Early 1st half goals by Majer and Kramarić sealed an easy win over Latvia Saturday night. The boys came out to play and scored both goals inside 20 minutes; setting the speed on “cruise control” for the rest of the match. The Croatian defense was not tested in this match and Marco Pašalić, on his international debut, nearly scored, clanking a shot off the inside of the post after coming on in the 80th minute. I still would have liked to see a bit more from the #9 position as Budimir did not get the necessary service for success. But with him playing as the lone striker, Kramarić was able to roam freely in his natural “supporting” role position.
With a victory over Armenia Tuesday in Zagreb OR (a Wales loss/draw), the Vatreni will book their ticket to Euro 2024 next summer in Germany.
A huge result went Croatia’s way before the Latvia match kicked off. Armenia drew Wales 1-1, which now means the Vatreni control their own destiny for automatic qualification to Euro 2024.
Croatia were without Kovačić, Petković and Sučić for the Latvia match but Marco Pašalić and Martin Baturina made their senior debuts for the Vatreni. Sučić should be available for Armenia. It was an absolutely perfect day for Croatian football:
- Croatia won
- Wales dropped points
- No injuries to the squad in front of the Armenia match (who have now been officially eliminated from Euro 2024 qualifying)