The week we have all been waiting for is finally here. Croatia plays Iceland in a two-legged playoff with a berth to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on the line.
But what do we really know about Iceland?
1. Demographics: If you thought Croatia was a small country with a population of 4.5 million, you were wrong. Iceland has a population of 325,000 people which makes it the most sparsely populated country in Europe based on area. It’s hard not to root for a country of this size getting this far in World Cup qualifying for the first time, but it will be all business for Croatian fans as they watch this encounter.
2. Where did they come from? This is the farthest Iceland has ever made it in qualifying. They have never made it to a playoff, let alone a World Cup or European championship. At the beginning of World Cup 2014 qualifying, they were ranked 121st in the world and were grouped with European minnows Wales, Liechtenstein, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Andorra and San Marino in Pot 6. During the most recent qualifying campaign, Iceland have moved up to 46th in the world.
3. They have a sense of humor. In July of 2010, Icelandic first division club Stjarnan FC put together one of the best planned goal celebrations in football: The Salmon. Later that season, they continued with Rambo and The Birth, becoming overnight Youtube sensations in the process. They may not play the prettiest football, but they can celebrate with the best of them.
4. You may have heard of them. Although Iceland is a nobody on the international football scene, they have some players you may have heard of. Gylfu Sigurdsson has scored six goals in 40 appearances for England’s Tottenham Hotspur since 2012 while 23 year-old striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson has scored 13 goals in 19 appearances for Iceland. More importantly, Sigthorsson has scored 20 goals in the past two seasons with Dutch giants Ajax. Both players had fours goals each for Iceland in qualifying. Stop these two guys and you shouldn’t have a problem.
5. Should Croatia be worried? Iceland were given a dream draw going into World Cup qualifying, being put in what was by far the weakest group. Norway was the top seed with Slovenia and Switzerland expected to battle them for an automatic berth. In the end, the Swiss ran away with the group as Iceland finished second. However, Iceland were extremely inconsistent, scoring 17 goals and conceding 15 in qualifying.
Iceland got off to a blazing start with a 2-0 win over Norway but failed to get the job done on the road to start qualifying, losing 1-0 in Cyprus days later. They would beat Slovenia on the road but fail to get the result at home, losing 4-2. Iceland only posted two shutouts in a group that also consisted of Albania. Croatia should not have a problem with Iceland, especially if scoring first.
Iceland has had an amazing run reaching the World Cup playoff stage this year. But no rain, sleet, snow or wind in Reykjavik on Friday should surprise the Vaterni and new manager Niko Kovač on November 15th.
I will come friday after the game to laugh of you fucking arrogants the only country that is a nobody in europe is the fucking country name croatia Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
I’m 36 in a month
poglavnik… fraj boner… classic. how old are you? im born 81
Having to go to Croatian school on Saturday mornings was super annoying as a kid. As I got older though I loved it, just cause we caused so much shit / got to socialize etc
It’s def one of the highlights from my youth.
Yup, Fra Jerko and Fra Bone were in my time. I only went when I had to. Grades 4 and 7 for my Pricest and Krizma. After that my Stari said I could decide whether I wanted to continue going to church or not. Probably goes without saying that i didn’t go to church much in the next decade or so…
i remember fraj jerko at the time yelling at us during a class, cause ya it was bad lolol
poglavnik…holy shit krampus… one of the only things i remember, that and rarely going lol
i did see that office as well… watched them all
and yes ziva i know i butcher the language… but im making an attempt, i can read mostly everything and understand it…
we are learning all the dative and locative and all that bs endings right now and i have to say its painful to say the least… but again that don’t make me any less croat then my brother who can speak fluently
A banner in Iceland or at home would be nice.
I went to Hrvatska Skola at Notre Dame!
Was kind of heartbroken driving by it a few weeks ago and noticing the whole wing where it used to be held has been bulldozed.
Fuck were we bad kids. Seemed like half the class was spent trying to get us to stay in our seats. Still remember tons of us swarming the stage and beating down Krampus at the Xmas play too. Great times!
Anyone seen this Office last year?
It’s the German Krampus!
Croatian fans, if not HNS, should do something to thank Iceland for recognizing Croatia, when it really mattered.
