Here are my thoughts on the game; and remember that I only saw various highlights of the game since it wasn’t broadcast in America. Olić and Petrić looked promising up top and had some nice scoring chances, one of which included hitting the post. The chemistry looked OK on the scoring end and our defense solid. If this is things to come for Niko Kovač I can’t wait to see more. The header off the corner was perfect.
Hungary got in a couple tricky crosses which didn’t amount to much and their only goal came on a fluky play. Pletikosa didn’t get a good punch on the ball like he should have resulting on the ball going off of Niko Kovać’s leg and rolling back in the goal. There’s nothing Pletikosa could have done after the lackluster clearing because his space was invaded by too many players. It’s really not a big deal if you ask me.
I like this result. It will make us play hard in our opening match versus Austria and hopefully teach them not to underestimate any opponent. Remember that when we beat England in November; the vibe around the team was that of winning the World Cup when we had only prevented England from qualifying. Don’t get me wrong, it was an incredible game and result for Croatia but not to that much hype. We are 1-1-2 since that game at Wembley.
I think it will fire up the squad for Sunday’s game in Vienna. I’d like to see a 2-0 or 3-0 result for Croatia. That way if Germany does run the table and get the full 9 points in group play, we might only need a tie versus Poland and go onto the knockout round on goal differential. But it’s too early to be talking about that.
Just a few sidenotes. Danijel Pranjić was wearing Eduardo’s #22 in the Hungary game. Dario Šimić is still 2 caps away from being the first ever Croatian to reach 100 career caps. Ivan Ljubičić will be facing the unranked Gael Monfils in the 4th round of the French Open. The match can be seen after the Federer-Benneteau match on DirectTV channel 217,701 in America.