After a disappointing showing in their U-17 World Cup opener against Morocco, where the mini Vatreni lost 3-1, Croatia rebounded Monday in a 1-0 victory over Panama. Dinamo’s ‘wunder-kind’ Alen Halilović captained the team and played the full 90 minutes; finishing his second match at the World Cup without scoring a goal. But in the 26th minute, Ante Roguljić would dribble into the box and get past three Panama defenders to lace a left-footed shot past the keeper and inside the right post. It would be the only goal of the match even though Panama pressed in the second half, forcing Croatian goalie Marko Marić to go down on a break away to make the save before needing the help of the crossbar to keep out a long range chip shot.
Bojan Knežević had a chance to double Croatia’s lead in the 2nd half with an absolute sitter tap-in in front of the goal but his nerves got the best of him as he mishit the ball. Croatia currently sit in 3rd place behind Morocco and Uzbekistan going into the group’s last game against the Uzbeki’s on October 24th, but remember, the best four 3rd placed teams also make it to the 16-team knockout round.
But the big question. Alen Halilović is being praised amongst Croatian media as being the next Messi, receiving playing time in Dinamo’s Champions League games and already being brought to the Croatian senior team in World Cup qualifying. But why all the hype if the kid at age 17 can’t even dominate at his own age group? You would think he could of rattled in at least one or two goals already. Let’s see if he wakes up as the tournament progresses.
As I said once before, Ante Roguljic may be the most talented player on this Junior team. Stunning strike by the young man. If Basic was not hurt this team would be a lot more powerful.
Ante Roguljic, the ex Adriatic Split Midfielder is the player to watch here.
No, I’m from Toronto.
Zija, I agree with you.
Horvat are you from Vancouver.
keep it up boys, go for first
@Ziva The Halilovic situation was different then Sammir. Halilovic never played other then in the friendlies. This means his call up was useless because he is not officially capped by us. Stimac never jeapordized the team by putting him into an official match. There isn’t much harm with him training with the senior side and bonding with the team because realistically he will have the skill to eventually play there. He may not be as good as the media believes, but he should be able to at least be on the team in a few years. Look at the Portugal game, he fit right in other then the passing. He needs to be given a chance at Dinamo
true……….and yet he found his way on the senior national team. We’ll see if Kovac is a man of his words or another yes man for Mamic in a few weeks. If Halilovic is on the roster list for the playoffs, then you know who is really running the show.
Halilovic is overated, he may have potential but he’s not getting anywhere at dinamo. Dinamo should either start playing him or loan him to another weaker hnl team so that he can start every game.
Do you have the complete list of the players?
There are just few on the website of Hajduk.
There is only one God brother, and it’s not Halilovic.
anyway,, He is a God
The God of Halilovic !!
@Croatia vs Antwerp
Sounds like you’re describing Ruslan Provodnikov.
That dude’s hard as nails!
We play Uzbekistan next. Now That’s going to be tough. Those kids were raised on raw horse meat in the harsh climate of the central asian steppes.
That’s a far cry from our U-17 side which enjoys video games and the comforts of western civilization.
Let’s see what prima donna Halilovic does against Genghis Kahn’s decedents.
These tournaments are weird with how 3rd place teams progress
anyone game enough to try work out what we need from the final game to progress?? I’m hoping for just a draw is enough