Interesting comment. I wasn’t aware of “Jews in Slavonia”. The rest are spot on haha…
Next time you are in LA, shoot me an email.
Most of these questions would be answered with a laugh and a swift kick in the behind from the Maksimir security guard. Would be funny on tape, however, not worth the risk of future accreditation.
Bobby,I hope your bang on!
Standing by my original prediction at the time of the draw.
Croatia will be the only seeded team to advance from the European playoff.
Sweden, Romania, and France to join us.
my questiion is who would win in a race between, schildenfel, corluka, simunic.
Man those guys are slow a snails
@ Luka – agree – I’ll take Simunic and Schildenfeld over Lovren and Corluka in the middle of our defense every time.
Here you go from the Serb rematch game. The best Simunic line. “I da su me slučajno pogodili stolicom, ništa mi ne bi bilo, bosanska je ovo glava”, rekao je Šimunić i dodao.
Great player. People do not give him enough credit.
thanks Nije B
Simunic on the forced exit of Sammir:
Josip Šimunić o Sammiru: Ružan razlaz? Ružno je kad se nema za kruh, a ne ovo..
Haha – legend
I’ll move back to Cro once they get Direct TV over there. I need all my sports in HD.
Man I think its time for us diaspora hrvati to move back to the motherland. tijelo mi je ovde u americi ali mi dusa ostalo u domovinu. Ne dirajte mi ravnicu jer ja cu se vratiti!!!
My family was already on the bandwagon long ago. My grandfather was imprisoned as a young man in the 1930’s for supporting the Croatian independence movement.
The Yugoslav’s tortured him, and left scars which would remain with him for the rest of his life….
I’m sure i would. I’ll make it up there sooner than later…
you’d like our dom…very nice Croatians here!
No problem, just ask…
I was supposed spend new years at the hall in Vancouver on many occasions cause one of my all time favorite singers (Duka Caic) performs/performed there religiously. Unfortunately i couldn’t get any others to make the trip with me.
I just checked…San Pedro is very close to where I visit several of my coustomers in the LA region…i always find it hard to know where to go when I’m down there…everything is spread out…I’m tired of the touristy places. I may ask you for advice on places to see next time I end up down there.
nije bitno – anytime you come I’ll make sure to have you over for pints and dinner! better in the summer…Vancouver is freakin wet…people get rusty here from all this rain!
nije bitno – sorry but no…i might if I saw him but I hardly get out much and when I do its either for a baptism, bbq at someone’s place or my house. things change a lot when you have kids….ie…soccer, dance classes, taking the kids places…you’ll see!
Slavonac – no, I’m from San Pedro CA. Just dated a girl from Tacoma that moved to LA.
I want to come to Vancouver and visit cause a distant cousin of mine is from there that’s why i asked you knew him.
Armada – I enjoy the dialects a lot…I find many of them funny and especially when they throw in a few phrases that are only specific to that region…I end up using them for weeks and weeks with my friends!
Slavonac, you know a guy named Franky (Frane) Sumera from Vancouver?
yeah, we have a sizable community here in NYC. A number of social clubs, organizations, the Hrvatski Centar, restaurants, bars, etc. but once you go above Westchester, you would be hard pressed to find a lot of Hrvati, although there are a bunch of Long Island. Mostly Dalmatinci and Istrianci though. Can’t really remember meeting any Slavonci, Hercegovici, etc. that were born and bred in the Greater NYC area.
nije bitno – so you’re from WA? ever come up here?
cool…one of my close friends’ son is playing hockey at RPI…I know thats upstate NY and pretty far from you, he said there aren’t many Croatians there but once in a blue moon he’ll meet someone from NYC.
Some kid from ZG was giving my dad shit 2 summers ago when he was hanging in Opatija. The kid asked my dad for directions somewhere, my dad replied and the kid was like – wtf kind of dialect are you speaking (he speaks a dialect called Ponase) and this punk was contiued to bust his balls, so he goes “When I’m in ZG, I’ll speak ‘proper’ Croatian, but when you’re in my neck of the woods, I’ll speak whatever the fuck I want” haha
Slavonac – I know what you mean. I dated a girl from Tacoma and her Hrvatski was a 0. Most of the younger people there don’t speak it, just their parents do. Her parents loved me cause they can actually communicate with me in their first language. Anyway, she took me to the Slavonian Hall and its a pretty cool place and i believe it’s been labeled a historic building.
