After Croatia played 1:1 with Slovenia on Saturday, Croatia met Bulgaria on Tuesday for their second friendly match in Doha.
Coach Zlatko Dalić changed 10 of the 11 players from the starting lineup against Slovenia. Just as he announced, he gave everyone a chance to start from the first minute, that is, to rest those who were in the starting 11 three days ago. Because Lovren wasn’t ready, the only player who started both matches was Duje Ćaleta-Car.
Croatia: (3-5-2): Ivušić – Škorić, Vida, Ćaleta-Car – Oršić, Majer, Moro, Pašalić, Barišić – Vlašić, Livaja
Bulgaria: Vucov – Turicov, P. Hristov, A. Hristov, Jordanov – Nedelev, Čočev, Malinov, Kirilov – Minčev, Despodov.
Croatia started offensively and got into Bulgaria’s penalty area in the first minute. Bulgaria had their first dangerous counter in the 6th minute which Škorić cleared.
Livaja had a chance in the 8th minute and Barišić shot from the left in the 11th which was cleared for a corner. Oršić had a chance two minutes later which also went out for a corner.
Moro shot on target from 20 meters in the 20th minute which the Bulgaria keeper hit out for Croatia’s third corner of the match.
Bulgaria had a chance in the 25th minute which Ivušić defended for a Bulgaria corner. Mile Škorić was injured moments later forcing Pogrančić to be subbed on in the 28th minute.
Barišić shot again from the left in the 35th minute and Orišić with his left foot three minutes later.
The first half ended 0:0 with 59% of possession for Croatia and 11 total shots, 4 of which were on target.
Perišić and Kovačić came on for Moro and Vida to start the second half.
Perišić threatened Bulgaria’s goal two minutes into the second half. Pašalić also had a chance in the 54th minute.
In the 60th minute, Vlašić and Livaja came out for Kramarić and Budimir.
In the 63rd minute, Ćaleta-Car got his second yellow card and was sent off, forcing Croatia to play with a man down.
Despodov took advantage of a hole in Croatia’s defense to put Bulgaria ahead in the 69th minute. A foul was called on Kramarić in the penalty area five minutes later and Modrić scored from the penalty spot for 1:1.
Kramarić dribbled through Bulgaria’s defense in the 80th minute to find the far post for 2:1 Croatia.
Bulgaria had a brilliant chance in the 87th minute after Kovačić lost the ball, though Barišić saved the day to keep it 2:1.
Bulgaria had another chance in the 90th minute and the ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time. The match ended 2:1 for Croatia.
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