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Croatia Can Book Euro 2020 Berth Sunday With Win, Or Draw (Maybe)

October 10, 2019

euro-2020-qualifying

 

 

Operation: Poljud was a huge success! Not only did the Vatreni smash on Hungary 3-0 to take control of their Euro 2020 qualifying group, but there was zero drama in Split surrounding the match for the first time in ages.

 

 

The win means Croatia now hold a 4-point advantage over their Hungarian neighbors. The top two teams in the group go directly to Euro 2020. (For sake of argument, we’re not going to talk about the backdoor Nations League playoffs. Like my Facebook relationship status: It’s Complicated.)

 

 

The Vatreni take on Gareth Bale and Wales in Cardiff Sunday at 2:45PM (ET). So here’s the deal:

 

 

If Croatia win, they’re in. They will punch their ticket to Euro 2020 and celebrate at Millennium Stadium in Wales.

 

 

However, Croatia could also lock up a Euro 2020 berth with a draw against Wales on Sunday; but it’s contingent. Hungary host Azerbaijan two hours before Croatia and Wales kick off. If Azerbaijan draws or beats Hungary in Budapest, then Croatia is in with a draw of their own.

 

 

Croatia will be without the services of Marcelo Brozović for the Wales game due to a yellow card suspension.

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 8.00.30 PM

 

 

Even though Croatia have one more qualifier in November vs. Slovakia, know that Zlatko Dalić and company will try to seal the deal with three points vs. Wales.

 

 

Why?

 

 

Besides the obvious reason of qualifying ASAP, that would ensure that Dalić would not have to call up his veteran players in November in the middle of their club seasons. Modrić, Rakitić, Perišić, Lovren, Vida, Rebić, Brozović could be left off the squad for Croatia’s group finale against Slovakia November 16th in Rijeka and their friendly vs. Georgia November 19th in Pula. It would be an ideal time to give Vlašić, Brekalo, Ćaleta-Car and other young guns the reigns over two international matches – one of which could be a ‘do or die’ game for Slovakia.

 

 

Croatia beat Wales 2-1 in Osijek back in June. Expect another victory Sunday as Wales will have to open up and gun for all three points if they want to make a run at next summer’s Euro 2020.

 

 

Prediction: 2-0 Croatia 

 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 51 comments





  1. Iggy says:

    2-0 away from home would be a great result. Tbh even a draw is not bad, maybe it’ll be 1-1 late in the game and then MY MAN DEJAN will score a long-range screamer to ice the game just like he did last time? :)



  2. Bobby V says:

    Talk has started of playing the last home qualifier in Split again, instead of currently scheduled Rijeka.



  3. Mile says:

    This from TSN’s website in Canada. Didn’t we make the final last year? Maybe it was a dream after all. lol

    CROATIA IN COMMAND
    Croatia, the World Cup semifinalist last year, opened up a three-point lead in Group E by beating Hungary 3-0 thanks to a fifth-minute opener by Luka Modric and two goals by Bruno Petkovic.
    Second-place Slovakia was held to a 1-1 draw at home to Wales, which is fourth — three points behind its opponent — but has a game in hand over all the teams above them.
    The top two in each of the 10 groups qualify for the 24-team Euro 2020, which is being played in 12 countries with no automatic places for hosts. The other four qualifiers will come through four tiers of playoffs in March.
    ___



  4. CroatiaU14 says:

    I think Brozo is out for our next match vs. Wales because of yellow card accumulation. Kinda sucks, he’s been so solid for us. Now, maybe Dalić will play Modrić and Rakitić as the two CDMs and start Vlašić up at the CAM role.

    Did anyone else notice that we didn’t let Hungary have a shot until well past the 60th minute? That’s impressive. Our defense was solid. Great, composed game from Vida and Lovren.



  5. BZ says:

    U14- Yea we all notice.
    -That defense started from the top.
    -Been awesome since WC 2018
    -That’s why Rebic is, IMO, a better asset than Brekalo.
    -#winningsoccer

    u14-Will be interesting to see what Dalic does with Brozo gone.

