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Croatia Play Out Entertaining 3-3 Draw With Turkey, Vida Tests Positive

November 10, 2020


Croatia Starting XI vs. Turkey: Sluga – Juranović, Vida, Pongračić, Melnjak; Rog – Badelj, Brekalo, Pašalić, Oršić; Budimir




Croatia and Turkey have had some epic battles over the years. Wednesday night in Istanbul, the two will meet again in a friendly match before closing up shop on Nations League over the weekend.


The match kicks off at 12:45PM (ET) and can be streamed on ESPN+. Don’t expect to see Modric or Perisic out on the pitch as they have been overworked already in the young season but there will be plenty of young blood out there for Croatian fans to scout.



Prediction: 2-1 Croatia 

Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 45 comments

  1. BZ says:

    Pjaca should be given opportunity over Budimir at CF.

    He is probably better than Budimir already. I’ve said CF should be Pjaca’s post injury home for 2 years. The Genoa coach iz a smart man, but Genoa sucks so bad, Pjaca gets no opportunities.

    In fact, we need to try Rebic-Vlasic-Pjaca-Perisic ASAP.

  2. ElviSS says:

    Can we have profile pics on the accounts?

  3. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Maminjo, we don’t get this game today?’

  4. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    @BZ – I agree about Pjaca at CF. He’s better than Petković and Budimir, in my opinion. A 4-4-2 with Kramarić and Pjaca up top would be a killer plan B in the events of midfield injuries and yellow card suspensions

  5. Andrej L says:

    Like this line up. I think some will be surprised by Prongracic’s ball control

  6. Medo says:

    Why bother with vida and badelj in a game like this.I realize there needs to be some veteran stability but it would have been nice to see some young legs out there instead of these 2.

  7. Mudrac says:

    Vida is a joke as of late. Badelj is done and . Right back is still a problem.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sluga is a slug

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why do we keep on leaking in goals

    It’s getting embarrassing now

    Bye bye Dalic and vida

  10. David says:

    That right back is too slow and should not be in the national team .

  11. ARMADA87 says:

    Vida’s play is just laughable

  12. David says:

    Aka jurananovic . Never should he called up again

  13. Anonymous says:

    Even as a Hajduk I don’t get that call up

    What is dalic doing

    The national team is not a personal play thing

    Time to go

    He’s run out of ideas and options

  14. Vlad says:

    People suggesting Pjaca should start over budimir a guy who is a proven striker who knows how to play the position properly in one of the beat leagues like la liga is comical and should never be aloud to post anything again. It’s that stupid of a comment. Pjaca best position is a wing player esp the way we play, with one striker.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Is Uremovic playing out of position? I know he’s been playing right back for us lately but is that his real position?

  16. Slavonac from Canada says:

    The Uremovic question is from me

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sluga is a slug.

  18. Anonymous says:

    From now on, Sluga is to be referred to only as Slugavić

  19. Anonymous says:

    Uremovics real position is a water boy or on the bench like most Slavonci out there

  20. Maminjo says:

    Not watching this.

    How is Pongračić looking at least?

    He’s the only player I see in the lineup that I would ever want to play serious minutes.

  21. ARMADA87 says:

    DCC & Pongracic as our starting CB’s in Sweden

  22. Iggy Iggy says:

    wth i wake up and it’s 3-3 with half an hour to go lmao..
    anyway good stream:

  23. ARMADA87 says:

    Entertaining game for a friendly though.

  24. Lovro says:

    Pongracic and Juranovic are absolutely awful

  25. ARMADA87 says:

    What are you talking about, Lovro? He was our best defender while he was in.

  26. Lovro says:

    @Armada – What? When Caleta -Car came on, everything settled down because he’s been heavily involved in stopping attacks before they begin.

    He had more touches and intercepts in 5 minutes than Pongracic did the first 60 minutes

    …not to mention the missed opportunity from Pongracic – wasting an excellent cross.

    I’m guessing you’re not a good judge of how defenders should play.

  27. Suba says:

    Calm down boys

    All of our defenders are shit assisted by dalic

    If we had a half decent defence we would have won the World Cup and it’s been calamitous even since

  28. Mudrac says:

    You guys are idiots if you say pongracic sucks. The guy had mono still not match fit

  29. Andrej L says:

    Orsic’s and Rog’s speed and work rate stood out too me. Basic seems like he can hang as well. Pongracic had a decent game and will get better. Budimir’s finish was nice but he missed a good opportunity with his good foot. Pjaca>Colak 🙂

    Decent game overall, good to see what options are available. Onto a kinda important game in Stockholm…although aren’t all of these games just preparation for the Euros??

