What a Match! Croatia Defeats Greece 4:1 in Zagreb for First-Leg of World Cup Playoffs!

Daniela Rogulj

Croatia and Greece met at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on November 9, 2017, for the first leg of the 2018 World Cup playoffs.

In front of 30,000 screaming Croatian fans, the Croatian national team faced Greece for the paramount first-leg of the World Cup playoffs in Zagreb. As you should already know by now, the winner of the playoffs advances to the World Cup in Russia next year. 

The game started off with a bang and Croatia came out hungry for the win. Pressing Greece’s defense hard in the first ten minutes, the first goal game came earlier than expected after Nikola Kalinić was fouled by Greece’s goalkeeper in the box. A penalty was given to Croatia, and captain Luka Modrić flawlessly found the back of the net for 1:0 in the 13th minute. 

Just minutes later, fancy footwork and a stellar cross from Ivan Strinić found the boot of Kalinić, giving Croatia a 2:0 lead in the 19th minute. 

The momentum of the game shifted, however, towards the 30-minute mark. The Croatian defense was caught in the back, and after Vida saved what would have been a clear goal, Greece capitalized on the corner kick given, and Papastathopoulos scored for 2:1.

That score didn’t last long, and just three minutes later, Ivan Perišić scored a brilliant header for Croatia! The game was now 3:1 in the 33rd minute.

Morale was high at the start of the second half, and it didn’t take long for the Croatian team to give their fans yet another reason to celebrate: the final goal of the match was scored by Andrej Kramarić in the 49th minute, securing a 4:1 win for Croatia!

After an incredible performance by the Croatian national team, the two sides will again meet in Greece for the second-leg of the playoffs on Sunday, November 12, 2017.


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