Croatia, led by Luka Modric, beat Cyprus (0-3) in Larnaca to keep the pulse for first place of Group H of the European qualification phase of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The Balkan team, runner-up in the world, recovered their captain, absent due to injury in the previous national team break.
Modric assisted Ivan Perisic to put Croatia ahead in stoppage time in the first half. The white player was able to extend his team’s lead early in the second half after Nicholas Ioannou committed a penalty. Luka Modric took the shot from eleven meters, but goalkeeper Neofytos Michail stopped the shot.
Croatia extended their lead in the 80th minute through Josko Gvardiol, after a corner kick, and Marko Livaja, on a pass from Josip Brekalo, in added time, rounded off the third victory in a row for Zlatko Dalic’s team, who replaced Modric with six minutes remaining. The Croatian team leads Group H on points level with Russia, who beat Slovakia 1-0.
Russia 1 – Slovakia 0
Russia achieved a vital victory for their World Cup qualification options on Friday by defeating Slovakia 1-0, which deserved more luck, since the best player of the match was the Russian goalkeeper.
An unfortunate own goal from experienced Inter Milan central defender Skriniar allowed Valeri Karpins’ pupils to add three points. The Slovaks had the best scoring chances, especially in the first half, but Matvéi Safónov, the Russian Krasnodar goalkeeper, was brilliant.
Marine Tzionis (45 ‘, Ioannis Pittas), Antoniades (59 ‘, Andreas Avraam), Pasalic (62 ‘, Kovacic), Livaja (67 ‘, Kramaric), Josip Brekalo (67 ‘, Nikola Vlasic), Loizos Loizou (68 ‘, F. Papoulis), Kyriakou (68 ‘, Artymatas), Luka Ivanusec (83 ‘, Modric), Kristijan jakic (83 ‘, Brozovic), Andronikos Kakoullis (85 ‘, Pieros Soteriou)
0-1, 46 ‘: Perisic, 0-2, 79 ‘: Gvardiol, 0-3, 91 ‘: Livaja
Kovacic (32 ‘, Yellow) Artymatas (32 ‘, Yellow) Andreas Avraam (43 ‘, Yellow) Josip Stanisic (60 ‘, Yellow