U21 Euros: Croatia Loses to Romania 1:4 in 1st Round

Daniela Rogulj

In the first round of Group C of the U21 European Football Championship held in Italy and San Marino, the young Croatia national team lost to Romania 1:4 and thus significantly reduced their chances of placing in the semi-finals and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, reports HRT on June 18, 2019.

George Puscas (11’-penalty), Ianis Hagi (14’), Tudor Baluta (66’) and Adrian Petre (90 + 2’) scored for Romania, while Nikola Vlašić (18’) scored for Croatia. 

The young Croatian side is back in the Euros for the first time in 15 years. Recall, in their past two attempts, they were unable to make it out of the group. This time, however, Croatia came to the Euros with high ambitions. The primary motivation for the Croatia U21s is a place in the Tokyo Olympic Games next year, which has not been achieved by any Croatian football generation. A visa for Japan comes with a spot in the semifinals.

Unfortunately, after losing to Romania, Nenad Gračan’s side awaits France and England, and the chances of winning the first place in the group for a spot in the semis are minimized.

France and England meet in the second meeting of this group at 9 pm in Cesena.

Croatia will play France in the second round on June 21, and in the last round of the group on June 24, they will play against England.

A place in the semifinals, which also guarantees a seat at the Tokyo Olympics, will be secured by the winners of the group and the best second-placed team of the three groups. 

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