September 1, 2021 – Russia and Croatia draw in Moscow in the Vatreni’s first 2022 World Cup qualifying game this month.
The Croatia national team continued their 2022 World Cup qualifying round against Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Coach Zlatko Dalic encountered a problem before the start of the match. Gvardiol, who was supposed to play with Lovren, felt a muscle contraction before kick-off. Duje Ćaleta-Car entered the starting lineup instead. Recall that Luka Modrić did not travel with the team to Russia due to an injury.
Russia: Guilherme; Mario Fernandes, Diveev, Djikiya, Karavayev; Kuzyayev, Barinov, Golovin; Ionov, Miranchuk, Zakharyan
Croatia: Livaković; Juranović, Lovren, aleta-Car, Sosa; Brozović, Kovačić; Vlašić, Pašalić, Perišić; Kramarić
The match started with a Russian attack that posed no problem for Livaković. A good swing on the wings of Croatia saw a few balls played into the penalty area but missed the Russian goalkeeper. Croatia’s first corner was in the 11th minute. Ćaleta Car’s header went over the goal.
Russia’s most dangerous opportunity came in the 14th minute with a rocket from Zakharyan, but Livaković’s fingers forced him to score for a corner.
Croatia started to attack more aggressively within 5 minutes, with crosses lobed into the box by Sosa and Juranović.
While Croatia held the ball on, they kept their cool and didn’t attack the Russian goal much from the 30th minute. Russia, however, also struggled to give Livaković a lot of work.
Croatia’s best chance came in the 40th minute with a world-class deep pass from Kovačić. The Russian goalkeeper beat Kramarić by a millisecond, ending the game. Another big chance came two minutes later. Juranović’s brilliant cross into the box went from Pašalić’s header to Perišić who shot just wide of the goal.
The game ended 0-0 at half-time after much more attacking Croatia in the last 5 minutes.
The second half started with a shot on goal for Russia, which Livaković saved to keep the score 0-0. Croatia’s first real chance in the second half came 10 minutes later when Vlašić shot over the goal. Croatia struggled to break through the strong Russian defense.
The Croatian defense got lucky when a Russian attack was flagged offside in the 62nd minute. Sosa shot from outside the box two minutes later, but it was an easy save for the Russian goalkeeper.
Luka Ivanušec replaced Mario Pašalić in the 69th minute. Mislav Oršic replaced Andrej Kramarić and Mirko Livaja for Ivan Perišić in the 72nd.
Russia increased their attacking game but failed to find the back of the net. Ivanušec shot the keeper in the 81st minute. An injury ended Ćaleta Car’s game in the 84th minute. Mile Škorić was replaced in his place.
A weak 87th minute clearance from Lovren nearly cost Croatia a goal, but Livaković saved it to keep the score even. The final minutes saw the Croatian defense panic threatened by Russia in the penalty area.
Four minutes were added by the referee.
Kovačić used his technical skills to dribble through the Russian defense, slugging a ball through the goal line in the 2nd minute of added time for another Croatia chance, but it wasn’t enough. The match ended 0: 0.
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