ST. GALLEN, 7 October 2020 – Croatia has come from behind to beat Switzerland 2-1 in an international friendly in front of a number of Croatian fans at Kybunpark stadium in St. Gallen on Wednesday night.
Coach Zlatko Dalić fielded an inexperienced side with Nations League matches on Sunday and next Wednesday coming up against Sweden and France.
Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barišić and Marcelo Brozović were all left on the bench, making room for Dario Melnjak, Filip Uremović, Domagoj Bradarić and Mario Pašalić.
Croatia keeper Dominik Livaković was called upon early to make two good saves from close range from Rodriguez and Gavranović.
Switzerland 1-0 Croatia
The Dinamo Zagreb striker would find the back of the net in the 31st minute when he snuck in behind the defence to head past Livaković from inside the box to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
Switzerland 1-1 Croatia
In the 42nd minute, Croatia would get back on level terms when debutant Bradarić chipped in a cross to Brekalo who would finish with a superb volley.
Dalić made a number of changes in the second half, bringing on Jedvaj, Budimir, Ante another making his debut, Marko Rog, Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić, and Tin Jedvaj.
Switzerland 1-2 Croatia
It would be debutant Budimir who would help get Croatia back in front in the 67th minute when he found Pašalić with a wonderful cross who just had to tap in for his first international goal.
Neither side could create any real chances in the final 15 minutes of the game and Croatia would hang on for the win to break the sequence of losses last month against Portugal and France.
The victory was the first for Croatia in four matches against the Swiss. Croatia now heads to Zagreb for two Nations League matches, first on Sunday against Sweden, before facing world champions France next Wednesday.
“First Congratulations to the guys on the win which they deserved and to the fans who were majority Croatian. I am happy with the performance and it was good preparation for Sweden and France. Some players showed they fit into the national team and we had the chance to rest players. With the win we now got confidence and we corrected the atmosphere. We now move on,” said coach Dalić.
“It was great to finally score and I am happy my goal gave us victory and ended the curse against Switzerland. It felt like we were playing at home with so many Croatian fans. We now go in motivated to the upcoming Nations League and we hope to do good things,” said Pašalić after the match.
“I am happy and proud to have had the chance to play for the national team. I gave it my all and I am happy I helped out. Every win is important for confidence. Our goal is now to stay in the elite group of the Nations League,” said Budimir, who assisted for Croatia’s winner.