  30. Pongracic was quite good if you ask me. Hardly put a foot wrong all match. Vida, on the other hand, had one of his worst performances ever. Badelj gave the ball away cheaply and then Vida lunged in and gave away the penalty for the first goal. Then Budimir ties it up with a hand ball that the ref missed. Juranovic gets caught out and Vida tries to play an offside trap, but is way too slow to react and the quick Turkish winger was through with Vida and Juranovic chasing. Pongracic wasted the chance? If he went any earlier he would have been offside. It was an excellent cross, but it was just out of reach. For me, Caleta-Car is a nailed on starter and the other spot is to be foguht for by Pongracic, Lovren, Vida, and maybe Uremovic. Juranovic has a very nice cross, but he’s not great defensively. So basically the opposite of Uremovic at RB.

    Brekalo had another good game with a goal and an assist. Orsic might have just earned himself some more minutes so long as he keeps getting called up. It will be tough though with Perisic, Brekalo, and Rebic.

    Not sure why we didn’t start Bradaric at LB in this match to give him a shot to prove he should hold down that position. Melnjak was alright as usual, but we know what we have with him.

    Budimir was decent, just don’t see him getting in over Kramaric. If Petkovic doesn’t get it together he might steal the backup spot though. Colak didn’t do much in his short run.

    Sluga was quite average. Made a save or two, but didn’t save any of the goals. They were tough to save, but still savable. Wish Dalic gave both he and Grbic a half so we could see who should start the Nations League matches.

    Pasalic was okay. Not super involved other than the goal, but did his job.

    Overall, it was not a horrible performance, but not a great one. Just another average friendly.

  31. Niđo says:

    I love Vida 10 year vet on national team but its time to go guys like uremovic caleta pongracic gvardiol sutalo katic peric vuskovic benkovic are modern stopers who read the game and start build ups. Lovren is still a starter for euro but for world cup 2022 that back line should look different.

    Orisic played very well

  32. Andrej L says:

    Excellent header by Brekalo plus a nice assist. Making a good argument to be an automatic starter in my books. Rebic can fight for the CF position with Krama.

  33. Poglavnik says:

    Well said Niđo

  34. Maminjo says:

    I didn’t watch, but I saw the extended highlights.

    Re: the goals against…
    1. – Vida was at fault for the first goal
    2. – Juranovic/Sluga most at fault for second
    3. – Melnjak entirely at fault for the third

    No surprises here really.

    The good news is that we should not expect anyone from this group to start…except for maybe Vida.

    It’s not a good sign that Vida has been making mistakes like this.
    His bread and butter was being a steady stay-at-home defender who makes little to no mistakes. He was never good offensively, but his defensive ability made up for it.
    He’s been making some serious mistakes lately. If this is the case, then there is no point in starting him.

    Re: the goals for…
    1.- Good pressure goal from Budimir (though a handball)
    2.- Nice assist from Brekalo, and good finish from Pasalic
    3.- Nice cross/assist from Orsic, and incredible finish from Brekalo

    Kind of expected. Everyone know Orsic is a good player, but like someone said above, he will likely only ever be a backup.
    But we definitely should be playing him instead of another player out of position (like we did with Pasalic).
    Pasalic played his normal position, and scored.
    Budimir looks physical, but like Orsic, will always be backup.

    Other notes:
    Uremovic looked like he saved a goal in the highlights I saw. Pongracic had good positioning. Orsic did miss the net quite a few times, but at least he’s putting them on goal. Budimir also missed a few chances.

    Not sure if we learned too much from this game. Most of these guys are fringe callups, end of bench guys. I wish we tried all four of Bradaric, Pongracic, Caleta-Car, and Uremovic at the same time. At least give us a lineup of players we may actually use.

  35. Andrej L says:

    Well supposedly Vida tested positive for covid so we might get a Bardaric, CC, Ponracic, Uremovic back four on Saturday. I head Lovren may only join the team in Split.

  36. BEĆAR says:

    How could he have tested positive so quickly after the game? That’s strange….

    Maybe it’s a face saving rumour. He was not good, and starting today might be a sign that he wasn’t going to against Sweden. It’s a must win game. This was the throw away game. The Portugal game is also meaningless. Hopefully Dalic gives it meaning with an interesting lineup. I’d like to see Bradaric and Budimir get a shot with our starters.

    Who plays in net against Sweden? What a disaster….. I’d have liked to have seen Grbic today. How do we start him cold in a must win game? How do we start Sluga after today?

  37. Crotown says:

    The coach is not capable of teaching team defence- there is a lot of commentary on the defence – well when you don’t have the ball then all players are defenders and we don’t have a coach that can get that across their play- time to move to a coach that can coach defensive play- friendly or not – this defensive play is embarrassing- new coach please- preferably a non Croatian who isn’t involved in Croatian soccer BS- let’s face reality with squad of players

  38. BEĆAR says:

    Croatia captain Domagoj Vida played 45 minutes of his side’s 3-3 draw with Turkey before finding out he had tested positive for coronavirus just hours beforehand
    The 31-year-old centre-back had returned a negative Covid-19 test on Monday along with his national side team-mates ahead of their friendly against Turkey and subsequent Nations League fixtures against Sweden and Portugal.

