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Croatia and Slovakia draw 2-2 in Osijek

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Croatia line up before taking on Slovakia in Osijek (Photo: Drago Sopta/HNS)

OSIJEK, 11 October 2021 – Croatia and Slovakia have drawn 2-2 in their 2022 World Cup qualifying match on a wet night in Osijek.

Zlatko Dalić made four changes from the side which started against Cyprus with Domagoj Vida and Borna Barišić coming into the back four for Duje Ćaleta-Car and Borna Sosa, Mario Pašalić replacing the suspended Mateo Kovačić and Luka Ivanušec coming in for Nikola Vlašić.

Croatia controlled possession early on but despite that that they would not test Marek Rodák in the Slovakia goal. Meanwhile, the few times the visitors got forward they managed to look threatening and it would be no surprise they would take the lead in the 20th minute. 

Hamšík whipped in a free-kick from the right which found Schranz who found the back of the net with a point-blank header past the hapless Dominik Livaković.

The Croatian fans at Gradski Vrt stadium did not have to wait long for the equaliser.

In the 25th minute Luka Modrić’s in-swinging corner from the left was flicked on by a Slovakian defender to Andrej Kramarić who headed home to make it 1-1 with his first goal in a year for Croatia.

Slovakia went back in front just before halftime when Almási broke down the right and found Haraslín unmarked at the back post and he would cuts back and fire through the legs of Livaković at his near post.

Dalić made a number of changes in the second half, bringing on Josip Brekalo, Nikola Vlašić and Marko Livaja as he looked for a equaliser and it would finally come in the 70th minute.

Modrić would win a free kick on the edge of the box and he would step up himself to chip it somehow through the wall and it would roll into the back of the net.

Croatia chased a winner and almost grabbed one minutes later when Marcelo Brozović’s cross was deflected onto the post by the Slovakian defender. Croatia would find the back of the net in the 84th minute when Vlašić tapped in from close range but VAR ruled out the goal for offside and it would stay 2-2.

Croatia has two more matches left in November against Malta away and Russia at home. Russia’s victory tonight over Slovenia means they lead the group by 2 points over Croatia who is now in second place.

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