    Our press with the inverted midfield triangle, has been so successful at the highest level, I don’t think Vlasic at the CAM alone can be that much better.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Vlasic play with Modric up top.
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Kovacic try Brozo’s role.
    I would mind if Dalic plays Badelj and we all learn nothing. (that said, this game is not that important and injuries are my biggest concern.



  6. Mile says:

    I thought for a minute that Bale had a yellow card suspension, but it is for three yellow cards accumulated in qualifying, and he has two. Lovren and Vida both have two as well, so they better not get any yellows on Sunday, otherwise the back line could be pretty thin for the Slovakia game. Hopefully they win Sunday and the Slovakia game will be pressure free.



  7. Maminjo says:

    It would be pretty funny if we blew out Wales too.

    Azerbaijan would feel so good being our most difficult opponent in qualifying.



  8. Dannyj says:

    Cro u14 can u send your Reddit link again
    Someone asked me about youth and I’m like I got just the link till of course I don’t have the link lol



  9. vuki says:

    Reddit.com/r/soccercro is the reddit I created a while back but got bored of it so that’s where I posted the docs that CroatiaU14 and I worked on.



  10. Dannyj says:

    Vuki where is the updated one u Guys are dojng together?

    Serbia sneaks in to euro and loses three straight at euro
    Lol heard it here first!



  11. Stipe says:

    Not for nothing. I would like to see Srbija qualify for the Euros, obviously ONLY IF WE QUALIFY LOL. How awesome would it be for us to play a MEANINGFUL GAME AGAINST SRBIJA? A round of 16 match against them ? No bullshit, , no home and away games, no ties, winner goes thru. Then no more talk. I would love to witness that.



  12. Suba says:

    No you don’t want Serbia to qualify under any circumstances fuck em

    On the game with wales it will come with complications especially coming off a big win like that

    Like always it’s gonna come down to our last game against the Slovaks which we will romp anyway

    It looks like this time we can really turn it on offensively when we want to even without Perisic scoring which is a good sign

    Man it would been awesome at Poljud even the dalmatinci players of the repka were enjoying it except to Perisic though it appeared I thought he would been more pumped in taking that lame penalty

    I think all penalties should be taken by Rakitic going forward frankly it’s been atrocious



  13. CroatiaU14 says:

    @DannyJ we are doing all of them together. Do you want the link for the stats spreadsheet of our young players?



  14. Dannyj says:

    U14 sure

    I was just kidding bout the Serb qualifier
    But sure who cares would love to play them at a tourney!

    Yes I agree hopefully they are able to focus after the win and emotion
    Travelling and preparing In a short amount of time
    It’s not going to be an easy game
    But it’s there’s for the taking
    It’s another shot and closing it off
    I feel they don’t make the same mistakes as the Azerbaijan game
    They can not become complacent

    Yes and thank God we have a well rounded offense
    Remember when the only thing we had for a winger was Perisic before his prime!

    We are quite blessed with the subs we can make these days



  15. Dannyj says:

    And Suba
    Totally agree on Rakitić taking pks
    And should most of the free kicks as well

    I forget who mentioned Barisic
    He didn’t have a ton to do
    But he hasn’t been bad from what I can see

    Let’s hope he quietly improves and gives us options back there

    I hope we qualify also to try some young guys on Defense

    I dunno how old vida and Lovren are but they might take us to World Cup 2022 still I don’t know



  16. Maminjo says:

    Vuki…

    You should save your document as a web page in HTML format.

    Then have Kvartuč put a link to it on the right side pane of his website.

    Right now, Ante only has a poll, some ads, and a visitor counter there.

    It would be add more value to his page if you created a “Croat Youngsters Of The Week” table, that Ante could have on his right pane.

    Just the name, position, and team they play for.
    The rest of us will see this every time we visit this site, and people will click on it because they’ll want to know who these players are and what they did to make the this top ten rank or whatever.



  17. Maminjo says:

    Buy a domain name, post these details in HTML format and ask Ante to link it to this site.

    You’ll get some hits from users who browse this site, and you can put some links to CroatianSports.com for anyone who visits your site and can be directed to Antes site for news and discussion.

