Croatia met Slovenia in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier this month at Poljud Stadium in Split. Around 20,000 spectators were expected for this match, though only those with COVID certificates were able to enter the stadium. Split Police have been vigilant since the morning to avoid any incidents.
Croatia: Ivušić, Juranović, Lovren, Vida, Barišić, Brozović, Kovačić, Pašalić, Livaja, Perišić, Kramarić
Slovenia: Oblak, Stojanović, Bijol, Mevlja, Balkovec, Gnezda Čerin, Stanković, Kurtic, Lovrić, Iličić, Šeško
Croatia’s first attack happened in the first minute of the match. Ivan Perišić ran the ball up the wing and shot on goal. Andrej Kramarić had a chance two minutes later which went out for a goal kick.
Another attack for Croatia in the 5th minute saw Juranović carry the ball up the right wing to find Kramarić who crossed into the box. Barašić played the ball back in from the left and Pašalić headed to the keeper.
Croatia’s first corner kick came in the 6th minute. The ball ultimately found Barašić who shot over the goal.
Croatia’s best chance came in the 9th minute – a Perišić cross made its way to the penalty box with 3 Croatia players in front of the goal.
Another incredible chance for Croatia in the 19th minute – a beautiful play between Kramarić, Perišić, and Barašić found Andrej at the top of the box, though his shot went straight to the keeper.
Another almost goal happened in the 25th minute – Oblak was out of his goal but Livaja was unable to shoot before the ball went out for a goal kick.
Livaja tried his luck and shot from 30 meters out in the 28th minute which Oblak touched out for a corner.
Then it finally happened – Hajduk superstar Marko Livaja scored for 1:0 Croatia in the 33rd minute!
Pašalić had a chance two minutes later off a corner but headed to the Slovenia keeper.
A cross in from Juranović in the 37th minute found Perišić’s head but was an easy save for Oblak. Perišić dribbled up the left wing a minute later but shot over the goal. Oblak made an unbelievable save in the next minute to keep it 1:0.
Croatia was playing really beautiful football, which was a huge improvement from their game against Slovakia. The momentum from the home fans was certainly helping. The match ended 1:0 for Croatia at the half.
Croatia’s attacking game did not dwindle to start the second half. Balls were launched into the box from both sides, though Oblak always seemed to find his way there.
Slovenia was having a hard time making it past the halfway line in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Slovenia subbed in Hajduk player Jan Mlakar in the 53rd minute.
Zlatko Dalić made his first sub in the 57th minute – Marko Livaja came out for Nikola Vlašić.
Kova dribbled through the Slovenia defense in the 60th minute which went out for a corner.
But it didn’t take long for Croatia to get their second goal. A Perišič cross found Pašalić who scored for 2:0 in the 66th minute! Playing at Poljud was certainly giving these former Hajduk stars an extra push.
Mateo Kovačić was subbed off for Luka Ivanušec, Andrej Kramarić came off for Mislav Oršić, and Dejan Lovren came off for Duje Ćaleta Car in the 76th minute.
Nikola Vlašić nearly had his chance in the 81st minute after dribbling to the goal line but was unlucky in the end.
Ivan Perišić was subbed off for Antonio Čolak in the 85th minute.
Oršić and Ivanušec both had chances in the 88th-90th minutes, but the game remained 2:0. Four minutes of extra time were added.
A Hajduk hattrick tonight became a reality – Nikola Vlašić scored in the final minute of the game for 3:0!
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