FIFA World Cup Today Matches

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FIFA World Cup update: Croatia defend well, beat Australia

FIFA World Cup update: Croatia defend well, beat Australia

Croatia were a brutal enemy against Australia in the latter’s final warm-up match before the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Vatreni were very impressive in the defense and a Nikica Jelevic goal ensured that they will end the competition with a clean sheet. The Socceroos’ midfield was actually excellent but they managed rather poorly on goal threat.


While Australia’s first-half showing was highly energetic, they were totally taken over by the Croatians in the second period. Jelavic’s 59th-minute strike decided the outcome at Salvador’s Pitacu Stadium in a game that saw almost zero chances.


Niko Kovač’s men started with regulars Ivan Rakitic, Ivica Olic, Vedran Corluka, and Mario Mandzukic on the bench. Mandzukic was appointed to engage in the brawl just after Jelavic delivered his goal. Shortly after, however, the Bayern Munich striker needed treatment for an ankle injury.


The lack of enough spirit or drive to pose risks on their opponents was partly due to Rakitic’s absence. The same dilemma was shared by the Australians.


Both Croatia nd Australia produced promising kinesthetic in the pitch and their potential as feasible World Cup dark horses was put to test on this battle. The action was robust but none of the sides converted a goal in the last third. Croatia’s worries were even more exacerbated when left-back Danijel Pranjic was sent off in the first half due to an injurious tackle.


After the break, nothing much changed in the situation except for Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa being involved for the first time 90 seconds after the interval, easily claiming a Tim Cahill header.


For more updates, news, and insights into the FIFA World Cup, read blogs by 12BET.


Featured Image: Nikica Jelevic | Source:

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