Here’s the quick scoop. Croatia dominated possession at 59% but had absolutely nothing going on offensively in the final third.
Borna Sosa is good! We are in good shape moving forward with him at left-back. Mateo Kovačić also looked great in the midfield without Modrić. We will be fine with Kova after Modrić retires based off of today’s display. However, Andrej Kramarić cannot get anything going on the football pitch wearing a Croatian shirt. He’s slow with no explosive runs on the attack. The Croatian offense – as in recent times – is too slow forming their attack and doesn’t put enough shots on goal. It looks as if they are playing chess instead of soccer with their calculated strategy.
At the end of the day, nothing changes in the group. Russia and Croatia split the points. Slovenia and Slovakia played out a 1-1 draw. And Malta surprisingly beat Cyprus 3-0. Croatia remain top of Group H heading to Slovakia on Saturday.
Lineup for HRVATSKA (4-2-3-1): Livaković – Juranović, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa – Brozović, Kovačić – Kramarić, Pašalić, Perišić – Vlašić
The Vatreni begin their first of three World Cup qualifying matches this week Wednesday night in Moscow at 2:45PM (ET). No Modrić, no Budimir, no Brekalo, no Rebić.
This new Croatian side should look much more different than what we saw at EURO 2020, but there’s enough firepower to get the job done in Russia before playing Slovakia and Slovenia later in the week.