You say what?
Croatia controlled the ball for 68% of the match, kept Iceland without a shot on goal AND played the last 40 minutes of the match with an extra man- and the game ended 0-0?
So what went wrong?
It’s quite simple. As most Croatian fans around the world blame lack of heart, desire and will power in Croatia’s latest scoreless blunder in Reykjavik, they need to know that none of that has anything to do with it. It comes down to two things:
1. Croatia can’t bust the bunker. “It’s not you, it’s me.” Two years ago, Croatia couldn’t bust the world famous Greek bunker in 180 minutes of play. The scoreless efforts led to the Vatreni finishing second behind Greece; eventually defeating Turkey in a two-legged playoff to reach Euro 2012. But did we give Greece too much credit defensively or overrate Croatia’s offensive prowess?
After the Iceland match, the answer has become obvious to me. The Croatian offense is non-existent. But let’s only focus on the second half Friday night for sake of argument. Iceland’s Olafur Ingi Skulason picked up a straight red card in the 50th minute of play for fouling Ivan Perišić on a break away. That gave Croatia over 40 minutes to score an all important away goal while having a man advantage. Here comes a barrage of Croatian goals, right?
Iceland sat back as the 2nd half ticked away and you could start to see that they would be ecstatic with a 0-0 final. But with the home side bunkering down in their own box, making it nearly impossible to score from the front, Croatia opted to continue to go down the wings while failing to be aggressive through long-range shots. Substitute Ivica Olić only went to his left from the right wing, predictably running into the Icelandic defense every time. And with the box stuffed, Ivan Perišić and Ivan Rakitić should have been given proper chances to score from outside the box. And when that didn’t work, central defender Josip Šimunić should have been sacrificed for Niko Kranjčar or another attacker (Leon Benko) in the 75th minute for a full blown attack against 10-man Iceland instead of taking off Mario Mandžukić.
Manager Niko Kovač could afford to take off a defender for extra attack that late in the game with Iceland only playing with 10 men. At that point you can expect a goal from Croatia with that much firepower on the pitch, but then again, why has this anemic offense been struggling to score goals for over 12 months?
2. No speed, no urgency. The reason Greece, Iceland and Georgia etc can easily bunker against Croatia in recent games is because Croatian attackers never run straight at defenses. When is the last time you saw Luka Modrić or Ivan Rakitić run straight at a defender down the middle of the field? It just doesn’t happen. Instead, the central midfielders hold up the ball and pass it off to the wings, where most plays originate. From the wings, the ball is crossed into the middle where Mario Mandžukić is expected to do his thing. If that doesn’t happen, the ball is kicked back in the middle of the field and the play resets.
But that’s not how this system should be implemented. The reason you want players to run through the middle and take on defenders is to draw a double team where a through-ball can be made or an open winger can be given the ball to make a run at goal. Modrić has always sat too deep with the Croatian national team. Without a true defensive midfielder behind him, he will never be utilized correctly. He needs to be active, running at the opposition the entire match and dishing to his wings while the backs overlap when necessary.
But none of this ever happens because Croatia doesn’t play with speed or a sense of urgency. They like to keep possession at midfield but do nothing with it. Counter-attacks are slow and restarts begin like they are winning the game by three goals. That’s the reason Croatia can play against big boys Spain, Italy and England. Croatia doesn’t control possession in those games, so when they do have the ball, they are moving forward with pace. But nowadays it seems like they get stage fright approaching the penalty box. Weak shots towards goal, obvious passes to the wings and sky-high crosses into the box, which are easily defended.
(If you watched the 2nd half of Ukraine vs. France Friday, you know what I’m talking about. Even when up 1-0, Ukraine didn’t stop their attack and pressed France hard, which eventually led to another goal. They played with fearless speed and it paid off. Our boys should take note.)
Mario Mandžukić is a great striker, especially in the air, there’s no debate about that. But at the same time, he’s no god. His Bayern Munich teammates put the ball on is nose every time he scores, and although he makes it look easy, it’s not. Hopefully his Croatian compatriots don’t think they can just lob up a ball into Mario’s airspace and expect him to do something with it. Because that’s what it looked like Friday night.
This Croatian team needs to become quicker and more diversified in their play, not only in their must win game at Maksimir Tuesday, but in Brazil next summer…if they qualify. Because if they don’t, it’s going to be a long and depressing summer for their fans, with or without them at the World Cup.
Shit yeah. I spent the average Croatian monthly salary on alcohol in Iceland (36 hours). LOL
Hopefully our boys picked up a crate of Karlovacko at the Pleso duty free shop on their way to Reykjavik. Alcohol is way too expensive in Iceland for anyone to want to buy it over there, no matter what sort of athletic shape they’re in.
Agreed. Looking for any advantage they can get. Hopefully this lights a fire under their asses
ie. the drunks : p
Ridiculous to think pro-athletes don’t drink or smoke. First of all, they can. They’re in tremendous shape. Or at least should be. They’re not affected it by it like the average person.
The Icelanders, and anti-Croats, are floating a tiny smear campaign. Trying to sow discord.
So what?????? What is wrong with having a glass of wine or a beer or two after the game.
Are you naive to think these guys don’t smoke or drink?
You do realize we have had guys who broke curfew in previous years and went out partying to listen to turbo-serbo music. Helll, they are still on the team.
This is why they play crap the last months:http://www.visir.is/drukku-rumlega-70-bjora-fram-a-rauda-nott/article/2013131119087?fb_action_ids=10151786858837895&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=under&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210151786858837895%22%3A212767375569076%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210151786858837895%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%7B%2210151786858837895%22%3A%22under%22%7D
Drinking and smoking in their hotelroom in Iceland after the game…… No discipline
by the way, just read that ticket sales are up to 11K (10% of that is Iceland fans) for the game.
Puppet Suker must be crossing his fingers hoping his free ticket appeal works. Hoepfully the fans do the right thing and dont budge.
@Googe Translate……..that is why you should send your kids to private school. Less chance of their heads being blown off by a gun.
As for our healthcare. Mine is great. I have a good job and good health insurance. No complaints from me.
It says a lot about the hole we’re in with our squad and our current mentality when our best player on Friday night was a 35 year old who plays in the HNL and is probably in his last full competitive season.
Guys, it’s only half-time, remember that.
Ziva, i will probably cry and throw myself under a bus if we fail.
I’ve never seen Modric play worse for the repka than he did on Friday night. Uninspiring presence, poor passing and hs errors were responsible for most of the limited breaks Iceland had.
The three bright spots for me from Friday’s play were Big Joe, Pranjic and Perisic. Agreed that Perisic has some limitations on his skill, but he was behind most of our limited creativity in the second half and the guy can’t be faulted on his energy levels which are lacking at just about every other position at the moment.
Overall our confidence looks to have gone completely, and that could take a long time to win back again even if by some fluke we do still squeeze though on Tuesday night. We can’t score a goal for love nor money at present, and it was clear that SMM was getting increasingly irate at the lack of service through the central midfield as the second half went on.
Also – is it just me or does it look as though the gods/ FIFA (maybe that’s the same thing?) are doing everything possible to get our weakest team in 10 years into the WC finals? First we get Iceland for the playoff draw, then we get around 80% of the refereeing decisions going our way on Friday night, even without the blatant red card. First time I’ve ever watched a CRO match and thought the ref was actually on our side…
1) Lovren could get lost up front on free kicks and our defense would be ok in a counter attack. No Lukaku on Iceland.
2) Modric has to be up higher in the offense.
3) Pranjic is the only one that can cross the ball and I can see him open on the left side as iceland will pressure modric.
4) Kranjcar should see some space just outside the box where he can smash one from distance.
5) Mandzukic will get service from Pranjic.
6) Srna can make runs down the flank, too bad he cant cross the ball anymore.
I’m not sure on the positioning of Rakitic, Kovacic and Modric. You can switch those three around.
Also, I never liked Kranjcar, Rakitic, and Modric to start. If Kranjcar is ready, maybe a Vrsaljko at RW for Rakitic.
Two key points to game 2:
1) no one is on yellow cards in this game. We will be more aggressive. We will show more “heart” and take risks.
2) After watching the first half, only Pranjic made a quality cross in the box. Pranjic has to start at LW. All we have to do is stop sending rainbows in the box.
Srna Corluka Simunic Lovren
I just watched the game for a second time. The situation isnt as bad as I thought after watching the game the first time.
1) Iceland showed heart and I really like your people, but you don’t deserve to be in the world cup. Croatia doesnt deserve a world cup spot either, however, we received a favorable draw. Iceland played with 11 players in the first half and they were terrible. Give them credit for their heart.
2) Game two is simple: 1st team to score will win. simple as that. If it stays 0-0, then PK’s is a coin flip and most likely iceland goes through.
Croatia score first, iceland will open up and its good bye Charlie.
Iceland score first, the crowd will start to boo, the team will be out of it mentally, have dificulty breaking down bunker and Iceland might score again on a counter with Croatia leaving Corluka or Simunic as lone defenders.
@Google translate-I have reprimanded my naughty son many teams ,but I need to come to his defence slightly today.Ziva is many things and is maturing but –
-I have never noticed that he is a gun advocate.
-I think we can forgive him for using a figure of speech.Maybe he can agree to re-phrase it to “will you throw yourself under a bus?”
