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Brekalo, Vlašić Shine As Croatia And England Finish 3-3

June 24, 2019

Hrvatska U 21

Majer congratulates Brekalo on his brace



The Croatian and English U-21’s had nothing to play for Monday night in San Marino, but that didn’t stop the young guns from putting on a show in a 3-3 draw. England went up on three separate occasions and the Mali Vatreni met them every step of the way; equalizing on ever English goal.



At the end of the day, it will be an extremely disappointing tournament for Croatia as they dropped their first match 4-1 to Romania and second match to France 1-0 before drawing England 3-3 in the group finale. Nikola Vlašić and Josip Brekalo held their own while Alen Halilović looked invisible in the first two matches he played. Against England, Vlašić had a wonderful strike inside the right post while teammate Josip Brekalo scored twice with two beautiful runs in the box. U-21 correspondent had this to say about the match:



“Brekalo absolutely shined today. It was fun to watch him score twice and take the ball down the wing on a string with speed. His goal was an absolute beauty with pace and confidence going into the box. Vlašić scored a stunner. Even though it wasn’t the best game that he played, he still managed to have a strong impact. Other players that held their own were Majer, Kulenović, Šunjić and Moro. Although his mistake led to England’s second goal, Uremović played a very nice game alongside Katić in the back. Ivanušec provided a spark once he came in for the injured Vlašić in the second half. Croatia may not have gotten the results they were looking for in this Euro 2019 campaign, but it showed that Vlašić, Brekalo, Kulenović and Moro are all on track to being future starters for the senior side. Even guys like Šunjić, Ivanušec, Katić, and Uremović can be included in the conversation. I think it’s safe to say that Halilović is doneness he turns his career around with a miracle. ”





Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 66 comments

  1. CroatiaU14 says:

    Let’s at least get one win from this tourney. It was a good learning experience for the youngsters. Hopefully Gračan is telling the kids to put their all into the game. This England squad isn’t the best, they’re definitely beatable.

  2. CroatiaU14 says:



  3. CroatiaU14 says:

    VERY bright start for us. Kulenović had a header saved by the English keeper, right after Brekalo created a very nice scoring chance for us down the wing.

  4. Horvat says:

    Our juniors have never done well.

    Although nobody knows how these kids will pan out in the future, after following Croatian football for a very long time, I think the future has never looked brighter.

    For some reason, our kids never succeed at the junior level, yet, look how our national team had done he last 13 years or so.

  5. CroatiaU14 says:

    Sorry no link, but if you’re in the states it’s on espn 3…I know that some other people on the site use reddit so try that

  6. CroatiaU14 says:

    Very good game from Brekalo, Moro, Kulenović, and Šunjić. The boys played their hearts out.

  7. Branko says:

    Yes gospodin props on the correct score line..nobody on here will give you any love they are all a bunch of know it alls AFTER the fact!
    The truth might have known what the final result would be but he’s far too modest to admit it!!!

  8. Croat Canadian says:

    We screwed ourselves in the first game against Romania. I would grade the teams performance a D+. Besides Brekalo and Vlasic playing well, there wasn’t any other positives to take away. Just looking forward to the national teams fixtures in September.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I would not be surprised too see a France Romania finally our group was crazy strong. Romania robbed of a penalty today against France where better then France today.

  10. Dannyj says:

    If Brekalo doesn’t get hurt who knows what might happen

    How the heck is Halilovic captain over Brekalo?
    Not only is Brekalo more accomplished on the field he has more senior side play
    Seems more composed off the field

    Is it cause he doesn’t like the gays?

  11. Boris says:

    2 slots look secure for the next decade in Vlasic and Brekalo now we need to fill in the others.
    I’m hoping one of the maestro midget mids can surprise us and be a stud soon as well…be it coric or someone else?
    There will be a log jam at GK we have quite a few young prospects there.
    Benkovic im not sold on yet.Halilovic is done!

  12. Maminjo says:


    It’s because of seniority.

    Halilović has been playing for our juniors for a long time, since he was first hyped many years ago. Brekalo is two years younger, and hasn’t been on the juniors as long.

    It’s a stupid reason to make someone captain. Especially when he doesn’t seem to have leadership skills.

  13. Maminjo says:

    How did Moro look?

    He has elite passing and technical ability… But was he making runs?

    He blew his ACL back in March 2018 and was out for like 8 months. This is a transitional year for him. I’m wondering if there is any noticeable drop-off in how he looked back in early 2018.

  14. Soul Champ says:

    Vlašić is our #10.

    Brekalo is transcendent!

    We finally got some power with Perisic and Rebić.

    But Brekalo is different cup of tea with his technique and speed attack dribble.

    Dalić has to take this summer and swim in the Jadran and come out with a whole new attack structure that features both Brekalo and Vlašić.

    We have been too predictable.

    These two add the wild cards.

    Jebi ga .. keep the Olympics and I will take two quality starters for Euro 2020.

  15. Dannyj says:

    How do u fit Brekalo and Vlasic into a starting lineup?
    Or will they be subs

    Yes let’s hope one of these mid fielders show some magic
    I’m calling krovinovic with the comeback and someone who might make a diff(ya I’m hopeful)

    How long is this Colina kid away from potentially doing something for us?

