What an absolute stress-free week of football from our beloved Cardiac Croatians. Two wins in two games. +6 goal differential. Can’t ask for much more.
It’s exactly what Modrić and the boys needed to set up the 2nd half of qualifiers in October and November. If my math serves me right, Croatia can technically book their EURO 2024 ticket with two wins in October over Turkey and Wales. That’s why this week’s wins over Latvia and Armenia were so important. REST. REST. REST.
When’s the last time the Vatreni went into the last game of qualifying already locked in for the tournament? It just doesn’t happen. 2006 World Cup qualifying and EURO 2008 are the only campaigns Croatia have ever controlled start to finish.
Positives from this week:
-6 points from games Croatia “should” be winning without trouble
-2 clean sheets (Croatia have only conceded once in 4 matches this campaign)
-the Gvardiol-Šutalo partnership in full effect
-the rise of Ivanušec! He definitely made the most of his 2 starts this week in checkers.
-Kramarić will always come up with goals when you play him outside of the #9 role. I will go to my grave saying that. (props to Petko for showing up this week)
-Petko is going to Petko! He either lays a ‘goose egg’ or scores a Euro-goal when he plays. What an amazing free kick goal versus Latvia. The #9 position will be his to lose going into EURO 2024 next summer…with or without Livaja.
-Livaković made some great saves this week. His confidence is growing.
-Kovačić got to rest all week.
Negatives from this week:
-Vatreni should have scored 2-3 goals against Armenia. We need to learn how to put the easy ones in the back of the net. I’m looking at you Perišić! (he had a bad game against Armenia but a great game versus Latvia…so we can let it slide)
-Why is Barišić starting? Why? We know his dad has everyone on speed dial but come on. He’s a bench player at best.
-Stanišić getting burned down the line on more than one occasion. He will surely look at the tape after the match and learn from his mistakes but Armenia was good on the counter all day.
-We still have not had a proper look at Musa. If Petković keeps playing the way he is, it might take us another year to see Musa in action.