Croatian fans will be dancing the samba on Copacabana beach next summer after the national team qualified for the FIFA 2014 World Cup finals with a convincing victory over Iceland 2:0 at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb last night…
Croatia, who dominated from the start, took the lead through striker Mario Manđžukić half-way through the first half, but the Bayern Munich hero turned villain when he was shown red just 10 minutes later for a blatant foul on an Iceland player. Down to 10-men, Croatia did not take their foot off the pedal and midfield pairing of Luka Modrić and man of the match Mateo Kovačić began creating all sorts of problems for Iceland’s defence. It was Inter Milan’s teenage star Kovačić with a mazy run who would set up captain Darijo Srna for Croatia’s second goal.
“I want to congratulate all the players, I would give them all a 5 for their performance. They left their heart and souls out on the pitch. We will have a meal tonight and then go out and celebrate amongst the people,” a happy Niko Kovač said after the win. Kovač also thanked the fans who turned up and got behind his side throughout the whole 90 mins.
The draw for the group stages of the World Cup will be made on 6 December.