    And whoever said about the keepers…bout time we have to choose a keeper cause of potential quality and not cause it’s the only guy we have

    Let’s hope Livakovic takes the ball and runs with it for sometime
    Will he be good enough to take us deep in euro run tho????

  16. Ciganski Bosanac says:






  17. Dannyj says:

    Lol Ciganski

    Maybe denis is the truth trolling us

    Do u guys think barring injury Perisic could be effective for us potentially in 2022?

  18. Horvat says:

    Should Modric pair with Brozovic while Vlasic becomes our new #10.

    Nice to finally have an attacking midfielder that can score goals.

  19. CroatiaU14 says:

    @Maminjo, Moro looked very good today. He has great ball control and he was making good runs. Him and Šunjić connected well together.

    @Croat Canadian, there are other positive takeaways along with the good performances from Vlašić and Brekalo. I think Kulenović showed that he has a lot of potential, same with Šunjić and Moro. Uremović looked pretty good, same with Katić. Ivanušec looks good with his quickness and great ball control and passing.

    Think about it. I’ve said this before, but we have guys on our senior squad aged 33 to 20. We have a lot of individual talent on this u21 squad. And this is only a small age group.

  20. Soul Champ says:

    Vlašić is our #10.

    Brekalo is transcendent!

    We finally got some power with Perisic and Rebić.

    But Brekalo is different cup of tea with his technique and speed attack dribble and finishing.

    Dalić has to take this summer and swim in the Jadran and come out with a whole new attack structure that features both Brekalo and Vlašić.

    We have been too predictable.

    These two add the wild cards.

    Jebi ga .. keep the Olympics and I will take two quality starters for Euro 2020.

  21. Maminjo says:

    The only way Vlasic starts, is if we sit one of Modric, Rakitic or Brozovic.

    We technically could have Brozovic sit, and play Vlasic behind the striker with Modric and Rakitic behind him.

    I would like to see Perisic and Brekalo on the wings, with Rebic up top, and Vlasic behind him (with Rakitic and Modric behind Vlasic).

    If something isn’t working, you still have Kramaric and Brozovic that you could tweak the lineup with.

    Lots of offensive firepower with this group. This is the ONLY experimentation I want our wannabe mad scientist (Dalic) to be test out.

    No more of these ridiculous callups like Melnjak and whoever, lol.

  22. Dannyj says:

    U would think Rakitic would stick around for one more with Luka
    Maybe they retire together?

    Then we may have some panic time

  23. Anonymous says:

    Brekalo shined today was the best player on the field today he is something special if he didn’t get injured first game things may have gone differently for us. Vlasisic played well as well he has that extra class hope he was not seriously injured.

  24. The truth says:

    Brekalo a different type of player. One whose speed with the ball distorts and disrupts a defense. I declared him a legit rising star from Croatia and that prediction still looks on track despite falling out of favour at club. Whether or not he should ever play for the senior side after refusing to wear the rainbow arm band is a different story

    There should be an hns policy. No rainbow, no checkers

    Majer looked interesting. I used to be all on top of these guys with their stat projections cause we used to have the interns doing soccer modeling to test them out and train them. Business has been so busy lately we need them doing actual work so some of these young guys i don’t have as great a feel on as in the past

    I do not the models back when we did them though were always very high on brekalo based on his successful take on rate dating back to their u17 world cup

  25. BZ says:

    Wow guys you talk like we were world beaters todays.
    We lost 2 games and tied the 3rd.
    -Maddison was denied a pretty clear PK.
    -Ugly ass counter soccer again.

    Brekalo is a talent, but we’ve known this for years. However, it isn’t a coincidence we were dominated in many key areas, especially possession. Brekalo is not a pressing LW, and for us that is a problem. He can get there with some cardio training, but it just seems he is not interested in defending like Perisic and Rebic do.

    Moro and Sunjic were not impressive to me. On the ball skills were weak, not that good at “creating vision” lime Modric or Rakitic. Ivanusec impressed more in very limited minutes, although I’m not dying on that hill either.
    Majer seemed lost on the wing, I would have liked to see more of him in the midfield.

    @Maminjo-I think that is a strong option, given Kramaric defends even less than Brekalo. Perisic-Rebic-Brekalo is our best front line. Vlasic/Modric/Rakitic behind them is solid, but I’d rather go with Modric/Rakitic/Brozo. Vrsaljko at RB and Jedvaj at LB, and now we are talking.

    Easy on Halilovic guys, he was our third best player vs France and he only played around 3 minutes. The whole team was invisible until Brekalo came on vs France.

  26. Suba says:

    Conceding 8 goals in a group stage is pretty bad

    That’s comical defending with too many penalties

    Back to the drawing board with that group of players

    I really thought benkovic katic and Sosa would go the trick

    What happened there

  27. Anonymous says:

    Truth Troll making interns run simulations = definition; making the younger kids on the block play him at FIFA

  28. Soul Champ says:

    @ Maminjo

    All day with that attacking alignment up front.