    But tests on the morning of the game in Istanbul saw a ‘potentially positive result’ come in for the Besiktas defender as the match was being played, and he was therefore substituted for Filip Uremovic as a precaution.The medical service of the Croatian national team received initial information at the end of the break between the two halves that there was one potentially positive result,’ a Croatia Football Federation statement read.

    ‘This is a common test procedure, and a ‘suspicious’ finding is retested to confirm the result.

    ‘As at that time the coach Zlatko Dalic had already made the decision to change Vida, the medical service of the national team isolated Vida according to all epidemiological measures until the confirmation of the test results.

  39. BZ says:

    For those of you who didn’t watch:

    We lost 3-2 to Turkey’s C team. Budimir’s goal was clearly a hand ball, and would gave been overturned in a competitive game with VAR.

    Budimir had an ok game if not for his incessant flopping and missed golden opportunities.
    -Flicked a header way wide from a beautiful delivery from Juranovic of all people.
    – Missed an easy sitter, with his strong foot.
    -Lost control after sprung forward by a great ball from Badelj

    Badelj responsible for Vida’s pk. In fact, Badelj had 2 horrid giveaways in that 30 second stretch. Both he and Vida are done. Thank you for your service men.

    Brekalo-Played pretty poorly the first half, but saved face with a dangerous assist, and a great run and header.

    Orsic played better than most. His delivery was solid, and had a few ok runs.

    Melnjak saved a goal opportunity. Played ok

    Basic didn’t do too much, looked good to start (a nice long ball switch), but did not position himself to receive the ball from our CBs. He was probably just nervous, and didn’t want the ball at his feet.

    Uremovic and Car played decently together.

    Lol, Perisic played like shit in his limited minutes.. Didn’t matter, but it was pretty funny. Even he was shaking his head about his clumsy play.

    Rog is still one clumsy, unbalanced kid. Let’s move on from him too. put a lid on his NT career, at least until Modric and Brozo retire.

  40. BZ says:

    @Maminjo- I am no Melnjak fanboy, but to blame ANY Croatian defenders for Turkey’s beautiful 3rd goal is a bit disingenuous. It was just great soccer by Turkey. A brilliant dummy which caught Pongracic on his back heels, then a perfect back heel flick to Under who made a great run, and a greater finish. 57th minute

    If anything, Melnjak saved your boy Pongracic from riding the pine for the next 2 years, with a great one on one tackle (after Pongracic’s horrible backpass that sprung Turkey on a breakaway.) 59th minute if you think I am just making shit up to bust your anti-Melnjak narrative.

  41. BEĆAR says:

    The U21’s have a huge game today. Does anyone have any streaming information?

  42. Maminjo says:


    Just watched it.
    The dummy didn’t catch Pongracic. It caught both Badelj and Meljnak.

    Pongracic was well positioned, and had Cenk Tosun cut off from goal. Tosun saw that Melnjak already lost his man (Cengiz Under), and was trailing him by half a step, so he made a nice backheel to Under for the goal.

    I like Melnjak’s effort in trying to shadow his man, but he followed him too closely, which is why that dummy worked so well in shaking him off.

    Again, my comments were based on the highlights only, as I didn’t watch the game, so I didn’t see how both Pongracic and Melnjak played the rest of the game.

    I just watched Pongracic with the soft backpass and nice Melnjak recovery. Hopefully it’s just the result of Pongracic not being in full form yet (I think this is his first game played since his mono).

    Melnjak is still not starter material, and it bothers me that he’s getting so many games instead of Bradaric. Even Barisic is better. He tries hard, but he’s not great defensively. Bradaric and Barisic are both better on that front. Not sure why Dalic keeps giving him full games. Hopefully it’s just to give Bradaric rest for the next match.

  43. BEĆAR says:

    I’m not a Melnjak hater, or fan for that matter. What seems clear to me is that he should be #3 in his position. Why he gets so many minutes boggles my mind.

  44. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    These friendlies are all a tryout for the players who aren’t integral to the squad. A couple of veterans who look on their way out (Vida, Badelj) and some younger players who are in the conversation but not necessarily here to stay. Dalic did fairly good player management at the world cup and the qualifiers leading up to it, with a team full of big egos (Lovren, Vida, Mandzukic, Kalinic, Kramarić, even Pivarić thought he was better than he actually was). He played around with Lovre Kalinić, Marko Livaja, Ivan Santini, et al. following the world cup but still got the team comfortably qualified for Euros, which is most important. Save the scrutiny for the Sweden game.

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