(Final Time): Croatia easily win 5-0 without breaking a sweat. Modrić only plays 60 minutes. Gvardiol plays the 1st half. Kovačić gets a day of rest. Next match: Armenia on Monday at 12PM (ET). Turkey came back to draw Armenia 1-1 Friday night.
(87′): Juranović rifles a half-volley shot from 20 yards out just past the post. Would have been a beauty if it was on frame.
(78′): Perišić hits Pašalić with a routine pass on the counter and Pašalić strikes home from inside the box. 5-0 Croatia!
(68′): Barišić loops in a free kick to the back post and Kramarić nutmegs the Latvian keeper off the volley to make it 4-0 Croatia!
(67′): Musa in for Petković. Barišić comes in for Sosa.
(60′): Pašalić in for Brozović. Modrić leaves the game for Vlašić.
(46′): Vida replaces Gvardiol on the backline.
(45′): Perišić easily gets past his defender on the left side of the box and puts a perfect pass to Petković on the back post for an easy tap-in. Petko’s 2nd goal of the match.
(26′): Everyone is slipping. The field is not in great shape.
(13′): Ivanušec cleans up the trash in front of a busy Latvia net to make it 2-0 Croatia inside 15 minutes!
(3′): Bruno Petković with a perfect free kick from 27 yards out to start the match out.
Dalić will be implementing a new, more offensive-minded lineup vs. Latvia: a 4-2-3-1 — Livaković – Juranović, Šutalo, Gvardiol, Sosa – Brozović, Modrić – Kramarić, Ivanušec, Perišić – Petković
Kovačić will be starting the match on the bench while Krama, Ivanušec, Perišić, and Petković will be Croatia’s main offensive threats with only Modrić and Brozović sitting in the middle of the field as true center midfielders. The Vatreni should score at least 2 goals this match…maybe 3 if they start out hot in Rijeka.
Anything less than three points for Croatia Friday night should be considered a disappointment; no matter which Starting XI Dalić puts out.