You are right though, they do acknowledge the fact they are Hrvati there and are proud of it even though they don’t really speak it.
I’ve only been to Sv. Nikola Tavelic/Hrvatski centar like 10 times or so in my life. Beautiful place, really nice people. I just normally go to the local church here in Astoria that has a Croatian priest (Most Precious Blood).
Momce – really…Jews in Slavonija? This is the first time in my life I’ve ever heard that.
@Armada…….good question. There is no chance in hell you would ever catch me at a serb concert. Then again, there is no chance in hell you would ever catch me wearing the last name of another person in bold letters on my back. Hmmmmm. I think there is a better chance of Rakitic scoring on a header than those two taking place.
Armada…I know Istra is far different than Dalmacija but nevertheless we Slavonci get along well with Dalmatinci…and most likely Istrianci as well….we have a small group of Istrianci here and I get a kick out of their dialect…I was confused as a kid when I first heard them speak…great people!
@Momce…………that list appears to be correct. Well done.
what would happen first:
Ziva goes to a Lepa Brena concert.
Ziva wears a 98 away jersey with Suker – 9 on the back to the Iceland game.
Armada – no idea…there aren’t very many here as well. Man, do I love NY…I went to the church a couple of years back, the priest took us inside and to the back where the dom is…I was pleasantly surprised see that place just a few blocks from “Times Square”.
nije bitno – no, but one time some American Hrvati came to our centre from WA…they were folk singers and dancers. awesome people but dont get mad if I say this. i couldnt stop laughing at how they spoke Croatian and pronounced the words…I was like…wtf…it was hilarioussss….but at the same time I really respected them for knowing what they did know and the fact they were keeping to our roots!
Im sick of us croatians stereotyping eachother man Govna smo
Dalmatinici Lazy and serb filled.
Sibenik-Seljacine is brdari mountain people.
Split-Splitski vlajo i lincine
Rijeka Srpski grad ciganski
Slavonija- Zidovski kraj,
Zagreb-Capital Hercegovina i Lopovi.
Damn, if they put half as much time on their soccer playing as they do their goal celebrations then they might ACTUALLY be a force to be reckoned with.
However with the talent we have on our team….there is ZERO excuse losing to Iceland.
Not only would we clearly not deserve to be in the world cup anyway…..but we would deserve to be laughed at by others.
Croatia must win
Slavonac, Have you ever been to the Slavonian Hall in Tacoma Washington? That’s right down your way…
all good brother – why don’t I ever meet any of your fellow Slavonci here in NY? Did your people just have enough brains to stay away from NYC?
I know about the locker room issues and Cico drinking but ok lets say no cico and the same player too choose from at the time how whouldn that core of players work?
Sifo is a ethnic slovenian from sibenik. Mate males is also from sibenik.
@MAJMUNIC……..you overestimate the 2006 team. We were good enough to qulaify and that was it.
I think Schildenfeld is from Sibenik…
Armada…i didnt catch it…hahaha…dont know you well so internet is hard to tell who you’re talking to.
My question for Scifo:
Gordon: Schildenfeld? That a Dalmatian last night? From Zadar?! Knew it!
Pletikosa messed up when he went to Dontesk Srna made it in eastern europe but not western lets face it western europe counts.
I cannot stand when Cico Kranjcar gives comments about Reprezentacija uff this pijancina had a great 2006 team and he pushed his fat some man really that 2006 team could have done something it was a younger version of the 2008 euro team and Not calling eduardo carli pranjic petric rapaic instead tomas tokic bosnjak balaban lol moj Cico.
his 3-4-1-2 just that 1 his fat son at the time that is why Niko is looked at in croatia with a bad view. I bet i bothers him that Lukica is in Madrid and Niko is at qpr 2 divsion.
2006 world cup team in his 3-4-1-2 Pletikosa Srna Kovac Simic/Simunic Tudor Babic Modric Kovac Rapaic Prso Eduardo. with Kranjcar off bench with Petric Pranjic Klasnic Olic. i know past is past but that 2006 really grinds my gears!