    You’ll make some advertising dollars, and roll in the dough like Ante is.



  18. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    @ Maminjo,

    Yes to all that. Love it! can you help vuki and Cro14 with that?

    Rolling in dough. Funniest thing I’ve heard all year. You know, Croatians come up to me all the time and think this is my full time job. Comedy at its best. :)



  19. Stipe says:

    I am really not looking forward to Wales. Every time we win a game 3-0 just like we did against Hungary, we don’t respond well in the next game. Just a reminder, we had faced Wales a lot of times in the past 5 to 10 years. It seems like we’re always in the same group as they are. And considering we just beat them 1-0 in the summer, Wales is going to come after us with all the they got.

    Also, Croatia never plays well if we are the favorites. We play way better as the underdogs. I know even if we tied against Hungary, He would still be favorites the wheels



  20. Stipe says:

    I am really concerned about playing Wales. Every time we win a game 3-0 just like we did against Hungary, we don’t respond well in the next game. Just a reminder, we had faced Wales a lot of times in the past 5 to 10 years. It seems like we’re always in the same group as they are. And considering we just beat them 1-0 in the summer, Wales is going to come after us with all the they got.

    Croatia play better as the underdogs. We do not play well as being the favorites in the match. Even if we tied Hungary, we would still will most likely be the favorites against Wales.

    I think the last time we topped the group and qualified for a tournament was back for Euro 2008. We don’t know how to finish games.

    I will be worried if we get an early goal on Sunday. I hope we score in the 60th or 70th minute, control position and finish off qualifications. Does anyone else feel the same way??



  21. Maminjo says:

    C’mon Stipe…

    Just this past tournament, we beat Argentina 3-0 and then followed it up with a 2-1 win over Iceland with more than half of our players resting.

    Also, it’s not that we don’t play well when we are the favorites…rather, it’s when teams are trying to score on us.

    Slovakia were trying to score on us in an attempt to win the game, so they left themselves exposed to the counter. Hungary went down early, so they had to hold some possession and try to create something and make some runs with their wingers.

    Croatia is a LETHAL counterattacking team and the central midfield is probably the best in the world at maintaining the ball and winning the ball back. Guys like Modric, Rakitic, Brozovic, and even Kovacic are great at this.

    They receive passes with opposing players right on them, and they still don’t lose it. They also win balls back with ease. It’s why our defense seems to be so good, despite never really having a World Class back four.

    Watching other good teams out there, and it’s just a back and forth through the midfield (like swiss cheese)…waiting to see who scores first. Nobody can attack us through the middle. Just crosses from the wing maybe, but mostly deadball plays like corners, free kicks, and (ugh) long throw-ins.



  22. Anonymous says:

    Let’s get this done on Sunday. We should, but never easy. I certainly don’t want a playoff. That’s too stressful. Ajmo!



  23. Iggy Iggy says:

    I was worried about that game but given that performance, we’re sweet now i think. It would take a catastrophic failure to miss the tourney from here, we’re good fellas!

    Be nice to win vs Wales but as i said even a draw away from home is not bad tbh. But yeah if we DO win on Sunday then i can already start work on my YouTubbies video of our successful road to Euro 2020 hehe : )



  24. Medo says:

    As much as Brozovic not playing will hurt us,Arron Ramsey potentially still being hurt and not suiting up will more than even things up.We did not see him last game against wales.
    He might be even more valuable to the Wales team than bale,and Juventus would not have signed him if he was a bit player.



  25. Mile says:

    I don’t think Croatia will be a pot 1 team for the draw even if they beat both Wales and Slovakia. That would give Croatia 19 points. I see England, Germany/Netherlands, Spain, France, Belgium and Italy all winning their groups with more points or even on points with Croatia with a better goal differential. Those would be the six #1 seeds for the Euro groups. The only way they can sneak in as a #1 is if somehow Turkey tie in France on Monday and then win their group plus Ukraine tying Portugal today and then dropping points to Serbia next month. It’s probably better if Croatia is a #2 anyway, as they play well against the big boys.



  26. Maminjo says:

    @Mile

    Are you factoring in that Spain, France, Belgium and Italy have more teams in their group?

