We won’t be able to see someone like Gareth Bale, Alexis Sanchez, and Arjen Robben in upcoming FIFA World Cup, Russia 2018. We are already missing some big names of football due to their teams have failed to qualify for Russia 2018 and we couldn’t afford some more. Thankfully, Luka Modric’s Croatia leapt forward on road to Russia with their 4-1 victory over Greece in play-offs first leg.
Croatia is a great team and they have some quality players in Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic, Nikola Kalinic, etc. Football fans around the world wouldn’t like to see a great team missing out World Cup platform and enjoy watching someone like Greece to play in Russia. Considering football fans enthusiasm and keeping alive Croatia’s pride, Luka Modric & Co. put forward their step to qualify for World Cup finals.
They are up against Greece in their play-offs round for two-leg game. And, with their 4-1 victory in first-leg at home, they have taken the necessary leads to face them in Athens. Modric started the scoring for Balkan nation with his first-half penalty won by Kalinic and soon Kalinic added another with his deft touch to give the home side a 2-0 lead at Maksimir Stadium.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos pulled one back for Greece but Ivan Perisic restored the lead with his close header before the end of first-half. Andrej Kramaric scored Croatia’s fourth withing four minutes of second-half play capitalizing on Vrsaljko poor back pass.
The game ended 4-1 in favour of Croatia, but Balkan nation coach Zlatko Dalic has warned his team to avoid any complacency in second-leg. He told HRT state broadcaster as Marca reports, “The basic idea was to raid them on both flanks and the strategy worked. I’m not happy with the goal we conceded but in the end it’s a very good result. We must root out any complacency immediately and head to Greece as if the score was 0-0.”
He also adds that, “Home fans gave us the right kind of support and the players responded with a blistering display. We have a top performers who are a formidable team when they have the right approach. The adventurous formation paid off with Modric deployed in a more attacking position and full-backs overlapping on the flanks to keep up the pressure.”
We hope to continue to see Modric’s mastery in FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, and for that to happens Croatia need to put a strong effort in Athens in second leg.