Croatian U-21 Team Faces Sweden in Last Qualifying Match for Euro Championship 2017

Daniela Rogulj

The Croatian U-21 football organization, under the direction of coach Nenad Gračan, will play the Swedish Trelleborg today at 18:45 in the last match of qualifications for the European Championship, held in Poland next year.

Croatia and Sweden, who is the defending champion of Europe in this category, met on September 1 in Koprivnica when the result ended in a draw, 1:1. Cibicki brought Sweden to the lead, but Perica tied with a goal in the 78th minute, recalls Index.


For Euro, the winners of all nine groups automatically move forward, with the four best second place teams going into a playoff round to fight for the last two spots. A Croatian win tonight ensures first place in the group and the advancement to Euro. Unfortunately for Gračan, the Croatian U-21’s are traveling with a decimated roster.


The absence of 21 year-old Marko Rog definitely hurts, as he was moved up to the Croatian National Team after Ante Čačić needed him in the A team’s selection against Kosovo and Finland.


Dinamo’s trio Ćorić, Fiolić and Pavičić were apparently unfit due to injuries, but since Friday have been seen in full operational training for Dinamo. Tin Jedvaj was also confirmed to not be playing as of this morning.


Injuries and absences aside, the team seems to have high hopes. “We respect Sweden, we know that they are a good team, and we will give our maximum. We believe in ourselves and we believe we can make a positive result and qualify to the next round,” said the young Dinamo striker Filip Benković.


“This time we are better prepared and given that the only game that remains is this one game, we’ve had time to focus only on Sweden. We should be aware of their collective the most, not of individual efforts. We’ve analyzed them and we hope for a positive outcome, a victory,” said Stipe Perica.


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