-We are on the verge of a hugely important match,maybe we can save the gun debate for later in the week. 😉 I will leave it up to you Mr Translate.We all love to(rightfully) US bash at times,but even your name is a US invention!
“and 10 being “keep me away from any handguns”
You Yanks and your guns, does a minute in each day pass without the thought of guns? Another day, another school shooting. Land of the free huh? Worst healthcare system in the world for the worst country in the world.
One more thing,the way little old Iceland are playing at the moment,we would have been better off drawing Romania for the playoff.We would have sliced through them more easily.We are having some weaknesses showing at the moment with well bunkering teams,though Iceland were still a little lucky to pull off their tactic.Dont shit the bed too much yet though,the job should get done on Tuesday.If not,fit the rubber sheets boys!
@Ziva-Fine question Ziva,its the type of thing you love!
-I will answer for my part,No,I wont cry but will be a bit depressed for a while and then become a little depressed again come WC time.That kind of answers the next question about booking a flight to Brazil,which is NO.Will still watch it but not nearly as closely.My personal depression will be about a 6.Shit,its still not the end of the world or even Hrvatska you know!!
There were /are some weaknesses that need work(as with almost any team) but I don’t really think we played that bad.Not trying to sugar coat anything,but it just bwasnt going to happen easily that day with Iceland being a well coached inferior team that was well drilled and new how to bunker well.I don’t see big changes for Tuesday,probably some tweaks.
Like many,I wont be sitting much on Tuesday,but theres something I like about seeing our backs to the wall.
Also, if we fail to qualify, how fast do you think the Bosnian federation will be on the phone with Halilovic. I say they call/text/send him burek within 12 hours.
Also, if we fail to qualify, I am worried for a friends in Mostar. Because they will have to deal with the party on the easter half of that city when the muslims celebrate and rub it in that they are going and we are not.
curious………..lets say we choke on Tuesday and fail to qualify. What will happen:
Will any of you guys cry?
Do we still plan on booking a trip to Brazil for the WC?
On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “not an issue” and 10 being “keep me away from any handguns”, who bad will be the board meltdown be on Tuesday?
credit the grease on those fries.
At least Niko can’t get blown away by Iceland defenders like most of out lightweight midfield.
Kranjcar is confident, some might say overconfident. He was witnessed earlier this evening roaming the main trg in ZG walking over to the McDonald’s where he ordered a few BigMac’s.
Tuesday game is proabably not the right time for big experiments, but for a start I would take Perisic and Srna out and put Lovren and Kranjcar. There is more comatibility and understanding between Kranjcar-Pranjic than Perisic-Pranjic and Srna is mirroring Strinic in recent games.
If Modric does not show imporvement on what he showed in Iceland, I would let Kovacic in.
Although NK Rijeka would have better chances against Iceland, I belive we’ll go through.
That Aussie team wasn’t that bad. They were on the cusp of qualifying for that years world cup. And they would’ve if that jerk didn’t run on the field and rip the goal netting, which gave Iran a much needed rest to focus on the task at hand while the Aussies thought they already done the job, being two goals up and what not.
Mark viduka, Harry kewell, mark bosnich, wouldn’t be classified as under 12 girls quality.
@jm…….it was nowhere close to a diehard crowd. Getting to Iceland is not cheap and the diehards fans, those who will lead the organized chants and create the festive atmosphere, don’t have the money to attend and travel.
I am wondering how the international media will cover the news of Puppet Suker trying to give tickets away and bribe people to attend.
Get ready for a test of nerves on Tuesday. Even if we score a goal, it will be tense until the final whistle or if we score a second goal.
u should fly to Zagreb and start giving some pep talks. Cultivate some champions.
I thought it was Perisic, but I could be wrong. I would have to watch again. It was from the goal line on the edge of the box.
I see Rakitic as more of an attacking midfielder, but perhaps that is a result of my limited viewings of him at Schalke, Sevilla or HNS.
I agree that he is a more natural ball winner than Niko Kranjcar but that is not much of a contest.
For me Kranjcar is a two footed version of Rafael Van DerVaart.
Play him behind the striker where he is capable of shooting with either foot or a clever short pass.
Even with limited speed, his comfort on the ball enables him to gain half a yard for a shot.
Don’t count on him defending, or winning a ball in midfield.
Rakitic is way stronger athlete with better passing range and more of defensive tackler.
Krancjar can score and has nice touch but his lack of pace and defensive interest relegates him to a joker off the bench. Which could prove valuable this Tuesday as he would have put in at least one of Perisic’s missed chances.
Man Ilicevic let down Kovac in that first 45 mins, steta.
I thought that was Eduardo with that cross to Olic ?
Perisic runs well and deserves to be in the squad but his lack of intelligence coupled with his limited technique, speaks to his game needing more seasoning. He had Eduardo wide open on one of those BS long range shots.
Kovacic upfront with Mandzukic will be a nice change of pace. Rebic sprinting you down will also give the Vikings something to think about.
Not sure about this whole yellow card situation but we need to let the mini Viking marauders who is boss on Croatian soil. They got real physical with us on Friday. We need to run them back into the ground.
Please score early and energize Maksimir.
Uvijek Vijerni !
I hope it’s a full or close to full Maksimir on Tuesday. I have a feeling if we get the first goal we win. That’s it. Otherwise it becomes a grueling 120 minute match with a 119th minute winner from Klasni- I mean Kranjcar and then a 121st minute equaliser from Gudjonssen. We all know the rest…lol. It’s all good though, Romanian, French and Swedish fans have less to be optimistic about on Tuesday.
I think it was Perisic that provided nice service to Olic, which would have been better for SMM. Clearly our best scoring opportunity.
I usually watch all HNS games twice to get a more objective opinion of the game, but this time I have not.
Perisic and Ilicevic should stay home on Tuesday.
I think it’s safe to say everyone on here with the exception of one 40 year old virgin (ziva) would like to see a packed house in ZG
Seriously? Andorra and Australia in those years was like playing against an under 12 girls team….especially the Aussie team 😀
I meant that against decent competition this team has not really buried a team. I have full faith in this team…they have the talent but just need to score a couple to build some confidence…it WILL happen! We will go to Brazil!!
@ Horvat….agree about the negativity. I think it’s just a defence mechanism for most – for others a sad way of life.
Being realistic is one thing…but always looking at the glass half empty is another!!
I just hope that Maksimir is full – support is necessary at this point.
I see Rakitic as being more similar to Kranjcar than Modric.
I agree we have had a problem busting bunkers for quite some time.
Perisic did not disappoint me nearly as much as Modric’s giveaways and Ilicevic’s play in general.
I have come to the realization that Modric physically and emotionally cannot shoulder the captaincy.
I am calling BS on the thought that our boys lack heart.
They will give their heart and soul this Tuesday.
Kovac needs to keep clean sheet so we have to be organized from the back once again like we were on Friday.
Kovacic – Rebic – Mandzukic on the counter with Modric and Rakitic pulling the strings.
Review the tape, Rakitic passed the ball well. I pray he can uncork one from 30 meters and fire us into the World Cup!
Then I want him to sing the himna and become captain and have Kovac teach him the ways of the master Jedi DM. I have come to realize that mod
DM maybe a career extender for Rakitic. He lacks the explosion to be real attacking midfielder like kovacic. But he is a strong athlete with great skill and world class passing range.
Iggy I agree and have made that point in the past, not that beating andorra is a great feat or measure of quality, a smashing like that is purely about building confidence and honing tactics. At this point we would barely beat them 2-0.
“We’ll never be a team that can hammer teams”
Croatia 7 – 0 Andorra
Croatia 7 – 0 Australia
Call me blind or dumb, but I didn’t think our borys played that badly on Friday.
Yes, we have been struggleing with creating quality scoring chances and breaking through the bunker for a few years now.
Island parked a bus in front of the new and defended like their lives were on the line.
We could have scored a few goals but that didn’t happen.
Croatian people have to stop being so negitive.
PERISIC . one more thing i had to mention here. i had long been disappointed in perisic as i had long held hope for him to be the young cro guy that makes the biggest leap. some would say he disappointed on friday, but when you think about it, you need to give him credit for constantly being in the mix. he drew the foul for the red card. he had several threatening shots, especially off the beautiful mandzukic shot that went wide. and although seeming like an out of control maniac at times, i like his aggression. i don’t see any other cro player as aggressive in terms of creating action. so i would err on him continuing to start
so been having a great time in reykjavik (second time in 6 months) and highly recommend to anyone in the states or europe as a fairly easy place to get to. great people. unique. good night life
a couple observations:
1) Iceland definitely bunkered. Hopefully we saw a more disciplined Kovac organized team.