    They play two more games in qualifying than we do. I don’t think the points they get from their bottom ranked team will count toward any future seeding at Euro2020.



  27. Maminjo says:

    Oh I see that many of them are clean sweeping their groups, lol.

    Well, even if we’re a Pot 2 team it doesn’t matter.

    The Euros have an ass-backward format right now, where the top two teams and “some” third placed teams go through to the Round of 16.

    The first round won’t even matter that much since it’s almost harder to be eliminated than go through to the knockout phase, lol.

    We ended up topping our group last time (over Spain), then had to play against Portugal in our Round of 16 match.



  28. Mile says:

    But Croatia would have to win their last two games to have any shot at pot 1. Even a tie tomorrow means 7 total dropped points. Spain, Italy and Belgium have not dropped any while France, England and Germany/Netherlands have all dropped three points (one loss each).



  29. The truth says:

    Agreed on adding the young Croatia player link to the front page of the website

    Good on all regards

    ante does not have to make money off of this site because he already has wealth from being part of the elite 200 families of tudjman

    The family was originally granted a lot of the power right.. Coal and hydro. Lately, they’ve continued to feast on the renewable energy trend building wind mills on mountains



  30. Iggy Iggy says:

    We do bash Ante a fair bit but i do have to say a big thanks for running the site tbh, it is muchly appreciated Ante! Keep up the good work!

    Now, as for as for smashing welshmen, can anyone understand their weird fucking language? Geez. It’s so bizarre, let’s bash the fuck outta these guys, 1 goal for perisic, 1 for petkovic

    2-1 win to us !



  31. KarlovacKing says:

    S.hitting bricks for tomorrow…we need to qualify and avoid a nail biting do or die vs Slovakia…

    Bale scares the crap out of me against our D…is fast, great in the air, great shot….and in big form at Real this year. We need to watch him very closely.

    The key will be if Perisic can take guys on one v one to open things up…as he goes, so do we. Petkovic also will need to take advantage of any chances he gets.

    What worries me also if we don’t win tomorrow and must win vs Slovakia…Vida and Lovren are BOTH on one more yellow card and they are suspended…imagine going into the last game without them both at the back?

    Lets do this boys. Lets win, and then I can enjoy the Thanksiving weekend in style.

    WE ARE CROATIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  32. KarlovacKing says:

    I thank Ante for the site and doing a good job…but I will never forget the idiotic before the Ukraine game calling for our NT to boycott and not play…we’d have not qualified, not made that magical run in the WC and our NT would be devestated…

    I don’t care if he hates Dinamo, but the boycott thing was stupidity at its finest. I trust he learned from it and will never repeat something like that again.

    Onwards to victory.

    ZDS



  33. vuki says:

    Also, Maminjo, I would like to do something like that, but I’m not 100% sure how even though I just finished my information systems major in May lol. I could probably figure it out when I get the chance. Had family over all this week and was pretty busy. I could definitely try something out next week if you remind me.



  34. Elvis says:

    Our King has been avenged. May his soul now
    Rest In Peace. Tomorrow we have to win.
    Let’s have a nice winter.



  35. Maminjo says:

    I would help with the website, but I’m part Dalmatinac… So I don’t feel like doing it.

    I don’t recommend asking any Istrijanci to help either, unless you are including updates on all the all the Serie A Primavera squad youth players.

    Hercegovci would do it, and would probably do a good job, but would šverc your ass and leave you with a bill and take all the advertising money.

    Bosanci would work hard and help you out, but would probably screw it up or convert to Islam halfway through it.

    Maybe a friendly Slavonac can help.



  36. Canadian Croat says:

    I’m nervous af for tomorrow. A loss tomorrow would mean Croatia would have to hammer Slovakia to still get first. Hungary will for sure win tomorrow which means they’ll be a point behind us if we lose. Hoping for a draw in that match. A win tomorrow and a Hungary-Azerbaijan draw would be perfect mix. We could lose to Slovakia last game and it wouldn’t matter if those resulted happened. Even if both games resulted in a draw tomorrow that would ok.





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