Croatia has warmed up for Friday’s UEFA Nations League clash against England with a big 15-1 win against NK Bjelovar on Tuesday.
The match was played to celebrate NK Bjelovar’s 110th anniversary and drew a large crowd in Bjelovar who hosted the national team for the first time. NK Bjelovar is currently in the Croatian third division.
Zlatko Dalić started the match with a strong team, giving Andrej Kramarić the striking position and it only took the Hoffenheim striker just 4 minutes to open the scoring.
Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitić, who started the match with the captain’s armband, doubled the score in the 8th minute before Kramarić got his second after 20 minutes.
Two minutes later Ante Rebić got on the scoresheet and then 8 minutes before half-time Marko Livaja made it 5-0.
Kramarić completed his hat-trick in the 38th minute to make it 6-0 then it was defender Tin Jedvaj’s turn to get on the scoresheet as Croatia before Kramarić’s fourth meant Croatia went into the break 8-0 up.
Croatia made it 9-0 on the 62nd-minute mark when Milan Badelj found the back of the net. Kramarić got his 5th and Croatia’s 10th five minutes later.
Ivan Perišić got number 11 just three minutes after coming on as a substitute then got his second just moments later to make it 12-0. Livaja got his second to make it 13-0. Bjelovar finally got one themselves when Stjepan Mamić found the back of the net.
Mario Pašalić and then Livaja completed his hat-trick to make it 15-1.
Five players from Croatia’s original squad named to take on England have been ruled out on today. Šime Vrsaljko, Marcelo Brozović, Lovre Kalinić, Duje Čop and Borna Barišić are out with Karlo Bartolec and Simon Sluga called in.