Below are the stats on Iceland in qualifying. Croatia allowed them 0 shots on goal. No team had done that against Iceland in qualifying. That says something at least
OPPONENT shots goal possession goals opponent oppo shots opp goal
Norway 5 3 62 2 0 6 3
Cyprus 5 3 50 0 1 14 7
Albania 3 1 47 1 1 8 1
Switzerland 14 6 50 0 2 15 3
Slovenia 8 3 49 2 1 19 5
Slovenia 13 5 43 2 4 12 8
Switzerland 13 6 42 4 4 25 7
Albania 11 2 48 2 1 9 2
Cyprus 21 10 54 2 0 2 0
NOrway 12 3 39 1 1 13 4
Croatia 4 0 32 0 0 14 6
2) Croatia crowd: this was my first croatia soccer game in person. It was a great experience despite possibly being the most boring game ever. The main highlight was the red card when we celebrated like croatia had just won the world cup. In general, i was intrigued by the composition of the crowd. It was mostly older. Lets say 40s and up. And although spirited on the more controlled, tempered side than i would have hoped/expected. i’m curious if this is the die hard soccer fan base (as many of these people would have been in there 20s in croatia independence and very involved for the glory days of 98) and if the younger generation doesn’t care nearly as much. at the same time, iceland is far away and expensive so could be restrictive to the younger crowd
3) i really hope we win on tuesday. it would be quite depressing to not have anything meaningful to foliow regarding cro soccer for the next 8 months….again (2010 all over again)
Was there Wifi and sushi in Iceland?
People not going to the game because of the the teams lack luster performance in past games. Not because of the savez. If we topped our group in qualifying would the people still fill the stadium? Bet your ass they would!
@tomo……….don’t tell the public what they should do. Free will for the people to decide if they want to attend or not. No shame if they don’t. The leadership of the saves is the reason the fans have turned their back on the team – and nothing wrong with that.
The reason Benko got in is a reflection on the current state of our forwards. Jelavic garbage…….
Only bad things can come from loosing. What you people dont get is that it doesnt matter who is fired, the next piece of shit in line will be another mofioso. Thats the truth. Modric doesnt have ronaldo, and mandza doesnt have robben or ribery, but dammit they have eachother, lets do this shit tuesday.
Very simple people! One game to be played for a ticket to Brazil! Fuck all this bullshit about savez and people not attending the game in ZG. If you are a fan of Cro and want to see them qualify for WC than gitty up and get behind your team. This mumbo jumbo about short term pain for long term gain crap is what that is CRAP. Fuck you and your 2 cents if you don’t want Cro to win Tuesday. Go cheer for a nation that doesn’t have bullshit politics involved with sports, oh that’s right there isn’t one! Put on the best players you have on the pitch that will give you the best chance of winning this game. That’s what Kovac needs to do. I to je to! Jebem vam sunce!!!
I would switch Modric and Kovacic in Matesic lineup. Kovacic’s motor will be better suited there for us. Modric needs more freedom…
@ T Bone
Interesting take on the game….it’s all a matter of perspective.
We’ll never be a team to bury an opponent who’s down as we just don’t have that dynamic scoring punch that other teams possess. But we really did dominate the game. Aside from maybe one decent chance the Iceland had, we controlled the game but they played extremely well defensively.
It’s a matter of time before the dam breaks…my only fear is that they bunker with all 11 rather than being a man down and play for a shootout…that would be a horrible way to go down.
The last point I want to make is that we had a number of players going into that game with yellows…SMM, Modric, Rakitic to name a few. I noticed they were a little more hesitant defending and it could very likely have been that they didn’t want to miss the last all important match. I couldn’t imagine a deciding match with those three not playing – we would likely be done if that happened.
I expect them to play more aggressive and definitely with more ‘heart’ (couldn’t resist).
Your lineup looks good.
If we find it hard to break the bunker it would be good to switch Modric and Kovacic.
Even though we couldn’t pull off a win, I do think this is the beginning of turning point for the team. The negativity is leaving and now they need to play more confident (not to mention just playing better lol)
All managers make changes, they have to adjust and try to find the right formula to win….every team/match is different. Kovac will continue to tighten things up but will adjust to get us back the free flowing soccer we used to play. We’ll never be a team that can hammer teams but I’m willing to bet when we qualify, none of the big boys will want us in their group!
I like your lineup Matesic!!
I agree with Ziva that if we lose it might be a good thing as Suker and Co will be out. However, I am not confident with the replacement. Nothing will change. Maksimir will still be shit. The Croatia team will set up their training camps in foreign countries like Slovenia.
I dont blame Stimac as much as you and others do. I’m not saying that Stimac is Capello, just saying that its not fair that he gets 100% blame.
Most people on this site felt that Stimac was/is 100% and now bringing in Kovac would turn Croatia into Croatia of Euro 2012.
“We have a new coach who cant experiment too much at the moment.”
I am tired of people saying that “Kovac will not experiment” or like you said “kovac cant experiment”…
Take a look at what Kovac did:
1) recalled Pranjic. Dude hasnt played in 2 years for Croatia. Dude gets the start and played 90 minutes. Granted, Strinic was injured.
2) Lovren, might be a top 10 EPL defender at the moment, doesnt see a minute on the pitch.
3) Ilicevic, dude hasn’t played a minute in qualifying this year(I could be wrong on that), starts and plays a half. He sucked, Kovac saw that, and subbed him at half.
4) Kovacic, who was starting last couple of matches, doesnt see a minute of action.
5) Rebic, basically a rookie, second off the bench.
6) Benko, yes it was 2 minutes, but who the hell would have thought Benko was going to see the pitch.
7) Kranjcar, if he was 100% fit, an “experiment” by Kovac for not giving him time.
Considering that Croatia has 18 or so players in the world that could see the pitch against iceland that was a huge “experiment” for a world cup playoff that you need a result or there is no tomorrow.
Pletikosa, Corluka, Srna, Modric, Rakitic, Mandzukic are all guaranteed to start. That leaves 5 players.
Defenders: Pranjic, Scifo, Lovren, Simunic.
Midfielders: Vrsaljko(could be defender as well), Kranjcar, Perisic, Ilicevic, Pranjic(could play mid), Srna(could play mid), Kovacic, Badelj.
Strikers: Eduardo, Olic, Benko, Rebic.
As you can see Kovac doesnt have much options for change or to experiment. From the options that he has, these were huge changes. No one thought Pranjic would even be called up much less start. Who would have had Rebic and Benko as sub #2 and #3?
I agree with you on the fans. Who cares about the $$$ the HNS will get or the power that they will have. Croatia at the world cup is priceless.
Also, Markovic did nothing since ’98. Nothing will change with a different president. Not worth us missing out on another world cup.
The worst thing about losing – if it happens – is we’ll all have to listen to Ziva then carry on about what a wonderful thing it is we lost et al..
T Bone article is spot on.
Yes like most croats i want to see goals galore against a “weak” team down to ten men.
Reality is this: Iceland plays like scotland wales and all those nordic countries. Pysically aggressive and compact.
We have a number of players on yellows and those vikings were looking for more bookings.
Stimac really fucked up this team with his selections and tactics and leaked goals . Predictably the team is a bit lost.
We have a new coach who cant experiment too much at the moment. From his comments he didnt want to concede goals. That has been achieved. With better finishing we should have won. Kovac was hoping for that. But the vikings tightened up even more.
Since last match i am more positive re tuesday. Iceland played all there cards at home. There is nothing more that lagerbach can do except to hope for a cro mistake or perhaps some free kick moment.
Kovac has much more at his disposal and will make a couple of changes for those goals to come. The game will be similar in approach but Kovac will be looking for better finishing and attacks.
And the public better fuckin fill the stadium because the team needs them.
Yeah i’m all for Rebic starting at this point.
I too think we will get in but let’s all hope for an early goal cos if it’s 0-0 at half time then the nerves are gonna be on edge.
Jebi “long run!”
Time is NOW and the place is Maksimir.
@ Mali Ante I Croatia v ant
I am with you guys !
I have watched the match on Deportes and have a bit more grounded critique then I had Friday afternoon.
We played a solid match against an inform athletic, hungry crew at home.
Kovac has shifted the NEGATIVNA and we will see something special this Tuesday.
Perisic needs to be on the right if anywhere and Oiic on left or off striker.
Modric NEEDS ATTACKING WIDTH! He wasn’t that bad and created some positive action. Rakitic looked good as DM. Mandzukic gave his best. Eduardo is no longer on the level physically.
Srna can give us a strong 45 minutes as a right wing. At least his crosses and free kicks trouble the 6 yard box.
Pranjic still has it! With a decent left winger he will be an asset.
Need Vrsajlko at RB.
Kovacic off Mandzukic.
Rebic on left wing.
Rebic -Modric – Rakitic – Srna
Pranjic – Simunic – Corluka – Vrsajlko
We enjoy for 3 weeks.
Find out our draw.
Integrate all the young talent and samba in Brazil 2014!
Uvijek Vijerni !
@majstore……….if we fail to qualify, one of the good things would be less jock sniffers wearing jerseys with the last name of other adults on them. So, it wouldn’t be all bad. 😉
I still think we will do enough to get through on Tuesday, but the confidence level is not sky high. You can believe the players are also beginning to doubt themselves as well.
And a plea goes out to HRT……..can you guys please sign Strucnjak Stimac to be the analyst on Tuesday’s broadcast. Nothing would be more funny than to hear from Strucnjak Stimac if we do fail to qualify and for him to try to analyze it. Can you imagine the spin he would apply.
I still think CRO wins on Tuesday, and by at least a 2 goal margin. However, what happens if Iceland gets the result and we get bounced?
Would it symbolize the final nail in the coffin with regards to the love affair with the Vatreni, and to further that it’s future footballing capabilities? The fans have already seemingly tuned out, more negative results will only make things worse.
