Croatia U21s Undefeated in Euro 2023 Qualifiers after Beating Austria 3:1

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Srecko Niketic/PIXSELL
Srecko Niketic/PIXSELL

The young Croatia national football team continued their Euro 2023 qualifiers against Austria on Monday – and with an away win, Croatia has recorded its sixth victory in the same number of matches in the European Championship qualifiers. Igor Bišćan’s team defeated Austria 3:1 (0:2) in a Croatia-fan-dominated Ried. Lukas Kačavenda, Bartol Franjić, and Luka Sučić scored for Croatia, while Romano Schmid scored for Austria. 

Croatia was dangerous already in the 10th minute when Marin found Boško Šutalo with a corner kick on the near post, though the ball was sent over the goal. Austria retaliated two minutes later when Demir fired a free kick from more than 20 meters, but Kotarski was solid in the defense. 

Kačavenda put Croatia in the lead in the 14th minute with an excellent goal. The Lokomotiva striker nailed the upper right corner from 20 meters.

Austria came close to equalizing in the 17th and 21st minutes. 

Croatia crowned a better game in the first half with another goal. In the 41st minute, Sučić sent the ball far post from a free kick. Captain Franjić’s shot bounced off the goal and crossed the goal line before Hedl managed to control it.

At the beginning of the second half, Croatia increased its advantage after Marin was knocked down on the edge of the penalty area. Sučić scored for 3:0. 

Austria threatened Croatia often in the last half hour. Austria finally got a goal in the 67th minute when Schmid scored a precise shot from 20 meters, similar to Kačavenda’s goal in the first half.

In the second game in this group played on Tuesday, Norway defeated Azerbaijan 2:1 away. Croatia now has 18 points, Norway is second with 15, and Austria third with 12 and a game more.

Croatia thus stays at the top of the group with a three-point advantage over Norway. Their qualifying journey will continue at the end of March next year when they will compete against Austria and Finland at home.

Nine group winners and the best second-placed team will qualify for the European Championships, while the remaining eight runners-up will advance to additional qualifications.

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


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