I think Hrvatska comes out on top after two legs but I dont think it willl be anything like the turkey playoff. I think Iceland makes us sweat it out till the end. I hope Im wrong and we bury 3 in the back of their throats come friday, but I dont see it coming that easily.
With that being said, I know its a longshot and there would have to be 210 minutes of soccer played which is an eternity where anything can happen, but God forbid we wind up going to penalties to decide who goes to Brazil on Tuesday, Just think of the pressure that would be on our players at home against minnow Iceland. I think I just shit my underwears thinking about it. I know its hard to say because we dont know who will be available due to cards and substitutions, but which 5 do you send out there and in what order? Im not very confident in our team when it comes to any Pks, whether it be taking them, or defending them, so I hope for mine and many others health, it doesnt happen. But the chance, although slim, exists. My 5 would be:
1)Srna 2)Rakitic 3)Modric 4)Kranjcar 5) Mandzukic
I don’t think you caught my sarcasm bud 😉
I’m well aware of the folks who jumped on the bandwagon, post ’91. As others have mentioned, they’re easy to spot – especially in the region my family hails from (Istra).
hahahaha…Zive…a jesi lud!
ok, I’ll join in:
Raketa: why is your forehead twice the size of a normal human…but you can’t seem to use it in a game?
while you are playing…do you hum the song…ciri biri bela mare moja, koliko je rupa tvoja….cause you sure seem to be out of it half the time?
Pletikosa: are you mad…why are your eyebrows always down?
I’ve seen soccer players with grbave noge but why do your legs bend inwards at the knees…weird?
Olic: isnt it great being a Slavonac?
did you know you have the world record for running faster than the ball?
Mandzukic: who makes the best kulen in Slavonija?
why do you always look like you hate someone?
Modric: are you really 5’7″ or do you wear lifts?
how often do people confuse you as “Alice the Goon” from Popeye?
Kranjcar: how many cevape can you stick in your mouth at the same time?
does Ivanisevic know you’re shagging his wife?
Check this out……….http://www.jutarnji.hr/kranjcar-posjetio-reprezentativce–uvjeren-sam-da-ce-se-ponoviti-turska–iz-istanbula–jasno-/1139309/
Tata Kranjcar visited the national team today. He probably showed up drunk and dropped off a few Big Macs for Niko. Now, that is a good tata.
America…. The greatest country in the world…. America!
P.S. I’m American
question would be to Suker hows Stimac and will he commentate with Drago.
They have had a partnership for a very long time…
Darijo Srna peak 2004-2008
@ Nije Bitno all of us do but father time caches us all.
well, they also were in partnership ripping of jadan i mali hajduk on the transfer fee Shaktar paid for him and Pletikosa.
Ziva, i believe Srna and Stimac are linked way before all of that happened. I think Stimac pulled weight for srna when he was younger to get him into hajduk as they are both metkovcani.
Ziva – news reporter for B92.
And the fifth near Arena.
Is like to take the Kranjcar question. I believe there are 5.
One on Jelacic Plac, one in Laniste, one on Kvaternikov Trg and one more in Novi Zagreb.
Majmunic – we all wish Srna still played like that!
@Denis……………..here are more questions that need to be asked in Zagreb for the return leg.
What was your reaction when Stimac was sacked and do you regret being in partnership with him that resulted in you two along with his brother stealing money intended for Hajduk?
Your flopping has gotten worse, why is that?
How can you with a straight face sit there and still be captain when everyone knows you were a Stimac supporter? You do realize you have not been able to unite the team as captain with so many clicks/divisions on this squad?
How many STDs are you currently carrying?
Is it true Kranjcar can beat you running backwards?
How come you no-show for the repka?
Were you really going to marry that girl in Spain if it wasn’t for the wedlock child?
Is it safe to say that if we need a goal to advance in the 90th minute and a header comes your way we shouldn’t expect you to score?
And what the hell is wrong with your hair??
Not easy scoring goal when they are not gift-wrapped for you, like at Bayern, huh????