We could see complete and utter calamity come Tuesday night on so many levels if they fail to get the result. I know Ziva thinks it could be good for us in the long run, but i’d tend to think it would just fuck things up even more and put us into an even poorer position.
from that article:
“To the detached observer, there was little fault to be found in Croatia’s play. Perhaps Eduardo could have done better with his shot in the second minute. Maybe Perisic should have found a way to put in a better strike in the 40th. But their second half display was rather brilliant, with pretty passing, fancy footwork and yes, even some sharp shots on target.”
Rather brilliant ?????? By what standards????
Maksimir better be full, cmoon this is a huge fucking match now, 90mins to get into the world cup, not some meaningless friendly..
ziva u want the stadium to be empty, i declare you have NO HEART you HEARTLESS no HEARTER !!!
Sounds like the US vs Cro waterpolo game in Pasadena a while back
I hear you.
we need help on the left side. Perisic is just no good. He has no skill only speed. He does not know when to slow down and look for a pass instead of shooting.
I didn’t throw a “hissy-fit.” There are times, however, when disgust gets the best of me and I storm off. 🙂
Last time you were on this site you threw a hissy fit and told everyone good riddance. Welcome back.
Not one ZA DOM SPREMNI chant went up successfully. That should tell you about the atmosphere.
The atmosphere was poor. There were a few sequences of lively chanting and singing; there were a few individuals that sang whatever they wanted and as loudly as they wanted, but for the most part, these people were tourists. Jugo-tourists. Shitting in their shorts when they heard “banned” chants and songs. The ones they deem to be “fascist” or “Nazi.”
There was one gentleman (don’t know where he was from) that was trying to get the crowd going, but it just wouldn’t stick. Save for the few of us that were trying to help him. Guy had the repertoire down. A real crowd. But the scared lot wouldn’t help.
The lobotomy of Croatian fans has been successfully completed.
For you guys who went to the game in LedLand, how was the atmosphere amongst the Croatian supporters?
Of course, not taking anything away from Joe Simunic, it’s very telling when he’s your best player. This team – and nation – are in big fucking trouble.
Modric has been spending a little too much time with Ronaldo. Problem is, none of Ronaldo’s talent or magic is wearing off on The Keebler Elf. His nose is high in the air (pun intended), and he needs to reevaluate his worth. He’s losing his capital with tremendous speed.
For those of you that think he’s being positioned too deep, you’ve got it all wrong. He can’t be positioned higher up, because he doesn’t have the ability to go around or juke the opposition. He used to have it, but something’s just not quite right with the little guy. I think he’s scared.
I don’t know why Kranjcar wasn’t subbed-in (was he not prepared, enlighten the Doktor), but I thought we could use him and was convinced that he could win the match with a decisive strike.
Crazy Joe was, once again, our best player – saving the team in a few key moments.
Hats off too Rebic & Eduardo. They aren’t afraid of anybody.
I’ve been saying it since we drew Iceland. Modric has to play in a more advanced role against the Icelanders. I understand why Kovac played him and Rakitic deep, for safety. I don’t see that changing because of the away goals rule; we simply can’t afford to concede against a team that is bunkering. Whether you want to believe it or not Iceland can score and they are very dangerous on the counter. Friday could have been worse, we could have been down 1-0 going home. I think we’ll see our best possible starting 11 on Tuesday with Illicevic and Eduardo dropped.
Here’s a good write-up on the game by a neutral observer:
I think we win if Modric ups his game and keeps his errant passes to 3 or 4. Our crosses and forward balls have to be sharper and our attackers have to be smarter in their decisions in the box. There was one play where Modric held the ball in the 18 yard box for way too long and just didn’t know what to do. We can’t have that happen on Tuesday. If we score Iceland has to come out of the bunker and an open game will favour us much more than this crap.
That 0-0 scoreline might just be the turning point….
It’s the first time we recorded a shut out in all competitions since our victory over Serbia in March. In the 8 games since then we have given up at least a goal.
This is also the first time we shut out a home side in TWO years. The last time we achieved the feat was against Turkey, 0-3 in a Euro playoff. And we went on to win that tie, so hopefully this result in Iceland serves as a harbinger.
They must give away free tickets and pack that stadium with as many ruthless fans as possible. Make this a cauldron of Hell for the visiting team.
Also, the economic benefits of Vatreni qualifying for the WC are tremendous–so it’s worth sacrificing free tickets.
not really……while disappointing, in a way this is what we may deserve thanks to years of idiocy within the savez.
Again, some short-term pain for long-term gain.
The whole damn team is one big mess!
It really makes you sick in the guts.
the backline is the least of our problems
The lineup according to some Cro media portals…
Pletikosa, Srna, Ćorluka, Šimunić, Pranjić – Modrić, Rakitić – Olić, Kovačić, Perišić – Mandžukić
Kovacic replacing Eduardo in the lineup makes sense (as he has actually played there this season for Inter) but Kovacic hasn’t really been playing well this year. But either way, he should be better than Eduardo in that position anyway. Eduardo was invisible last game.
Not sure about Olic and Perisic on the wing. If these two start, then Kovac better have Vrsaljko and Rebic warming up on the sidelines, ready to enter the game.
Interesting to see that Kovac has no faith in starting Lovren. 🙂
Rebić should start
and I just read this………looks like Puppet Suker is handing out free tickets to the game…..
Hopefully the fans don’t fall for this and only take the tickets but dont use them.
That’s right poglavcina if I’m wrong I will retire myself from this site.
And what non-sense do you speak off? I have never spoken of anything outrageous.
Maybe you don’t like me and that’s alright with me. But whats with the “hater” comment? Who am I hating on?
It will be interesting to see lineup changes..Ilicevic experiment failed but it was worth a shot. We did play a little tighter defensively but still were way too predictable with trying to cross balls in – trouble is you need players who have some speed and can execute. Mario was non existent because he had zero service.
Glad to see organized afterschool backyard fight club has gone the route of professional wrestling with predetermined results. It sets up nicely for rematches. This is your reminder that it took longer for Brock Lesnar to win the title in WWE than in organized afterschool backyard fight club.
as for soccer…….interesting to see what Kovac now does with the lineup. Saw no difference in our play comparing to Stimac’s last few games. Did nothing with possession.
And just so you guys know. This post was written with full heart into it.
I’m with you…I have faith and quite honestly it’s annoying as hell listening to the negativity. We have the quality to take this – it’s just that we’ve lost some confidence and need to regain it.
Our creativity has been lacking and adjustments should be made. I’d move Modric in a more attacking role behind SMM.
Kovacic and Rebic should be integrated…we need some speed and creativity in the middle to open things up.
I’m sick of all these twats comparing this shit decision for GSP to some questionable boxing results! Your own shit sport has had plenty of questionable calls to speak of so stay the fuck away from boxing and criticize your own sport!
Here’s to hoping that Igor is wrong so that no one has to ever listen to his non-sense again!
That’s a promise, right Rukovic, you fuckin’ hater?!
Iggy you’re right we are low on confidence and your man Dejan knows how to fix that problem 😀
Still haven’t seen the fight but from what I’ve read GSP is still the soft little twat that I’ve always known him to be. Don’t really mind losing in this case.
I am giving you a pass on the last comment.
I have faith that Kovac will make a winning adjustment for Tuesday. Actually 0-0 was an ok result for us as well. Given how crappy we have been playing.
It was a match that halted the free fall of the last
Now Kovac can start to build on positive momentum. Integrate the young studs he has been working with.
So when we win this Tuesday, I want you back on the board posting your joy for being a Hrvat.
Better to be happy then right !
Sure i can agree with confidence being a factor, i even said earlier in (i think it was this thread or if not this the other one) that i believed we lack confidence, but that is not the same thing as the “heart” garbage that keeps getting banded around every nano here.
Of course, if you have been on a bad trot you will be low on confidence, but to say they have no heart to me says you fuckers are saying “they dont care”. That’s bullshit.
Not everything in life is black and white. 11 vs 11 or 10, talent, formations, tactics all are relevant but there is also the unknown elements that can sway a game. Emotion,confidence, will to win, which can be described as (heart), doubt, all can have a influence in a game.
Iceland are playing with a will to win, emotion that they can achieve something that many thought was unattainable.
Croatia on the other hand are playing without confindence, doubt has crept in through the ranks and it’s not hard to see they have no desire to be at next years world cup.
They are a shadow team a team that has no soul.
I have all the reason to believe that Iceland will be victorious come Tuesday. They are a team on a mission, it couldn’t have played out better for them. A 0-0 sets them up nicely even if they draw 1-1 they advance, a 0-0 they will favor themselves in a shootout, I mean who wouldn’t.
The cards are in their favor. A small maksimir crowd, plays well away, all equals a Iceland triumph.
If I’m wrong then you will never see my name on thus forum again.
why We need GOD ?
of course to win againts Iceland
then play him –> The God of Halilovic !!
