Croatia head coach Ante Čačić was happy with his side’s composure after they came from behind in Rostov on Don to beat Russia 3-1 in a friendly on Tuesday night…
The hosts took the lead in 15th minute, when Smolov finished off a slick Russian move, but goals in the second half to Nikola Kalinić, Mario Mandžukić and Marcelo Brozović gave Croatia a deserved victory.
“I believe that Croatia played well from the very beginning. Even in the first half, when we conceded, we had more opportunities and should have been ahead. We did not lose our heads and ended this calendar year with a victory over respectable opponent, and we can continue our work in good spirits”, said Čačić.
“I am sure that coach Slutski also used this match for the future and therefore Russia was not at the highest level, but we still had to be excellent for the entire 90 minutes. We had the idea how to defeat Russia and managed to win”.
“We wanted to try out Mandžukić and Kalinić together in attack, Vrsaljko was fantastic with two assist, but I am overjoyed with the approach of the entire team. This was a proper competitive match, with Russia also playing well in some periods. To be honest, I would not like to face Russia in France”, concluded Čačić.
RUSSIA – CROATIA 1:3 (1:0)
Olimp-2 Stadium, Rostov on Don.
Referee: C. Turpin (France)
Goals: 1:0 – Smolov (15′), 1:1 – N. Kalinić (57′), 1:2 – Brozović (59′), 1:3 – Mandžukić (81′)
Yellow cards: Perišić (29′), Vida (36′)
Russia: Lodygin (46′ Rebrov), Kombarov (65′ Novoseltsev), Semenov, Vasin (89′ Ignashevich), Shishkin, Glushakov (71′ Mamaev), Ionov (65′ Ignatyev), Shirokov, Iusupov, Chernyshev (70′ Dzyuba), Smolov. Head coach: L. Slutski.
Croatia: L. Kalinić (90+1′ Vargić), Pivarić, Vida, Lešković, Srna (46′ Vrsaljko), Močinić, Badelj, Brozović, Perišić, Mandžukić (87′ Kramarić), N. Kalinić (75′ Milović). Head coach: A. Čačić.
(photo credit/Drago Sopta HNS)