary 3-1 on Saturday.

    Nikola Jurcevic doing work for all the other teams in the group, lol.

  35. Mishko says:

    You guys should see the lightening here in Stubicke Toplice. If this gets to Varazdin they’ll have to stop the match, but I doubt it.


  36. Laknat says:

    My mom called me and I left my job
    Early at Spencer’s to catch the last 15 minutes.
    OMG OMG it’s really him ❤️

  37. Maminjo says:

    It’s pouring so hard on the pitch that it’s gotten all over the camera on the feed.

    Can hardly see whats going on lol

  38. Maminjo says:

    Good prep game for the upcoming September games, lol.

    Not sure what we learned, but whatever.

  39. Poglavnik says:

    Typical Americans.
    No class.
    Running up the score and celebrating like idiots after every fucking goal. Hope to see them sobbing like little bitches when they choke.

  40. Canuckcro says:

    Ma yebiga tunisia friendly game who gives a shit ..lets talk about how our vatrani were bum steered into an orchestrated loss via fifa agenda .Wheres all the chetniks ..get this site on fire..who cares about feiendly soccer matches!!

  41. Poglavnik says:

    The panel in Canada are calling it embarrassing, and classless. Rapinoe and Morgan sprinting to the bench to do cheesy shit when it’s in double digits is lame as fuck. I’d have cleated those bitches good that were over celebrating like that.

  42. Anonymous says:

    They showed their class long ago when they started suing their own country and kneeling for the national anthem, yet accepting call ups to represent their country.
    Who gives a crap about women’s soccer anyway?

  43. Anna Kuzma says:

    I Think the Woman have a Great deal of Our own life and Love in this world of Our own 13 /0

  44. Hrmic says:

    I understand that goal difference can be an important tie-breaker but for the US women to celebrate like they had won the World Cup when the score is 10, 11, 12 or 13-0 is disgraceful and disrespectful to your opponent. If I was one of the Thai players, I would have chopped US captain Megan Rapinoe and made sure she did not get up. This is the same respect that the US showed them. Completely classless!

  45. Iggy Iggy says:

    wtf how did we lose to tunisia?

    lol anyway the other results in the group today were kinda as bad as could be expected for us : /

  46. gbvh says:

    watching usa on delay. just went up 9-0 and rapinoe celebrated she scored against a decent team in extra time in the finals.
    clowns. hope they get theirs.

  47. CroatiaU14 says:

    Now it’s pretty much between us, Hungary, and Slovakia. A win in our next game, against Slovakia will be huge.

  48. Razbijač says:

    Such a classy, dominant performance by the USA.

    Prolly coulda taken it to 20-0, but they didn’t want to humiliate their opponent.

  49. Razbijač says:

    Honestly would love for the USA to meet Canada in the Knockout stages of the Tourney.

    Just see who’s King….or in this case Queen of North America.

  50. NK Susak says:

    Was disappointed with Pasalic over the two games after having a good season at Atalanta. Defensively horrendous today, from the entire back line and the midfield. Tunisia picked us apart at will. Was hoping Jurcevic and Azerbaijan would steel a few points off these other teams. Looks like theyll only be giving us trouble. Todays results in our qualifying group couldnt have ended worse for us. Its still in our own hands, but we have little room for error the rest of the way with only a total of 8 qualifying games.

  51. Maminjo says:


    Don’t get fooled by point totals.

    Nobody has lost a home game yet. Wales is very much still in it. Hungary lost the only away game they played. They’ve done well to take care of things at home, but it means nothing if they lose in Zagreb and Cardiff like they did in Bratislava.

    We play in Slovakia next. If that’s even a draw, then Slovakia is the one in most trouble out of the four.

  52. CroatiaU14 says:

    @Maminjo, the Hungary crowd is nuts, that is maybe why they’ve been winning. All the rest of their games except for vs. Azerbaijan will be away, and if they aren’t an away team, that will hurt them.

  53. CroatiaU14 says:

    For all those who care: we have another Wunderkid coming up. His name is Luka Sučić. He plays for Salzburg u18’s and is only 16 years old. He scores bangers and has the ball on a string when he dribbles. We should start keeping him on our radars.

  54. Andrej L says:

    Weak crowd in Varazdin, nothing compared to Osijek.

    I thought the 352 didn’t work out too well. Would’ve liked to see Kova get more on the ball that first half but he never took the opportunity. Meljnak and Benkovic’s side looked weak and was exploited multiple times.

    Looked much better when we switched to a back 4 although Bartolec didn’t look that great. At least Halilovic had some composure and looked decent. Thought that Petkovic had a better game than Kramaric. Krama should’ve had at least 3 goals these last two games. Overall, no injuries and got minutes for some fringe players. Clearly need Rakitic, Brozovic, and Modric to help boss the middle.

  55. Aussie Croat says:

    Who cares. It’s a friendly game. Try out new players, tactics, formations, etc.
    Like someone said, these guys need a break after essentially going straight from finishing their domestic leagues last season, into the world cup final, straight into the domestic season just finished.
    They all deserve to refresh, recharge and take a break.