Heart might not be a define able stat in any sport but you can see it, and it’s not there man- our team has the pure talent needed to beat a 10 man Iceland 100/100 times but there’s that bit of grey area that can’t be defined- we’ve had it before, and Iceland has it right now, this is there World Cup final and u can see the national pride oozing from the payers after every loose ball and clearance out of the attacking area- Obv I have no internal info on the mental makeup of the team, but my eyes tell me one team is playing inspired, and one team is clinching thier ass cheeks trying not to lose
“If you were given two choices before the qualifying tourny started:
1) A win in 90 min against Iceland in Croatia is a ticket to the WC.
2) The unknown.”
I’d take option 1 every day of the millennium. We’re in a great position that we should be happy about (if not how we have played).
GOD FUCKING DAMN i am sick of you bag of cunts going on about how the reason we are losing is because “there is no heart”
fuck me.. heart????
you think that is what determines whether we win or lose?
just FUCK.RIGHT.OFF with that shit. Heart is completely irrelevant and has nothing to do with this. It’s 11 players playing a FUCKING GAME against another 11 players, that is all. Nothing more, nothing less. Someone has to win, someone has to lose. Formations, form, technical ability all affect the outcome, but the way u piece of cunt carry on about having “heart” as the key determining factor when it is a COMPLETELY INQUANTIFIABLE and IRRELEVANT matter to the harsh world of professional football.
shut the fuck up about “heart”
the next shit-for-cunt to mention how we lack “heart” is going to get a spinning, flying, ducking, diving flykick to the left testicle from me.
And everybody posting formations- or pointing towards formations as the possible downfall in Iceland your crazy- it comes down to one thing, heart… We don’t have it right now, and it’s terrible to see- something bigger needs to change, and if that means sitting some of our “stars” so be it, i just wanna see some passion out there
What’s terrible is our savez dosnt see past thier next possible pay day- the amount of money they get for making the World Cup vs a couple grand in gate prices is absurd- if they didn’t have thier heads up thier asses they’d make damn sure we had the nastiest crowd the worlds seen…
If you were given two choices before the qualifying tourny started:
1) A win in 90 min against Iceland in Croatia is a ticket to the WC.
2) The unknown.
Which would you choose?
I find it offensive that you believe Croatia is somehow predestined to beat Iceland.
I say put Olic up front w/ Mandzukic & Rakitc on the right wing.
I don’t care about anything other than just wanting us to qualify.
Anything can happen in a tournament.
We’ve been in situations where we had very terrible qualifying campaigns (ie. France98, Euro2012) where we barely squeaked into the tournament and then exceeded expectations once we got there.
Poglavnik- I have no defense for the AWFUL judging in the main event. Hendricks was flat out robbed, sorry for the money you lost. Boxing has had it’s embarrassing calls, but this was just as bad. Hate how MMA has stooped this low, didn’t think they go as low as boxing.
I think enough is enough. Every coach that takes over is an idiot. We need to hire an outside coach. It doesn’t matter what coach we have its always f’n 4-4-2. Enough! This squad requires a 5 man mid with Mandza as the main outlet. If you can’t figure that out well you shouldnt be coaching.
Hopefully Kovac goes back to a basic formation. 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1 for a more defensive alternative.
“Reading all these suggested line-up changes (as if this was the actual problem) is like arguing about what you should wear before you go out and get shot in the head.”
Formations do make a difference. Remember the 4-3-3 formation Stimac had implemented? We were crushed. Some formations that put our players out of place and too much experimenting, will have it’s negative effects.
Let’s hope that beating Iceland in Zagreb doesn’t have everyone believing that everything is now fixed. At this point, I don’t think that 6-7 months of hard work and figuring out what’s really wrong is enough time to get us a single point in the WC.
I wouldn’t be worried about the team just yet. New coach and a tie is alright. 68% possession for Croatia is a good start for a hope-full rejuvenation of this squad.
Iceland had zero shots on target. Take a look at their past results under Lars Lagerback, it’s impressive. Especially from such a small country. Giving Sweden & Sweden a run for their money (Who in the recent past put us in our place). So Fridays results were not amazing results in no way. Though if Stimac was coach, we probably would have lost.
@Halidor – Croatia might lose the game, but I don’t think they will loose – maybe they will tight.
@Hallodor Have to admit, ice ice baby fromm vanilla ice is a great national anthem.
That game proved to me once and for all that the current form these players have with their clubs means absolutely nothing.
Start the guys who want to play for the Croatian people.
For Niko Kranjcar not to come on when Iceland went a man down shows a lack of intelligence. You need outside shooting against bunkers.
I always thought Modric underperformed for the Repka because he never had teammates who knew how to position themselves. But, against Iceland, he was attemting these weak little flick passes he never attempts for Real Madrid.
Our whole attack consisted of Olic putting in left footed crosses from the wrong wing.
Regarding the Iceland players – seeing them take dives at the slightest contact for such big players was amusing. Their coach Lagerback instructed them to do so to disrupt any flow. He knew this Spanish ref calls games tightly
5 games now without a win.
Reading all these suggested line-up changes (as if this was the actual problem) is like arguing about what you should wear before you go out and get shot in the head.
Seriously guys, what are we going to do in Brazil with this team?…with this attitude?
Don’t be surprised when your dreams are cut short on Tuesday.
please fix the leaks in your igloos, the eskimos are getting very upset.
Of course Croatia is going to loose this game. You are simple not good enough to go to Brazil.
I think Ilicevic could have developed into a very good player. Injuries have ruined his career.
At the moment he is definitely not national team quality.
I was surprised he was even called up.
Anybody know why he didn’t play? is he injured? not in form?
We just need to throw in Lovren to score for us
@Matesic……..I don’t know if it was nerves or if he is just not that good. Outside of a few very good performances in the Bundesliga over the last few years, I dont see national team quality in the guy.
You make more here cost of living is more but the quality of life is trash
Make less back home cost of living is faaaaaar less but quality of life back home is good
A point of view from someone who only has parents and a brother here
I agree,I think Modric could play a nice ball or two to SMM.
I think we should try putting Badelj and Rakitic as DM’s and Modric behind Mandzo.
We have been having a very hard time breaking through a bunker and creating good scoring chances. I think Modric is the only man who can do that if he is put in a more offensive position.
I can appreciate Ilicevic’s pace, but the guy rarely plays for Hamburg which is a club that likes to play their players.
I am guessing it is ring rust mixed with no chemistry with the NT.
I agree about the technical skills and tight spaces. Although during this last game, many of the turnovers came from one touch passes gone awry.
If we play a defensive mid and two central defenders, I can’t see why we can’t play a narrow midfield with wingbacks for width.
Minus the arrogant crap.
Curious to know if you can sense Ilicevic was nervous?
Kovac put him in for his pace and ability to take on defenders.
Agreed he played like shit. He just seemed to be very uncomfortable on the pitch.
Thanks for your eye witness account.
So I take it you’re not going to the match in ZG?
Nobody should be critical of the people in Cro if they decide not to go tot he game. Instead, we should applaud them.
It wasn’t that he never heard of hajduk, it was that he never heard of the rumours surrounding him to go to hajduk.
Never said I wanted to go or said anyone should go. Just crazy how the game that will dictate whether Croatia plays in the World Cup can be so cheap, yet in America a pretty irrelevant regular season costs so much. That LeBron James guy…
An engineer might make $1000 (A MONTH, not per WEEK) down there. If you are in his shoes do you care to spend 10-100 bucks to go to a dump you have been to countless times already? To watch a dull and lifeless team? To support idiots like Suker who are there not to help develop and further things for the greater good, but to make a name and turn a profit for themselves?
Hmmmmmmm. Seems a little unlikely. It’s easy for us to say we’d be there in a heartbeat. But that is because we rarely get the chance to go. If you’ve lived there your whole life or if you’ve been to countless games already, the feeling is different.
It may sound cheap to us in North America, but they don’t get paid anywhere near as much as we do here. And that is if they are even lucky enough to have a job.
No HNL this Week ! This Sucks !! No Hajduk Party this Weekend ! Damn ! Hey i think i Know who is the Biggest Hrvat around is – it’s Bob’s Big Boy !! Bob is Cro ! Who Knew ? Ha, ha !! Bog , Hrvati , USA , Hajduk , i HNS !!!
Ten bucks to go to a huge game like that!?!!? Yet the cheapest ticket for a Heat-Knicks game is 220 bucks.
What a bunch of horseshit.
even if the lowered the price, they would have tough time selling out…………..bad atmosphere around the savez, you can watch the game in HD at home, poor concessions and toilets at Maksimir, no roof to protect you from the elements, no jumbotron, no wi-fi service…..need I go on????
tixs are anywhere between $10-$80 (US) approx, depending on where you wish to sit.
Tribina zapad VIP – 500,00 kn
Tribina zapad dolje – 250,00 kn
Tribina istok – 120,00 kn
Tribina sjever dolje – 70,00 kn
Tribina sjever gore – 50,00 kn
Tribina jug – 60,00 kn
Hmmmm I get that it’s a huge game, but maybe if tix were a little more affordable, more tix would be sold.
I got the 9000 figure from here
How much are tix for the match going for?
I get and understand the malaise around the team / savez from the fans right now. Could it also be possible, that given the current economic conditions many fans have been priced out of attending the match?
Wondering what, if any factor that might be playing into the situation.
“You already know my stance on Olic, who once again did squat.”
Your stance? What do you mean once again? Where were you when we played the Serbs and Wales in March? How was he in those games? What is your stance when he plays well and deserves credit?