Why do insist on showing your tattoos? Wouldn’t it make more sense for you to play in a long-sleeved shirt? Kids are very impressionable these days.
Can you talk about your long journey from Slavonski Brod, to Zagreb, to Dinamo and then being transported in the back of a trunk to negotiate your deal with CSKA?
Why Olic, why do you like the serb music??? Why???
To Da Silva:
You still play the game???? Who knew????
(Ask him anything in German since he doesn’t speak Cro). Actually, ask him in german to speak in croatian. Ask him how he would order a beer and meal in Croatian. We all need a laugh.
How much do you love money???? How bad do you love it??? You were never afraid to talk about how much you loved Hajduk growing up as a kid in Australia. I guess money changes allegiances, doesn’t it???
Niko, are you aware they have opened up a few more McDonald’s in Zagreb since the last time you were in the city???
At this point, do you even bother informing your ex-wife on your conquests??
Lets hope for a repriza of the score
Setanta sports is showing the game live in Australia.
Coverage starts at 5.50am Melbourne time.
Iggy, an hour later for you (Since Queensland doesn’t have Day light savings because it effects your cows and their milking quantities)
Ziva – did you have to point it out? the guy already admitted flunking out in croatian school!
@ Antisa Its not my lineup thats what nasi pametni Novinari say Ja bi Sifo over Lovren uvijek!
@ Ziva Correct Svi cekaju Petak. If result go good Stadium will be like 25000 maybe 28000
hrvatski skolu?????????? really????
I’m hearing Maksimir will not be a sell out next Tuesday. Anyone hear or read anything about ticket sales.
I’m sure ticket sales will pick up if we get a favorable result on Friday.
A zakaj ti nebi bacil Schildenfelda u obrani?
In the 4-4-2 Rakitic instead Kovacic sorry made mistake.
From what i read so far only Pletikosa Srna Simunic Carli Modric Rakitic Mandzukic if Olic healthy are in 11, No one knows its all up to Kovac but the papers put their line ups
3 line ups
4-2-3-1 Pletikosa Vrsaljko Simunic Lovren Carli-Srna Modric Kovacic Rakitic Perisic-Mandzukic
4-2-3-1 Pletikosa Srna Simunic Lovren Carli-Modric Males-Rakitic Kovacic Perisic-Mandzukic
4-4-2Pletikosa Vrsaljko Lovren Carli Simunic-Srna Modric Kovacic Perisic Mandzukic Olic,
With Kranjcar Ilicevic Eduardo getting playing time,
hmmmm…soo, apparently Sammir hasn’t yet been removed from Dinamo’s contract he will will still be a paid player…until the winter break?
i think stadium in iceland will be an intimidating place to play in for our boys… but for sure it will be like a puppy dog compared to playing in serbia
i agree miro…
what are the papers reporting over there right now for most likely starting lineups??
any other vancouverites remember going to notre dame high school friday nights for hrvatski skolu?
Good Luck to Niko Kovac and the national team players wish them all the best
This Hrvat crap needs to stop man i grew up during the war wasnt nice for me and its sick that commie scum are all true hrvati and we hrvati are sitna stoka. lets forget aout that and talk Soccer,
i was already flunking out terribly in croatian school/Catechism way before 91 lol
now i have to pay for classes to learn to speak proper… so just so like ziva says can order a drink and not butcher the language while doing so
Armada – its like this…we’ve had croatian communities all over the world, some grew up dancing kolo, playing in croatians bands, playing soccer for croatia…and then in 91 a whole new set of people show up and say they are croatians. where were they before ’91, how did they all of a sudden appear…this is what people mean!
seems like it armada
Class of ’91 sounds like it has a negative connotation.
dannyj – “i don’t know for sure but i think 91 class, means people who became croat when the war started not before???”
this comment is very true and was very noticeable in communities all over the world!
not where I am from, jugo was always a negative term (meaning you would get your ass kicked) and a hated word and the ones that preached the bullshit going with it, no matter which decade it was
yup i remember those iggy
i don’t know for sure but i think 91 class, means people who became croat when the war started not before???
jugo lovers?? i dont think any of our parents would be???
Geez even when i was a kid my dad was talking me to every rally here in aus for croatian independence under the sun.
