Croatia coast to victory over disappointing Nigeria

first_img 2 With Argentina playing out a 1-1 draw against Iceland earlier today, both teams knew that a win would give their chances of earning a place in the knockout stages a huge boost.Croatia started the game better and could have had the lead on twelve minutes, but Ivan Perisic’s effort from the edge of the box went narrowly over the bar after good build-up play.However, they did take the lead just after the half-hour mark when Mario Mandzukic’s diving header deflected off the unfortunate Etebo following a corner from the right.Andrej Kramaric nearly doubled their lead with a header just over the bar before Dejan Lovren expertly blocked Alex Iwobi’s goalbound shot on the stroke of half-time.The Super Eagles improved after the break and Leon Balogun missed a great chance from a corner to level the game up on 46 minutes, but Mandzukic managed to get the final touch to divert the ball over.And Zlatko Dalic’s men made them pay when Modric’s cool spot-kick put the result beyond Nigeria’s reach after William Troost-Ekong wrestled Mandzukic to the ground.STAR MAN Croatia celebrate their first goal 2 Croatia got their 2018 World Cup campaign off to a solid start with a comfortable 2-0 win over Nigeria at Kaliningrad.An own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a Luka Modric penalty sees the 1998 semi-finalists go top of Group D after the first round of fixtures. Mandzukic was a handful for the Nigeria defence all game This was a game where Croatia did not have to work particularly hard to get the three points and no one really set the contest alight.Ivan Rakitic and Modric controlled the tempo of the game in the middle of the park which Nigeria had no answers for but the player who had the most impact on the game was Mandzukic.The striker caused problems for his opponents and had a hand in both goals.MOMENT OF THE MATCHThis was not the most entertaining game so it was difficult to pick out a standout moment.However, the early chance which saw Perisic’s effort go just over was a really slick move and perhaps shows what is to come from this latest crop of Croatia stars later in the tournament.last_img

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