If you want to go after someone for their poor play go after Iličević as he was a disaster in the first half and go after Kovac for playing Olic at RW which should never ever happen.
As much as I dislike picking on Luka Modric, as he is our best player and as much as I have all the respect in the world for the guy, that was by far his worst game in our shirt. He gave the ball away more times than I have ever seen and the reason he was running around all the time was because he had to chase the players he gave the ball away to. Mind you, and not to make excuses, he was sitting on a yellow.
Not sure if that had anything to do with it but I thought I would throw it out there. He will be great on Tuesday!!
Damn, 9K…..even less.
You got to love the how the savez is tone death and blind as to what the people in Cro and especially ZG think of the savez. So, lets play the playoff game in a city where its tough to get the crowd behind you because they hate the people who make up the savez.
The good thing……if we do fail to qualify, that could lead to Suker giving his resignation/being forced out. So, it wouldn’t be a total loss.
Nice report Ziva!
Someone else mentioned on this site that it was only 9,000 tickets sold.
God bless Norwegian Air!!!!
Well, the coaching change made no difference. Looked like the same team out on the field. I have no clue why Kovac went with Ilicevic. I know there are some Ilicevic jock sniffers on this site, so please explain to me what you have witnessed from him to make you think he can play in the first 11. Just imagine the criticism Strucnjak Stimac would get if he was still the coach and decided to use Ilicevic.
If we get no service from the wings to Mandza, he is worthless. But, I do give him credit. He hustles his ass off and wins so many of the balls played to him. Sometimes you don’t notice that unless you see it in person.
No idea why Rakitic and Modric kept playing so far back. You can have all the possession in the world, but f you don’t do anything with it, its worthless.
Worst thing to happen to us was the red card. When that took place Iceland put everyone back and it was even tougher to get anything. We had a couple of half chances, but the build up was slow except for the first 5 minutes after the red.
More quality on our side, but the longer Tuesday’s games remains tied, the worse it will get for us.
I heard from someone who would be in the know and he claims less than 11,000 tickets have been sold so far for Tuesday (that was as of Friday morning). So, to the fans in ZG, I say well done. They are still not satisfied with the savez and are not blind mice and refused to be treated like shit.
If only the management and coaching staff would use this site when finalizing their starting 11
Rooney would give the same answer that beckham gave. He has never heard of hajduk.
Thanks for the input.
I think I’ll bet on a KO victory for Hendricks.
I’m not a “fan” but I love to gamble!
Also, I’d like to see GSP lose.
Boxing might be my favourite sport.
I’ll definitely be watching the Andre Ward fight tonight.
The biggest difference between Iceland and Croatia is that they found a system which works for them. We’re trying every game a new lineup.
The game Tuesday is too important to try another system. Just go for the old 4-4-2 and only use players on their own position.
It could be easy :
Srna Lovren Simunic Corluka
Vrsaljko Modric Krancjar
Corluka as LB because we don’t have anyone who often plays on that position so we have to take someone and he can do it.
I like Rakitic and he probably was our best man against Iceland. Only, if you use him as a DM, Modric will have to play like another DF to help him out. If you play him like a number 10, Modric should be out of team. If Modric should play the first half like he did against Iceland, take him off.
I pick Eduardo over Olic not because he’s better but because he has more technical skills and that will come in handy since Iceland will surely make sure that there’s not a lot of space.
Poglavnik- Just saw your post. I thought you dislike MMA from my memory? Nice to see you watching it. First time in a long time, I’m picking a challenger against the champ. Hendricks is the perfect matchup for GSP and I have him finishing the fight in the second round.
That being said, if the fight goes into the championship rounds then GSP will take over. Hendricks cardio has always been an issue. Should be an excellent fight though, first time in a while GSP is going to be actually tested. I love Condit and Diaz, but they were no match for his wrestling.
Hajduk should go after John Rooney! 🙂
Faux Cro is becoming my new favorite poster.
The real potential tragedy of Croatia not making the WC, would be the fact that Denis would not get to ask Wayne Rooney if the rumors of him transferring to Hajduk Split are true.
I remember krancjar has scored against belgium, brazil and england. dont remember the spain goal
Who is our only player who has scored against Belgium(twice), Brazil, England and Spain?
@Toronto Croatia, “with the talent we have on the team….that’s fuckin shameful”. In fairness, what talent do we really have? Our best player Modric was awfull that game. How many turnovers did he have? With all those crosses aimed at Super Mario, how many landed on target? 0!!! Our back line is so slow that it looks like they are in rewind mode. No creativity up the middle and up front to break down a 10 man Iceland squad.
Ilicevic and Perisic should stay home on Tuesday. I liked the energy Rebic brought on the pitch when he came in. I also think he needs more than 20 min. I like to se Kovacic inserted in the line up
Apparently only 9000 seats sold so far. Looking like we might see a half empty maksimir on Tuesday.
this is where kovac will get his real test as a manager. he’ll have the opportunity to see how iceland played and how we responded. as will ice lands coach. talent will still put in the odds in croatia favor, but lets see who makes adjustments to swing those odds one after another
Iceland had one shot early in the first half that was blocked and went over the dead ball line that was very dangerous
and we also needed simunic to clear off the line in the second half
so they DID offer something in attack, they could have scored but they didn’t
in that context 0-0 is far better than 0-1 to them or something !
I actually prefer this situation, if we won 1-0, we would sit back the next match, and as we all know when we bunker we get scored on. I like the pressure on us forcing our guy to fight. This is a good situation for croatia to be in. If we cant capitalize on this, well then I am at peace and will realize that we simply do not belong in the cup.
@ Toronto and Halldor
Again we will dominate Iceland in terms of shots and possesion. Yeah, they might make it a low scoring affair by fouling, playing with heart, and bunkering.
But the difference this time is we will find the final ball and convert it.
I’d give Rebic more than 20 minutes
I don’t want to hear “what if scenarios”…proof is in the results.
And for all of their “owning”…Croatia had a 0-0 result to show for it.
You have no chance in the second game. Iceland will win 0-2 with 11 men and a good referee.
@ Toronto Croatia
In terms of shots and posession they were OWNED. We were even dominating them before the red-card. They had NO shots on goal. Pletikosa wasn’t even rated by Slobodna Dalmacija because he had nothing to do!
The final ball was lacking that’s all. When there is no final ball, no good passes to forwards, you get a 0-0 scoreline. And people start complaining.
If we had more passes like the one from Rakitic to Perisic, which resulted in a red-card, it would have been goals galore–and no one would be complaining. All it takes is 3 passes like that, and a conversion expert like Mandzu putting away 3. And now everybody would be saying how awesome we are.
What do you think about the GSP/Hendricks fight tonight?
Was gonna lay a few bucks on Hendricks.
You like his chances?
Come on now, I incorporated your saying very well! 🙂
Croatia vs. Antwerp lol @ “we basically OWNED Iceland.”
Dude, were you watching the same game as me?
I believe OWNING a 10 man Iceland would more likely consist of at least a 5-0 scoreline.
Never would I have expected to come on this website and see a headline…of “Croatia cant beat 10 man Iceland”
With the talent we have on the team……that’s fuckin shameful.
I still believe we can beat Iceland in Zagreb, but man this is horrible football to watch as a fan.
@ Garden State,
You’d probably have better luck sending half your team to the Japanese national team.
Poglavnik – I’m suing you for gimmick infringement. How dare you!
In all seriousness, I just rewatched the game and it stings for now but things look positive. I’m aware that Croatia had the man advantage, but they seem to be the better team. Obviously want to see much better performance out of Modric, which I think we’ll see.
That first minute with Eduardo burns the most. I remember back in 06-07 he would score on those ridiculous angles. Dang happy he got the start and wouldn’t mind him starting again. You already know my stance on Olic, who once again did squat.
Still don’t think Pranjic can be a left back against top teams, but I guess Croatia can get away with it for this matchup.
waiiiit. garden state croatia…..i just went through your roster….. do you pay these people to play or is this some rec league….???
if so how do i get in touch
I’ve played 2nd league back home a year of d1 soccer here and in the USL
Look we basically OWNED Iceland. We dominated possesion and shots. Do you guys really think a side that can’t get out of their own half will advance? I doubt it. They do nothing accept foul us, they took a red-card to stop us from scoring
“Iceland if they are smart bunker down and play for the tie and take it to penalty kicks.” -Luka
Yep, that just about sums up their strategy. But, we will edge them out on Tuesday. In the end our quality and home field advantage will prevail.
As far as us lacking conviction and heart, this wasn’t the case. It was our lack of a final ball. Before the match I questioned the inclusion of Eduardo and Illcevic, and rightfully so.
Two possible line-ups for Tuesday:
An Offensive oriented “Diamond midfield”:
Pletikosa–Srna, Corluka, Simunic, Strinic–Rakitic (RM), Kovacic (DM), Modric (AM), Krancjar (LM)–Olic, Mandzukic.
Or Possession/Balanced set-up:
Pletikosa–Vrsajko, Corluka, Simunic, Strinic–Rakitic, Kovacic–Srna, Modric, Pranjic–Mandzukic
Srna: Will not be benched in the final game of the qualifying cycle. He is our captain.
