DOHA, 26 March 2022 – Croatia and Slovenia have drawn 1-1 in a friendly international at Education City stadium in Doha on Saturday.
Andrej Kramarić scored his 17th goal in a Croatia shirt when he cooly slotted past Slovenian keeper Jan Oblak in the 39th minute, but Slovenia would find a late equaliser in injury time.
Coach Zlatko Dalić tried out a new formation for the first time, playing with just three at the back and two strikers in a 3-5-2 formation.
Joško Gvardiol, Duje Ćaleta-Car and Marin Pongračić started at the back, with Kristijan Jakić, Mateo Kovačić, Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić and Josip Juranović in the midfield. Ante Budimir partnered Kramarić up front.
Croatia dominated possession in the first half which had a real ‘friendly’ feel about as both sides lacked intensity.
After a couple of half-chances, Kramarić would give Croatia the lead just before the break. A long ball from Ćaleta-Car would fall into the path of the Hoffenheim striker, after a mistake from Slovenian defender David Brekalo, he would make no mistake beating Oblak from just inside the box.
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Croatia got into another gear at the start of the second half, looking more urgent as they started to cause problems for the Slovenian defence.
First Kramarić went close, before Modrić tested Oblak with one of his trademark shots with the outside of his foot.
Both coaches made a number of changes in the final 20 minutes, with Dalić giving game time to Lovro Majer, Marko Livaja, Domagoj Vida, Nikola Vlašić, Mislav Oršić and Mario Pašalić. Croatia continued to create opportunities, with Oršić in particular coming close twice, but could not find a second goal.
Slovenia came close in the 88th minute but Gvardiol would clear off the line twice, but they would find an equaliser in injury time when defender Jaka Bijol headed home from a corner to make it 1-1.
Croatia faces Bulgaria next on Tuesday, March 29th at the same stadium in their final match before the UEFA Nations League starts in June.