Croatia has notched up their first win since the World Cup semi-final against England after they beat Jordan 2-1 in an international friendly on Monday night in Rijeka.
Coach Zlatko Dalić rested Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić, Ivan Rakitić and Mateo Kovačić for the match and handed the captain’s armband to Domagoj Vida and a debut to young FC Nordsjælland defender Karlo Bartolec.
Croatia started brightly and in the opening ten minutes Andrej Kramarić, Ante Rebić, and Bartolec had a crack with shots.
Jordan fashioned their first opportunity in the 14th minute when Al-Taamari turned in the box but his shot would just shave the bar.
The young Croatian side started to control possession with Marko Pjaca looking dangerous with some slick skills near the Jordan goal and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 24th minute after captain Vida headed home from a corner.
Rebić, Mario Pašalić and Kramarić would have turns with shots in the first half but none would threaten the Jordan keeper Yaseen as the sides went into the break with the score still at 1-0.
Dalić rung the changes at half-time, bringing on Matej Mitrović, Filip Bradarić and Josip Pivarić.
The first real chance for Croatia to double their lead in the second spell came in the 56th minute when a good move put Pašalić free but his shot from outside the box lacked power and was easily saved by Yaseen.
Mitrović came close five minutes later but his header from a corner was well saved. Pjaca was next to come close but his shot from six yards out was somehow blocked.
Croatia would finally find the back of the net in the 62nd minute when Mitrović rose highest to head home a Marko Rog free-kick.
Jordan pulled one back when a free-kick from just outside the box was deflected in past Dominik Livaković in the Croatian goal.
Croatia had more chances to extend their lead through Vida, Santini and Pjaca but neither could find the back of the net and the score would remain at 2-1 until the final whilst.
“I will remember tonight, scoring in my debut as captain and I thank the coach for giving me the chance but the most important thing tonight was the victory. We have got back to winning ways and that was important,” captain Vida said after the match.
Croatia’s next international will be a UEFA Nations League clash with Spain in Zagreb on 15 November. Three days later they will meet England at Wembley.
CROATIA 2-1 JORDAN
Rujevica stadium, Rijeka
GOALS: Vida 24’, Mitrović 62’, own goal 73′
CROATIA: Livaković; Bartolec (Jedvaj 62’), Lovren (Mitrović 45’), Vida, Milić (Pivarić 45’); Rog, Badelj (Bradarić 45’), Pašalić; Kramarić (65′), Rebić (Livaja 62’), Pjaca
JORDAN: Yaseen; Khattab, Marie, Alarab; Shilbaya, Bani Attiah, Al Samrieh, Bakheet; Al Mardi; Al Qara, Al-Taamari