Rebic: Not ready to start. Good for the last 20 minutes to stretch out opposing defenses.
Pranjic: Better as a LW. I think he can supply better final balls and crosses.
I expect we win on Tuesday. Iceland if they are smart bunker down and play for the tie and take it to penalty kicks.
At the end of the day however you can’t underestimate any team.
It was painful watching Srna yesterday.
Well done Ante. Glad you remembered. The only one it seems. 🙂
Only bright side today is reading about Gotovina and Mladic after the way we played yesterday.
I’m feeling slightly less “outraged” today…
We’re winning this Tuesday!
Would love to see Srna dropped and Kovacic and Rebic playing more.
That had to be the worst game I’ve seen Modric play though!
I don’t give a shit where they’re playing him.
It was embarrassing to watch.
When was the last time he had a good game for us?!
Spain, in a losing effort?…
A year ago today generals Gotovina and Markac were acquitted. Man, what a day.
Zauvijek ce zivjeti hrvatski ratnici
Man you guys are overreacting, we had the better chances, we had more possession, and iceland didnt show anything really to be fearful of and the game was in iceland. Good tactics by kovac, remember 5 of our players, and they were the good ones were at risk of getting a second yellow and missing next game. Iceland will have a much tougher time playing in Cro, the scoring drought will end next match. Croatia will advance. Vidimo se u brazil, samo naprijed!
bottom line our best players need to step up, Modric need to be modric enough of this defensive midfield bullshit do something! Also this team dosnet play enough with heart and as a team. I still think they go through 3-0 score on monday! Also rebic adn kovacicneed to start we need some players who know how to tke a defender on, srna is god awefull his time is done!
vrsaljko simunic corluka pranjic
Kovacic Rakitic Rebic
@Thor in Ice,
Yes, you have to give credit where credit is due. Iceland took care of business. Before the draw, I was hoping that we avoid Sweden and France. However, I wanted Romania because I wanted Iceland to advance. Congrats so far.
I hope you are right. Yes, the draw was easy. I dont even want to make a prediction for tuesday. Dont want to jinx anything.
@GS Cro FC
Yes & Yes!
@matesic method i take back that second comment lol.. Your line up is legit
True @poglavnik 🙂 he he he he….but at the same time less headaches and drama then other Croatian teams :)….
We are sure Vatreni will deliver in Zagreb and we will watch our boys next year in Brazil
Croatia will win in Zagreb!
Still would maybe start rakitic over rebic in that position, but wouldnt mind seeing rebic in there
@ matesic method.. Fantastic line-up, nice to see at least some ppl on here who knows something about the game
Iceland will become the smallest nation to ever qualify for the world cup. And we will forever be the team that let it happen.
What a great way to be remembered. Our humiliation knows no bounds.
It would’ve been alot easier to just finish 3rd or worst 2nd placed team, then to go through this shit.
i found it strange but it seemed like Olic was favoring his left foot. He scored a cracker with the left a week ago and now it seemed like he keep trying to cross it with his left too?
Great job guys but that team has less Hrvati on it than Dinamo! 🙂
maybe we should send few or our players from here:)
We won Vs Serbian White Eagles 🙂
The problem with Croatia is many fold;
1. Lack of individual pace
2. Style of play is SLOW
3. Lack of fluidity- the midfield and attack are too separate, in modern football midfield and strikers need to be a unit, mandzo was isolated all night
4. Lack of depth in squad- most of us would drop perisic and a few others, but who are the replacements? kranjcar? The guy is lazy and a 3 meter lateral and backwards pass specialist. If one or two players are out we start playing people out of position and/ or changing formation. Eg olic on right wing?? If he had a right foot we would of had at least five dangerous attacks down the right but he kept cutting in field.
5. Lack of managerial options – how many Croats are there that coach a big team in Europe or a big nation? I am happy with NK selection based on his playing days but he has no experience- hopefully he is a success
Ps well done to Iceland so far this campaign- we remember what is was to be a “small nation” sticking together and punching above our weight
Agree with most of what you said.
They will be ready & inspired against us!
Don’t agree with the skating is harder than running bit though and I’ve played a bit of both sports.
There’s a reason professional hockey players play significantly longer than professional soccer players.
I remember Brett Hull having a famous quote about why he chose soccer over football (which is what his brother played) and some other sports. His answer was something about being lazy and being able to coast around on skates rather than running around all the time.
In the past.
I can’t think in the last three years which large/powerful football nation we beat.
People from larger countries say the same thing when they lose to Croatia.
I like the lineup.. I am not sure if Rebic is there yet.
Then again, if you aren’t ready to play against Iceland @ home then you are tits on a bull.
Need 2 guys up front and Rebic is the best option to pair with Mario. Keep Perisic & Pranjic on the left side as they abused the Icelandic right sided defense. Get rid of Ilicevic/Olic as RW and move Srna there so we can get some play from that side of the field too. Move Rakitic up in the hole as he created some of our best chances/shots. Let Luka do his thing end to end as the “DM” even though he’s not a DM, we don’t need a true DM for Iceland with out their “star” forward and missing 1 man in midfield due to the suspension
Here is my recommended line up for Zagreb, 4-1-3-2:
I am speechless regarding how far we have fallen. I have never seen a worse hrvatski squad in my years of living. The are gutless wonders. No spine no desire to win, they are going to let slip a chance of a lifetime to play in the worlds most watched tournament, a chance to have their names eched in history.
They were handed a dream playoff draw against a team that had a man down from a country of only 300,000 population. And yet they couldn’t grab that opportunity to score???
I’m dumbfounded and lost I have lost all hope for this repka.
He plays right off of Mandzukic are not at all.
Rakitic had a good game at DM.
Maybe Kovac can make him into something special back there for us?
He is too good for us to shit on him etc…
He is strong has range and can bang them from deep.
We cannot afford a real destroyer any more with our lack of attacking force.
If Kovac can get the best out of him, insert Kovacic and integrate Rebic…then we could be in business.
Srna does look a little tired, but in his defense Kovac looked like he was intending Ilicevic/Olic to provide the wide right threat.
We need to get our “natural” goal scorers into the match.
And lets face it, they are SMM,Olic,Rakitic and Kranjcar.
Why the fuck was Olić on the right wing. He shouldnt ever play on any wings.
Perisic was running at that left flank all night. If he had tad more technique he should have scored twice and delivered 5 quality crosses.
I sense the d was getting worn out.
I guess we will see Tuesday as the field settles all disputes.
By the way thank you and all your Icelandic brothers for recognizing us in our path of emancipation from Jugoslavija. Feel free to visit our Dalmatian coast for a nice swim in our beautiful Adriatic.
We will need to take this spot for BRAZIL!
The quality of explosive attack players at Madrid makes our guys look like they are driving jugos.
Modric has played well for the NT. The problem is every where he is not deployed the quality suffers.
He presses for the NT because there are no natural outlets.
I love Modric but he is dependent on players around him.
Kovacic and Rebic are blessed with the 10-20 meter burst where they generate the play. Modric facilitates the play.
Plus he does double duty for the repka, box to box. That’s taxing on the body-mind.
Srna is the one player that has to be addressed.
I agree with you. Play him at right wing for a half or bring him to settle a game we are winning. He cannot go the full 90 anymore. He has captained Shaktar for years and his legs are tired.
Modric needs attacking wings to work the magic.
Put him upfront and let Rakitic pull the strings. He has longer range on his passes and his bigger and stronger than Modric for DM. It was his weighted pass that earned the red that at least secured the clean sheet.
Rakitic at DM may be the best bunker buster move we have ?
I think our best chance was a pass from wide left to the 6m box that would have gone to an open SMM, if Olic didn’t stab at it.
When did we become a team that aimlessly crosses balls into the box?
I like the formation we implemented vs the Serbs.
Our crossing was horrible. Iceland’s goalie looked like he was catching foul balls most of the time.
I have been in denial about this for a while.
Why does Modric seem to underperform for our NT?
Is it that he is accustomed to playing with better or faster players?
Is he afraid to get hurt and ruin his club career?
Is he played out of position?
Everyone saw the game, he gave away the ball more than anyone else. I realize he received the ball more, but I expect more from him.
The 2nd half he improved against a 10 man Iceland who conceded space in the midfield. Yet he did not work any magic when given time and space on the ball.
The red card did save Iceland from croatian goal and totally not a fatigue body-mind error. Hope we will see a good game next week.
@ NK Susak
Great point around needing to score in the first 30 minutes.
This is also necessary to energize the stadion.
I fear the folks at Maksimir will start whistling and that would not be good look for us.
Turn Out the Lights , the Partys Over – They say that All Good Things Must End !! Bog , Hrvati , USA , Hajduk , i HNS !!!
@ NK Susak
Eidur will be tired.
Running around tracking the ball takes a tremendous amount of energy.
Yes they will recover and be fresh to start BUT as the game wears on they will begin to fatigue.
That’s when we need to attack defenders and open up spaces for scoring chances.
That red card was a fatigue body-mind error.
We need bring more attacking energy in the final third for sustained periods over 90+ mins.
