Goals to Anas Sharbini, Mateo Kovačić, Mario Mandžukić and Andrej Kramarić was enough to give Croatia a one-sided win in the heat on Sunday and please Kovač ahead of Friday’s important Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy.
“We really like what we have seen, especially in the first half. We had plenty of chances, and there were positives from the second half too. It was important for me to see my players in a friendly match after a long, difficult club season”, said Kovač, before adding.
“Croatia had nice support from the almost full crowd, and I believe people have enjoyed the match. Therefore, our mission is accomplished, and Mandžukić worked for himself and the entire team, finally scored a goal and this should provide him with enough self-confidence ahead of the Italy encounter”, concluded Kovač.
CROATIA – GIBRALTAR 4:0 (2:0)
NK Varaždin Stadium, Varaždin.
Referee: Matej Jug (Slovenia)
Goalscorers: 1:0 – Sharbini (7′), 2:0 – Kovačić (15′), 3:0 – Mandžukić (53′ – 11m), 4:0 – Kramarić (77′)
Yellow cards: Jedvaj (31′), Bosio (53′)
Croatia: Subašić, Vrsaljko, Jedvaj, Lešković, Leovac, Badelj (65′ Jajalo), Pjaca (57′ Perišić), Brozović (65′ Pašalić), Kovačić (46′ Rebić), Sharbini (46′ Kramarić), Mandžukić (57′ Kalinić). Manager: N. Kovač.
Gibraltar: Perez (46′ Robba), Bosio, Garcia (75′ Lopez), R. Casciaro, Rovegno (46′ Chipolina), Bardon (46′ Sergeant), Walker, Guiling, Priestley, Duarte (46′ Coombes), Gosling (5′ K. Casciaro). Manager: D. Wilson.
(photos / Drago Sopta HNS)