China Cup: Croatia Defeated by China in Third Place Match

Daniela Rogulj

The Croatian national football team was defeated in the third place match of China Cup after losing to China in a penalty shootout. The game initially ended in 1:1 with goals by Croatia’s Ivanušec and China’s Jingbin. 

Croatia took last place in the first ever China Cup, and in both the semi-finals against Chile and in the third place match against China, the fate of penalties brought Croatia down.  

Luka Ivanušec scored a goal for Croatia in the 36th minute after a fine action with Tudor. The 18-year-old Ivanušec from Varazdin (who is really 18 years, one month, and 19 days old) has became the youngest scorer in the history of the Croatian national team, taking over from Ivan Rakitic who previously held the record at 19 years and six months old.

During the second half China played a more open game. Croatia missed a couple of good opportunities that would have resolved the question of penalties, and unlucky enough, Croatia was punished by a goal in the 89th minute after China’s Jingbin scored with a header after a cross from the left.

After 90 minutes the game was tied 1:1, forcing a penalty shootout. Pivarić, Ozobić and Juranović were successful for Croatia, but both Perošević and Mišić missed, ultimately allowing for the Chinese victory.

Penalties: 1: 2 – Pivarić, 2: 2 – Hongbo, 2: 3 – Ozobić, 3: 3 – Zhongguo, Perošević – misses, Xiaodong – saved by Prskalo, 3: 4 – Juranović, 4: 4 – Jingbin, Mišić – saved by Xiaotian, 5: 4 – Jinxian scores. 

All in all, a good effort put on by our young Croatian squad this tournament. The first ever China Cup final will be held between Chile and Iceland this Sunday. 



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