    @ BZ

    Brekalo is next level winger.

    I’ll take any lack of pressing if he can create 8-12 plays that create goal scoring opportunities.

    U21 tournaments are fun because defenders are not fully developed and defensive discipline is not entrenched (see our side gift 90% of our goals).

    Brekalo made his statement this tournament by both how he played and when he wasn’t available to play.

    Special thanks to the Scottish ref that allowed Romania to butcher Brekalo and knock him out of the game.

  29. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I’m not so sure I’d replace Brozo for Vlasic. I think Brozo is an under-rated player that we will one day miss having a guy like him. He’s very unselfish and does so much of the dirty work and thats very hard to replace.

  30. Anonymous says:

    BZ we where dominated in possession because that is what our coach decided was the game plan he felt that countering would be our most effective strategy. Brekalo when given the chance has been beating German defenders in the Bundestag league just as effectively as the English under 21s

  31. BZ says:

    @anon-I’ve been on Brekalo’s side for years, just dissappointed his defensive hustle would have developed by now.

    I agree the coach decided to sit back in all 3 games, because he saw how bad our top line is at pressing. Even vs England it was ugly, we lost time of possession immensely, and were lucky that England hit the woodwork several times, this is a problem for us on the senior side now too.

    @Soul-Brekalo is great offensively. He really turns it on when the ball gets to his feet. That said, Rebic and Perisic are way better overall.

  32. Dannyj says:

    Brekalo is young but will have to learn the press from the old boys
    The school of Mandzukic needs to be taken by all!

  33. Dannyj says:

    Maybe a coach like a Kovac is what these kids need
    Boot camp them up a bit. They are old nuff for it and the weak will drop off

    I don’t always agree with working till they quit but there can be some benefit

  34. George says:

    Damn… maybe Marco and our ethnically diverse team wins the WC and the fix would never have been in

  35. Soul Champ says:

    @ BZ

    Perišić and Rebić were step one in our offensive evolution.

    Adding Brekalo and Vlašić is step two.

    @ Slavonac

    Brozovic is a special CDM.

    Maybe a 3-5-2 gets all our talent on the field?

    Dalić should ask Comte if he could attend Inter preseason before he gets rid of all the Croatians and cultivates the next Italian core.

  36. Soul Champ says:

    @ Miilos Hvar

    Minus all the liberal left/racism nonsense..

    I really feel bad for all the African teams.

    Neo-colonial France zaps all their best talent and they haven’t produced Balon dor since George Weah and no team has been in semis almost forever.

    Africa has good teams and at least one should make a run each World Cup.

  37. Croat Canadian says:

    Once Euro 2020 is over, Modric, Rakitic and Perisic will for sure retire. Modric will be 35, Rakitic will be 32 and Perisic 31. At least we’ll have some rising stars like Rebic, Brekalo, Vlasic, Kovacic, Pasalic, Rog, and more. I’m just concerened with defense in the next major tourneys.

  38. Maminjo says:

    Rakitić and Perišić can play another World Cup.

    Brozović, Vlašić, and Rakitić are a good trio.
    If Rakitić retires, then it means we need Kovačić to

  39. BZ says:

    My coffee just spewed onto the floor of my office, Pasalic and Rog are rising stars?

    Modric, Rakitic and Perisic can all play World Cup 2022, they might not want to…but they should.

    If true, Good on Zaha, country over money! Honoring the country that represents his DNA, and is proud of it, as he should be.

  40. Anonymous says:

    The real Croats used to Battle at Sisak.
    Now, the newly created libtard Croats build a mosque in Sisak lol.

    You newly created libtard Croats are so funny, your history only stars from 1991 lol. You got no culture of your own like us real Croats have.

  41. Sern Croat from Vukovar says:

    Croatian culture comes from Russia, that’s why they did so well in Russia, their motherland.

    Oh, and it was fixed for Croatia to make the final in their motherland.

  42. Croat Canadian says:

    BZ You ok? Pasalic has 5 goals and 3 assist this season and has contributed to Atlanta this past season. Maybe rising star isn’t the best term but he will for sure be an above average player. He’s only 24, give him some time to develop. As for Rog he’s still young too and has been struggling.

  43. Maminjo says:

    Zaha has been playing for Ivory Coast the past two years now.

    He was born and raised in Ivory Coast, so it was expected that he play for Ivory Coast… But he ended up playing for England’s junior and senior teams before he decided to switch.

    Not sure how he was allowed to switch…but he only switched National Teams because he wasn’t getting any England callups.

    This isn’t a Rakitić case or anything like that.

  44. BZ says:

    Soul Champ-some variation 3-n-n is definitely something to consider while Vrsaljko is out.
    Problems are:
    -Dalic finally experimented with a 3-5-2 vs Tunisia and we lost our first game on Croatian soil in 25 games( to an inferior team mind you.)
    -Even when Dalic has a successful experiment, he doesn’t go back to the well; forget about one that failed so miserably.
    -Only reason it failed is our starting lineup vs Tunisia was pretty pathetic. Would love for him to try it with our top talent vs a good team.

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