Euro Under-21 Qualifiers: Croatia Loses to Czech Republic, Records Second Defeat in Group

Daniela Rogulj

November 18, 2019 – The Croatia Under-21 national team hurt their chances of qualifying for the 2021 European Championships after losing to the Czech Republic 1:2 in Velika Gorica on Monday.

It was the second defeat of the young national team in four games played thus far, and the second loss at home, reports

Croatia opened the qualifiers with a defeat at home to Scotland (1:2), after which Nenad Gracan was fired and the team was taken over by Igor Biscan. In his debut on the bench, Croatia celebrated in San Marino 0:7 and then against Lithuania away 1:3. However, they suffered an unpleasant defeat against the Czech Republic at home on Monday. 

Croatia led in the game thanks to Luka Ivanusec who scored in the 31st minute, but the Czechs turned the result with goals from Ladislav Krejci (39) and Pavel Bucha (72).

The young Croatia team entered the game forcefully and had a great chance already in the second minute by Petar Musa, but Martin Jedlička defended his shot. In the 19th minute, Josip Brekalo had an even better chance against the Czech keeper, but Jedlička responded once more. Croatia, however, finally took the lead in the 31st minute thanks to Luka Ivanusec. 

Unfortunately, only eight minutes later, the Czech Republic equalized from a corner when Krejci scored. In the second half, the Czech Republic turned the score completely thanks to Pavel Bucha in the 72nd minute, who used the confusion of defenders Branimir Kalaica and Josko Gvardiol.

Domagoj Bradaric was booked for a red card in the last minute of the game.

The Czech Republic now leads the group with 11 points, Greece follows in second with 10 points, Scotland is in third with eight points and Croatia is in fourth with six points. Lithuania (4) and San Marino (0) make up the last two spots in the group. 

The next U-21 national team game is against Scotland on March 27.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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