Michael jackson came out with a new hit song…”black or white”…a Croatian pop song became famous “mojoj majci”….Kim Joo Sung scored an amazing goal for the Dae Woo Royals which got him noticed and shortly thereafter he ended up in the Bundesliga!
Not a question but if a woman is giving the interview, have her French him for not calling up Sammir or Halilovic. If it’s a dude doing the interview, reach around time.
So, here we go. 11 places remaining for the World Cup – 4 from Europe, 5 from Africa (with the first-legs already played) and 2 inter-continental matches, Mexico – New Zealand, and Uruguay – Jordan.
The only way Iceland advances is that they shut us out on Friday and go for an away goal in Zagreb. They will bunker and try to counter-attack against our slow defenders when they creep up to midfield.
We won’t need Modric to play a defensive midfield position – push him up in the attack to sneak passes to the forwards.
I’m already predicting video signal problems from Iceland – don’t be surprised if we miss part of the match…just like the old days.
what happened in 1991? what does Class of 1991 mean? Can someone clarify if I fall in that category?
I’m soooooooo lost
he’s given lots of yellows in recent qualifiers too:
bad news with this spanish ref guy as he can hand out cards with the best of them!
in 2010 Germany v Srbjia game at the World Cup:
Undiano awarded yellow cards to Klose (2 – the 2nd in the 36′), Branislav Ivanović, Aleksandar Kolarov, Sami Khedira, Philipp Lahm, Neven Subotić, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nemanja Vidić – a total of nine yellow cards
more info on the guy:
this is something i wanted to ask the more learned diaspora croats…
can we say the majority of our parents that left commie land were not jugo lovers… or was the diaspora tainted with commie lovers trying to preach their jugo loving ways?
not trying to start an argument here, but i for sure remember no one mentioning the word jugo when i was young. born in 81… there was always a negativity to it…
i remember even being there in 90, when jugo was playing in world cup, it really wasn’t a big deal. it was long ago but that for sure stuck with me
ok as some have you suggested… some of the games towards the end maybe were not thrown but the effort was seriously lacking
so would we not assume that getting stimac sacked and getting a coach they most likely admire and respect they would step up their game to say euro 2012 level??
in that sense, yes anything can happen but if they get to euro level then i believe its as iggy says a smashing
and like someone else posted… if some of them hated stimac, they going to go out of their way to put even more into it to spite him
whether this is true or not… i choose to think this way and live in my own world till the game:)
I know Ziva would throw in his two cents…..
I wonder if Stimac will be at the game.
@denis……….I’m assuming someone will be there for thSunday, Monday press conferences. If so, these are questions that should be asked.
What was your reaction when Stimac was sacked and do you regret being in partnership with him that resulted in you two along with his brother stealing money intended for Hajduk?
Your flopping has gotten worse, why is that?
How many STDs are currently carrying?
Majstore, shut the fuck up. You are an embarrasement like your buddy Ivica. How many times do we have to hear your ongoing bad mouthing American rambling? Give it a rest.
############# Hot off the wire ###################
Team CSR will be in Zagreb for the Croatia-Iceland match. We should have a reporter on the pitch and a reporter in the stands.
Anyone have a question?
Like my dad would say to me, “lets see how good you are?”
tone, 11 am pacific time
Enjoy your coffee buddy. You are clearly the biggest hrvat not only on this blog, but in all of North America.
*awards ante b the prize of biggest hrvat (not physically speaking, though debatable) of 2013*
More swigs of coffee, just proving the points for me.
what time is the match? 1900 hrs where???? Watching in PST….west coast
American by paper, Croatian by nature!
true that…….Amerikanci do think they are know-it-alls.
Typical loud mouthed ignorant Americans. Better to just let them shoot their mouths off and ignore them, let them think they are big shots (legends in their own minds).
I also loved the super challenging qualifying question ante b gave, you know the one that’s been mentioned in countless articles since we drew Iceland.
didn’t you used to live there? are you subliminally telling us something…hahaha…kidding!
In Toronto, I think I’d be gay.
(Swig of coffee). Knew it.
LOL @ Ante B and Živa taking so much pride in simply acknowledging their Croatianhood before ’91.