Young attacking legs!
and if we dont score in the first 30 minutes on tuesday, Croatia will be more mentally tired from trying to break down Iceland, than any player will be physically tired from both sides
I agree with a lot of what yous are saying on here, but the one thing I cant stand hearing is that Iceland will be tired on Tuesday. Are you people out of your minds? These are professional athletes that are in tip top shape. Give them 8 hours of sleep and they can play again no problem. The game is 3 days later. Look at hockey players. theyll play 2 games in under 24 hours and not miss a step. I have played both hockey and nogomet, and i can guarantee skating on ice is much harder than running on a field for 30 minutes. In case you havent noticed, the other 60 minutes of a soccer game, players are walking around and flopping, or killing time when the ball is out of play.
here for my Lines Up
Well said. You have a young, athletic, and talented crew that plays as if they haven’t eaten a salmon biscuit for two weeks. I was impressed.
Kovac knew he had to put them on lock down.
Well written my friend.
We need attacking offensive fire power. Modric is one layer from that player and is better suited to set that up. Rakitic is one layer from him.
REBIC – KOVACIC need to play up front with Mandzukic.
Perisic had a pulse last match and at least attempts dribble attack. Ilicevic shat the bed on the right wing.
Srna and Eduardo are too slow.
Modric – Rakitic
Actions speek louder than words. After the game yesterday you should know that Iceland is not igloos and whales. Pity if you can´t take some critic and value both sides, I do.
I think someone has harpooned your pet whale.
Thor on Ice.
I think your igloo is leaking.
Who the fuck let these eskimos on this site.
We dont care about ICeland we only care about the Croatian national team.
Go and lick an icy pool.
I agree They are just not hungry so therefore dont deserve to go to Brazil…Lets Go Iceland
Hi Croatians, I have been reading the comments after 0-0 game yesterday. Nobody has mentioned a word about the good spirit and talent of the icelandic team. If the icelandic players are performing and defending, you will see no croatian goals. It´s as simple as that, not even 11 against 10. Croatia has some world class players but so does Iceland. Good luck for the second game !
Well written and I agree with most of what was said. I disagree with sacrificing a defender for a striker. The last thing that we need is a quick counter and a fluke goal. N. Kovac said that he didnt want to take chances. Croatia could have 7 strikers and they still wouldnt score.
The problem is in the midfield.
Our strikers need service. Did Mario Mandzukic even touch the ball? dude finished without a shot against 10 men.
Srna is a fraction of himself, dude hasn’t provided a quality cross since 2008. What would a Pirlo bring to this side.
We dont know whats up with Kranjcar. He might not be match fit.
Yeah i remember that too CvsA, and it was a good shot too .. lovely play there.
Guys can people tell me what websites are best for streaming Croatian television over the net??? OR alternatively, what are the best solutions to have access to croatian channels?
Please keep in mind i am in Australia so don’t direct me to american organisations etc.
Thanks in advance !
I remember seeing one play in which Modric back heels to Rakitic for a one time shot on goal….Now that’s the kind of stuff we need in the attacking 3rd.
Modric has the creativity. Put him forward to provide the final ball (which we lacked). He has the quality to do it.
Other than that our defense was solid. Iceland didn’t even manage a shot at home. We will shut them down in ZG, only way they can score is by a fluke goal.
I don’t think the guys lack heart, and i still like our players.
To me – i would say they lack confidence. When you think that this is the SAME FUCKING TEAM that performed to admirably in euro 2012 just one bloody year ago it’s hard to believe it.
They really look shaky and to have no self-belief to me, confidence is really low. That rough trot we have been through has left the guys all shaken i think and it might take them a while to build up some confidence again. I guess like Niko said you can’t expect massive change overnight.
No need to ditch the team, stick with them, they will get their confidence back with one or two good performances and start the ascent. Hopefully the first improved game comes on Tuesday night !
Cmon guys these are our boys and i know i love ’em! Some of you fellas sound like you actually want to disown them !!!
Way too harsh.. keep the faith !
here for my suggestion :
1) we going on full attack mode with someone alongside Mandzukic. Olic / eduardo with basic form 4-4-2
2) dont make Srna or Pranjic in the back side
they must on right or left position in the middle
3) modric is the key.. so let modric do alone in the center of midfielder, dont put the same style as modric like kovacic or rakitic in that position. Rakitic will be nice on the wing side .
then we can move onwards to more effective and energic !
Fuck my head hurts from reading LAKnat’s and Chico’s comments!
I love you guys but I sound like fuckin Borat in my mind when I read that shit!
My 2 cents on the game:
Modric was fuckin terrible!
Worst Hrvat on the field, other than maybe Ilicevic who should have have never even seen the field!
At least half the team sucked today but Modric and Rakitic are supposed to be stars so a bigger blame goes to those 2 La Liga softies.
Mandzukic had absolutely no service so I can’t trash him.
Our best build up when it was 11 v 11 was down the left where 2 guys that a lot of people did not have starting were playing. Pranjic & Perisic.
So what does that say about the right side?!
It’s fuckin old (Srna) and useless (Ilicevic)!
We can still pull this off.
Probably no more than 1-0 cuz there were next to no quality chances created by either team but this is fuckin painful…
Is there anyone on this team I actually like any more!?!?
Simunic while he’s still around, I don’t know…
Iggy my Heart is Broken ! Help Me , Please help me root for this No Heart team ‘!!
I almost agree with the write up here except one thing. You don’t necessarily run at guys and take them on down the middle, Rebic showed us a little of what taking a guy on means… it can be done from any attacking position and the result normally means another defensive player has to commit and the defending team is outnumbered! I agree, we need guys taking players on, kinda like what Kovacic did vs Serbia the first game…beat a man, a defensive player has to commit to you and your options open up! Olic also tried that on a few occasions but he always tried to get it to his left foot (except once when he eventually lost the ball) so he could make a pass or cross, we need more of those one on one’s…very good point to the writer of this blog!
if that Eduardo rolling ball went in within the first minute or two we might’ve seen a completely different match.
Have faith guys – we’re still in the box seat and i think we will prevail.
If we fail on Tuesday tho..
im gonna need a hug !
this is what needs to happen next game
Look, the problem is clear
there is a massive DEJAN LOVREN sized hole in the team that played !!
SRAMOTA !! Our COACH is No Good !! My ASS !! This TEAM is No Good !! NO HEART !! They just do MOT Care !! F’em !! HNL is Better then this CRAP !! HAJDUK i Torcida 4 Life !! Bog i Hrvati !!!
1) Iceland 0-0 away > Turkey 0-0 at home
Many people assume Croatia were flawless against Turkey, that is true, but only for the first leg. I don’t care if you call it playing it ‘safe’ or whatever, the fact is the chance creation that Croatia lacks has been missing for several years now.
2) I think Kovac realised that theres only two ways Croatia can attack. You either play around Mandzukic, or you don’t play with him at all. We threw Perisic and Ilicevic out there solely to provide Mandzukic service. Back in the day when things were smoother we had Eduardo and Olic up top together, the attacking options were better and the goals were flowing. We can’t imitate Robben and Ribery with Perisic and Ilicevic. I don’t understand Eduardo behind the striker, I don’t like it at all. I don’t like Olic on the wings either.
3) Defensively we were solid. Lets not forget we conceded goals to Belgium twice, Scotland twice, Serbia, Macedonia and Wales. At least defensively we looked secure against an unpredictable Iceland team who have scored a lot of goals over the last 12 months.
I’m behind Kovac, and I am willing to accept tonights game as a tough away encounter. I am optimistic and I expect the boys to put Iceland to the sword on Tuesday.
Rakitic had a fine game, that was encouraging. Modric was awful, but that happens from time to time. Everyone else was mediocre.
U idiots ! Lets get Rid of the Coach !! It’s not the Coach’w Fault ! It is this Lazy No heart Team !! Give Me Money !!! Crap ! No Care ! Useless ! No Love !! I am sick ! Top 10 ? My Ass ! They are Not Top 100 !! No Care ! CRAP!! Keep On Loving this ? Not me ! GOV !! Just like ( ghk) ! Ahhhhh !!!’
the stupid thing began when Bilic put Pranjic behind his usual position as an attacking midfielder. he was a defense wing !!
oh thats the problem ..
Croatia hopes very well play for their midfielder but in case their sacrifice to defense !!
Its OK if your attacking very good. but if your guard down,
its very risk !! ( now look up for Srna position )
another stupid ->
Croatia imitate Football Club for their player,
actually on Mandzukic position!!
is he only first forward ?? and how about duo stiker with
Olic alongside Mandzu ??
Listen to me:
Use formation 4-3-3 or 4-3-1-2
with modric on the center as the Gamemaker. and Srna on the pure midfielder (do not like his club’s position) and put up striker in the forward -> Olic Eduardo (do not put like Perisic or Ilicevic on the wing forward) !!
Who cares if We make it ! They will Not get past the 1st round !! HNL Zis Better then this Cr ap !!
@ Armada 8733087 Right On !!
bog neka ti prosti grijehe tvoje
sto si mene varala ti
bog neka ti prosti grijehe tvoje
nevjerna moja ljubavi
Still dont understand the Benko sub but otherwise not much we could have done differently
Sacrifice a dender and guess whet we would of lost. Simunic saved our ass again today.
Today was not the day for us to score. Agree put Kranjcar in but take out Perisic or Rakitic and no matter what we are not a quick team. Kovac knows our limitations.