    If they start pulling this shit when the qualification resumes, then we can popizdit.


  56. Maminjo says:

    Dalic needs to stop two things:

    He needs to stop catering to crowds and playing guys just because they are from that town.

    Guys like Skoric and Meljnak were only called up to the NT because they are from Osijek and Varazdin. These guys would otherwise never get a callup. They’re simply not good enough.

    He needs to stop trying to find some diamond in the rough, and actually start trying to fix things with out most talented players.

    He keeps trying to surprise everyone with some random callups to see how they will work out (Bartolec, Melnjak, Santini, Livaja, Caktas, etc)…but they NEVER do.

    We’re not the same Croatia from the past where we were struggling to field a complete team at every position and always relied on some new random callup to see what they can do. We actually have players now, who play in big leagues.

    We don’t need to call up any more random wingers, defenders, and midfielders when we have so many already who play on top clubs.

    NO more callups of random 28 year-old players who play in mid-tier Turkish and Danish league clubs. They are simply NOT good enough and it screws up our flow. Unless they are some 20 year-old who may improve drastically over the years, then there is no point in calling them up.

    Dalic has his problems to fix already…

    Dalic has Kovacic who is supertalented but cannot seem to find a place on this team.

    He also has Kramaric who is a pure finisher, but just doesn’t seem to fit right with some of our other players.

    He also has a combination of very talented defenders in Lovren, Vida, Benkovic, Caleta-Car, Jedvaj and Barisic that he should try and find the right combination and develop chemistry (especially in case Vrsaljko doesn’t come back 100 percent).

    He has plenty of work on his plate in finding out how he can maximize what he has from our most talented crop of players. He needs to start doing it.

    THESE are the players that will take us to a tournament crown. Not these other randoms that Dalic insists on calling up and experimenting with.

    The play that we are witnessing in the Nations League, Friendlies and Euro qualifiers has been below our standard for too long.

  57. elcroato says:

    What do you guys think of Caleta-Car cancelling his U21 Euro participation, so that he can go on vacation? I think he is done. He might have lots of potential, but he has the wrong mindset.

  58. Jarac says:

    Poglavnik aint u from canadia ehh disrespectful shameful fans cheering Durant’s injury. Who cares about womans soccer no one watches anyways..

  59. CroatiaU14 says:

    @elcroato it has nothing to do with that. His club team made him do it, or something like that. It has to do with a decision made by Marseille I’m pretty sure.

  60. Tomazina says:

    Poglav is a very bad man , calling Countrys bad names .. Grow up My misguided friend . Sadly Yours. 13/0

  61. Iggy says:

    The results today worried me about our chances in this group, still scared despite the Wales win

  62. Dannyj says:

    Destiny in own hands we said it before we say it again
    If we can’t beat Slovakia and Hungary at home and steal something on the road then forget it
    Lots of nogomet to play still

    With that being said does every second place team make it or will the low finishers not?

  63. . .Crnkovic says:

    Tunisia are a good team. Gearing up for a big tournament while our boys are looking to the beach. No surprise. Also the 352 is hardly in use this century. None of the players are used to it. The spaces and timing were all wrong. That’s not down to the ability of the players. Don’t write any of them off because of that performance. Probably a bad decision to try the 352 dies dalic want to use it in the future? I doubt it. Si why try it?

  64. CroatiaU14 says:

    I’m pretty sure every second place team makes it

    Our home game vs. Hungary is going to be played at Poljud. Hopefully there will be a loud atmosphere there.

  65. CroatiaU14 says:

    A huge win with a loud crowd will lift us so much. A win in our next game or even a tie vs Slovakia will be huge. And if we can also beat Hungary at home…that would be absolutely huge

  66. CroatiaU14 says:

    AT THE DEATH! Toma Bašić scores in the last minute to lead the U21s to victory vs Denmark

  67. Bilo says:

    Tried to find a link for the u21 match but was unsuccessful. I know the danish are pretty good themselves,Does anyone who watched them have any analysis??
    Post a link of highlights please

  68. CroatiaU14 says:

    We played much better. On the HNTV insta page they posted a link. Worked for me. Our guys played much better than the Danish. We deserved a W.

  69. CroatiaU14 says:

    Luka Ivanušeć impressed me. So did our back line. Great morale within the group. Brekalo and Benković didn’t play because of their appearances last night.

  70. Dannyj says:

    Brekalo should be able to do lot of damage this tourney
    Barring some unforeseen events
    He looks like he will be the real deal for us In the future

  71. Maminjo says:

    Brekalo has been our best player these past few games.

    Dalic has been experimenting with him too and playing him out of position and the kid still delivers.

    Once Vlasic comes back, we’ve gotta figure him somewhere in the starting lineup.

    I’m done trying with Kovacic. If he wants to start, he can begin by following up his passes by getting into a position to attack with nonstop running. Sick of seeing him dish it off sideways to our wingers, then just stop running and stand there watching.

    Every other midfielder brings something unique to the table. He’s just status quo.

    Watch both Vlasic and Toma Basic surpass him in central midfield over the next two years.

Your email address will not be published.