Croatia Defeats Kosovo 1:0 at Maksimir

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

The rescheduled match took place this afternoon at 14:30 in Zagreb. 

After convincing 6:0 win against Kosovo last October, the Croatian national team faced Kosovo twice this weekend in Zagreb in the European qualifier match for the World Cup 2018 in Russia, announces HNS on September 3, 2017.

After the game was suspended due to weather and an entirely unplayable pitch last night (you can read more about that here), the two teams met again today to finish the game from the 22nd minute, precisely the time the game was suspended yesterday. 

While the match was anything but pretty and Croatia struggled to find their groove, the team was able to secure three points after winning on a somewhat better pitch. 

The deciding goal came in the 74th minute when Croatian captain Luka Modrić nailed a free kick into the box which skimmed, quite literally, off of Domogoj Vida’s ponytail and into the back of the net. The game ended 1:0 for Croatia. 

“No matter who scored, it is important that Croatia achieved three points and that the fans are satisfied. I’m happy, especially because I do not usually score for the national team. Congratulations to my teammates. The field was very difficult to play on – and considering that yesterday was disastrous, thank you to everyone that was prepared for this match, and especially thank you to the fans who came back to the stadium to cheer us on, ” said Vida. 

An important three points for the team, Croatia now retains their lead ahead of dangerous rivals Ukraine and are placed at the top of Group I. They are now one step closer to their desired goal of advancing to the World Cup in Russia next year.

In other Group I news, Finland achieved a 1:0 win against Iceland at home, while Ukraine defeated Turkey 2:0. 

On Monday, the Croatian national team will travel to Eskisehir where they will face Turkey on Tuesday night.

Qualifications for World Cup, Group I:

1. Croatia 16 

2. Ukraine 14 

3. Iceland 13 

4. Turkey 11 

5. Finland 4 

6. Kosovo 1

Official: S. Johannesson (Sweden)

Goals: 1:0 – Vida (74′)

Yellow Cards: Muriqi (65′), Vojvoda (83′), Pivarić (90′)

Croatia: Subašić, Pivarić, Lovren, Vida, Vrsaljko, Modrić, Kovačić (out 55′ for Badelj), Rakitić (out 55′ for Kramarić), Brozović (out 73′ for N. Kalinić), Perišić, Mandžukić. Coach: A. Čačić.

Kosovo: Ujkani, Vojvoda, Rrahmani, Jashanica, Kololli (out 71′ for Paqarada), Alushi, Rashica, Berisha, Kryeziu, Zeneli (out 79′ for Nuhiu), Muriqi (out 67′ for Fejzullahu). Coach: A. Bunjaki.

Stay tuned as TCN’s Daniela Rogulj will share her take on the experience next. 


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