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10 years ago today: Croatia’s only football victory over Serbia 

Darijo Srna mandarins croatian hospitals

Darijo Srna was captain of Croatia for their only victory over Serbia (Photo: Fanny Schertzer/CC BY-SA 3.0)

When rivals clash, football is more than just a game. From the historic clashes between England and Germany to the rivalry between Argentina and Brazil, football has given rise to some of the most intense and passionate battles on and off the field.

The rivalry between Croatia and Serbia goes beyond the pitch and holds a deep-rooted significance due to the complex, bloody history. 

Since Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia back in 1991, the two nations have met four times. Twice when Serbia was still called Yugoslavia and twice since the name changed from Yugoslavia to Serbia 

In those four matches, only Croatia has enjoyed victory, and that victory took place on this day 10 years ago. 

On 22 March, 2013, Croatia and Serbia met in Zagreb in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier. 

Mario Mandžukić opened the scoring for Croatia in front of a packed Maksimir stadium in the 23rd minute. 

In the 37th minute, Ivica Olić got on the end of a cross to make it 2-0, and the score would remain like that until the final whilst. 

Croatia v Serbia (Yugoslavia) matches

1999 – UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying 

Yugoslavia 0-0 Croatia 

This was the first match played between the rivals since the war and it was played at the Red Star Belgium. Whilst there were no goals, the match was famously known for the power outage which took place.  

1999 – UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying

Yugoslavia 2-2 Croatia

The return group match in Zagreb had plenty of drama. Croatia took the lead through Alen Bokšić before Predrag Mijatović and Dejan Stanković put Yugoslavia ahead. Mario Stanić would equalise but Croatia could not find a winner and they would fail to qualify for Euro. 

2013 – FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying 

Croatia 2-0 Serbia 

Goals to Mario Mandžukić and Ivica Olić gave Croatia a convincing win over Serbia in Zagreb. 

2013 – FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying

Serbia 1-1 Croatia

Mario Mandžukić put Croatia in front before Aleksandar Mitrović levelled. The match is remembered for the sending off of Croatia defender Joe Šimunić who took out Miralem Sulejmani with a brutal challenge.

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