EURO 2024 Qualifiers: Croatia Triumphs Over Latvia in 5-0 Victory

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Photo by Igor Soban/PIXSELL

September 8, 2023 – Croatia was absolutely dominant in the 5th round of the EURO 2024 qualifiers on Friday with a 5-0 victory against Latvia in Rijeka.

Croatia and Latvia met in the 5th round of Group D qualifications for the 2024 European Championship at a sold-out Rujevica stadium in Rijeka on Friday. Croatia, as expected, was the big favorite in this match.

Coach Zlatko Dalić made some changes to the lineup compared to his announcements before the match. Borna Sosa was at left back, Mateo Kovačić was not in the starting 11, Luka Ivanušec was in the midfield instead, with Ivan Perišić on the left wing and Andrej Kramarić on the right.


CROATIA: Livaković – Juranović, Šutalo, Gvardiol, Sosa – Brozović, Modrić – Kramarić, Ivanušec, Perišić – Petković

LATVIA: Purinš – Savalniks, Chernomordijs, Dubra, Sorokins – Jaunzems, Emsis, Tobers, Ciganiks – Uldrikis, Ikaunieks

Match report

Croatia’s place as the favorite in this match was confirmed after scoring already in the 2nd minute. A beautiful Bruno Petković free kick from about 20 meters out found the back of the net for 1-0.

Croatia’s dominance only continued from there, and it was impossible for Latvia to see the ball. With Croatia mostly in Latvia’s half, the second goal was on the horizon. Perišić crossed from the left side to Petković, who was in the box with the Latvia goalkeeper and center back. The ball bounced to Luka Ivanušec who shot through the defense for 2-0 in the 13th minute.

Another chance for Croatia came in the 26th minute. An excellent ball from Modrić on the right was received by Kramarić, who entered the penalty area diagonally but shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Latvia had their first chance in the 29th minute. Uldrikis escaped the entire Croatian defense, but Šutalo caught up with him, and Livaković made a great save. 

Croatia continued to have chances in the following 10 minutes, which ultimately resulted in their third goal. A perfect ball by Perišić found Petković on the left side, who scored in an empty goal for 3-0.

The second half started with one change for Croatia – Vida replaced Gvardiol.

Modrić shot in the 48th minute but hit the crossbar. The rebound came to Kramarić, but Latvia was able to clear the play. Another excellent action by Croatia in the 53rd minute followed. Petković played perfectly to Ivanušec, who shot at the goalkeeper.

In the 60th minute, Dalić made two changes – Brozović and Modrić came off for Pašalić and Vlašić.

An almost scary chance for Lativa happened just four minutes later. Ikaunieks received a great ball, Vida couldn’t reach it, but Livaković saved the day.

Three minutes later, Dalić made two more subs. Petković and Sosa come out for Musa and Barišić. As soon as he entered, Barišić took a free kick from the left side and found Krama on the far post who routinely scored for 4-0.

And Croatia wasn’t done yet – a brilliant rocket in the back of the net by Pašalić made it 5-0 in the 78th minute! Croatia had more chances to end the match but did not score. The game ended 5-0 for Croatia.

Croatia plays Armenia next on Monday at 6 pm. As Group D currently stands, Turkey is at the top with 10 points and 5 games played, while Croatia is in 2nd with 7 points and a game less.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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