Euro Under-21 Qualifiers: Crucial Win for Croatia against Lithuania in Vilnius

Daniela Rogulj

November 15, 2019 – The Croatia Under-21 team defeated Lithuania 3:1 in the third qualifier with goals by Ivanušec, Posavec, and Bistrović and secured crucial points in the fight for the European Championship in 2021.

Igor Bišćan’s team was a big favorite to win, which was clear from the first minute. Croatia’s high pressure didn’t give the home side a chance, and in the 9th minute, Croatia already took the lead. The excellent Peter Musa was first to the ball, which forced the Lithuanian defender to knock him down in the penalty area. The referee awarded a penalty to Croatia. 

The Lithuania goalkeeper first defended Ivanušec’s shot, but the ball bounced back to the boot of the Dinamo midfielder, who easily scored for the lead. From that moment until the 60th minute, Lithuania did not exist on the pitch. Croatia dominated and routinely held their lead, and it’s a wonder they didn’t score any more until the equalizing goal.

Already in the 13th minute, Musa shot at the keeper, and in the 21st, the same player missed a great opportunity off a Šutalo cross. Mario Ćuže tried to lob the keeper in the 47th minute, though he was able to defend. 

And then Lithuania equalized thanks to a Croatia mixup. In the 60th minute, Lithuania crossed the ball into the box, Šutalo and Kalaica both pulled away from the ball, and Antanavičius scored for 1:1.

The equalizer shocked Bišćan’s side for ten minutes, but in the final, Croatia broke the home side and deservedly won, even though Lithuania helped them get their second goal. In the 73rd minute, a mistake by Lithuania’s left back saw Musa win the ball 40 meters from the Croatian goal. Musa played Bistrović for a quick counter.

The CSKA midfielder perfectly played the lone Posavec, who was left unmarked by the left back, and found no difficulty scoring for 1:2. Lithuania did not manage to put together a coherent action until the end, and Croatia’s victory was confirmed by Bistrović in the 89th minute with an excellent assist by Ivanušec.

The Croatia Under-21s will play their next game on Monday in Velika Gorica against the Czech Republic.


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