In Toronto, you two would be pussycats. 😉
It would be a good debate. I think a group featuring 3 first timers like Cro, Japan and Jamaica could be labeled as easy.
The first and third I can agree with you…..Not sure about Italy-Chile-Austria-Cameroon
ohhh no, not this topic again!
you really think we had the weakest group?
Brazil – Norway – Scotland – Morocco
Italy – Chile – Austria – Cameroon
France – Denmark – South Africa – Saudi Arabia
I think these 3 groups were just as easy or easier…
Who cares what group we draw at the WC. The main thing is getting there. I know its easier when you get a weak group (1998 WC when we were placed in what may have been the wekest group in WC history), but at some point you have to beat good teams to advance.
Stipe – soccer is a strange game and Croatia are the type of team that can easily surprise or shit the bed…sometimes you get disappointed but other times ie…vs the Italy’s, Germany’s and England’s of the world…mi mozemo biti bezobrazan narod…and thats part of what I love about our team! on any given day we can win…and also shit the bed…you just never know!
It doesn’t matter If we qualify, we’re gonna be in a tuff group for the world cup If me make it
Swig of coffee for any subsequent mention of the following: veliki hrvat, dividing, correcting language, politics, doofust.
No need to do anything. I’m sure most of our players and pretty much all of their players are unaware to any of that. And it should stay that way. This is a soccer match to qualify for the WC, not a political thank you tour.
I think we should win the game but it would be really cool to do something nice for them recognizing us.
That was amazing.
There you go again, Ante B. Spewing division among us hrvati. 😉
The best pasrt is the 91ers don’t even realize they are 91ers. Right now, some of them are asking themsleves “what is a 91er?”
Also, who was the first country that recognized Croatia’s independence? Even the class of 91ers should know this.
I think if Kovac organizes them well and they start to get small successes during the game, they will win! I’m not usually one to say we will win or by how much but I get the feeling this is going to be a statement from the players to strucnjak Stimac!
The weather would have to be a complete disaster to change the date of the game. Remember, we are playing within a FIFA window where the players all have to be released back to thier clubs teams next Tuesday. So, if there is bad weather, the game would take place on Saturday with the return leg still on Tuesday. Or it would have to take place during FIFA’s next international window.
@Anonymous, any team can be beat. Our team has more talent, but when men with heart play as a team, it can trump talent. So this Friday we’ll see if Kovac was able to bring that heart back into the team.
weather looks really good so I cant imagine it being a negative factor for the game!
What you need to know about Iceland?
They are better than Scotland.
Ne idemo nikuda.
Hrvatsku na Islandu ipak čeka normalno vrijeme, a ne ekstremni uvjeti
Ziva – yeah, he might be great in any of the 3 behind Mandzukic…I’ve seen him score some big goals from the left side as well but I just hope he isnt a defensive reliability!
what are the chances of this game being postponed? I’ve taken Friday off work so I can watch it in peace and quiet!
Mishko i agree with you on that. I also agree with ziva and slavonac about Kranjcar. I would like to see what it would look like with vrsaljko at rb and srna playing the right wing as well.
@Nije Bitno, my only concern is that Corluka is slower than shit these days. I’d rather have Pranjic on the left than Corluka.
@Slavonac……..actually, take all the food and fat jokes away, I’m a big fan of Kranjcar. I agree with you. If what we are reading about Kovac wanting to use a 4-2-3-1 system is correct, than I prefer Kranjcar as the poluspic in the middle of the 3 MF lineup at the top. I guess he can also slide to right side in that formation.
Excellant report Ante!
A couple of more interesting tid-bits:
This is the first time an official match in Iceland is being played this late in the year. The Icelandic football season ended in September! So if Icelanders themselves don’t want to play in November, you can only imagine how bad the weather can get.
With the match basically being played at the Arctic circle, this is the first time a World Cup or Euro playoff is being staged this far North. Canada, Russia, and the Scandinavian nations host their matches farther south for obvious reasons.
Despite the cold, the Icelandic population has hit fever pitch. With 30,000 or 10% of the population trying to get tickets.
The President of the Icelandic Football Association said if the weather is bad, they will move the game to Saturday. But moving the match from Iceland to a warmer nation is out of the question.
Ziva – I know you dont really like Kranjcar but I’ll say this…he can do in 3 minutes what it takes Perisic and Rakitic to do in 5 games. He sets up and scores big goals…regardless of his lack of defensive abilities (both Perisic and Rakitic are similair) he has the offensive abilities to make a difference!
This headline made me laugh.
What formation is best?? check them out.
Kovač: Igračima prijete kartoni, ali neću kalkulirati s postavom – Iako kartoni prijete Ćorluki, Modriću, Rakitiću, Mandžukiću, Kranjčaru, ma previše ih ima, kao nikad dosad, mi moramo tamo igrati pravi nogomet, rekao je izbornik
maybe if we had this kind of reporting and secret news we could of beaten scotland and Belgium 🙂
i was joking, i’m from Australia but anybody would agree that being in the world cup is worth it’s weight in gold, worth more than Sukers job.
huh?????? how is that a cetnik comment?
No cetnik here, only a diaspora domoljub. And we all know about the love for the domovina from diaspora hrvati. Half of us may not be able to speak the language, but damn it we love the country – even if we cant order from the menu.
last post is about the first ziva coment
@ziva, coming from a cetnik that makes perfect sense but i’m assuming it’s not you writing the above post.
damn, now this is news you love waking up to if you are a hajdukovac.. Looks like Nadan Vidosevic is on his way to jail and hopefully and long prison sentence. For those of you who don’t know who he is, just ask any fan of jadan i mali hajduk about him. They can tell you.
This fucker is the reason hajduk became known as jadan i mali hajduk.
A slower pitch does not help us. The more technical side is always impacted more by a bad pitch. Rain and sloppy field are better for Iceland. Not a great advantage, but a slight advantage.
Since I brought this up last time as we were going in to playing Belgium and Scotland where two losses and bad performances were what we needed to get rid of Strucnjak Stimac – and it worked. What if I told you bowing out to Iceland would lead to the removal of Puppet Suker as head of the savez and would force Mamic out of the savez as well, plus the extra pressure on him would for once and all make him leave Dinamo. Again, this would be another situation where short-term pain would lead to long-term success. Would you take it????
The nominees for the 2013 Fifa Puskas award have been released today.
This is the award for the goal of the year !
First time there has been an aussie and it’s a chick who scored a bicycle kick.
Here are the nominees:
It’s gotta be Zlatan, you would think ??
Prva clase reporting !
Kovac will make sigurdson collect the ball father and father from goal, Isolating their stud striker, who has good pace to go with his scoring touch.
Then our midfield creates potent possession that allows for a plethora or scoring chances.
The DM he chooses will benefit from an organized defensive plan. No one in the back 5 can be left on an island with their two attack men.
Our CDM has to be disciplined to allow Modric to dominate the entire middle of the pitch. If sigurdson goes forward, the space for Modric will create scoring lanes. Mandzukic will do his job upfront. We need some width to occupy their wing backs.
Keep the ball on the ground through build up, BUT be quick and intentional with the passing. No side to side that allows their d to gain confidence. We should attack and create scoring chances.
The benefit of Modric is that he occupies many defenders so we do not need to leave us open to generate offense.
Our set pieces should never allow a fast break. That striker is quick and could sprint passed our CB’s.
Wed – Friday weather will not drop below freezing.
Game time will be upper 30’s f. I pray they can cover the pitch so the field is not water logged.
A slower pitch benefits us anyway. We have more technically skilled players that can create scoring plays.
We need to start fast and let Iceland know that pool play is complete and it is playoff time.
Gurdjonseen needs to be accounted for. He has been a world class player and will have a moment or two. Hopefully our team dominance will tire him a bit. The occasion will not be too big for him.
Thanks for your in depth prediction Iggy, hope your right.
Iceland: what you need to know – Iggy Edition:
“We are gonna fucking smash them. The end.”
I have to admit those are some brilliant goal celebrations… some people hate things like this and for sure they don’t belong all the time but they do have their place and are entertaining
I thought this is a pretty fitting video since its Rememberance Day in Canada and we are all brothers spread across the world and besides good to get jacked for friday!!!