FIFA World Cup Today Matches

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Croatia: World Cup’s Surprise

Croatia: World Cup’s Surprise

Croatia’s striker, Mario Mandzukic sees mental preparation as their squad’s ticket to fame in the upcoming World Cup Tournament. Mandzukic also stressed that the club shall make it through the second round of the competition.


It is evident that there is an ounce of truth to what Mandzukic stated. Indeed, mental preparation serves as their most potent weapon in the upcoming tournament. Such approach proved to be highly effective when they managed to make it through the qualifiers


The 10-man squad

The Vatrenis trailed Belgium during the qualifiers. While Belgium enjoyed the automatic qualification, Croatia needed to survive a two-legged play-off against Iceland.


Their first encounter ended in a scoreless stalemate, which further increased the pressure felt by both squads. Both carry the burden of securing the upper hand during their next battle to make it to Brazil. Croatia, however, had the edge. With the match held in Zagreb, they have the opportunity to capitalize on their home court advantage and indeed, they converted.


Mandzukic scored the battle’s first goal. Unfortunately, the striker was thrown out of the pitch, leaving Croatia with just ten (10) men. But this is where the club’s mental preparation went in. Instead of being rattled, the club increased their lead when team captain, Darijo Srna sealed their second goal and therefore, ensured their World Cup berth.


The “surprise”

With their entry, Croatia joins Mexico, Cameroon and the heavy favorite, Brazil, in Group A. Aware of his club fares in terms of popularity, David Suker, Croatia’s national football president believes that with the right preparation, they can make a strong finish in the tournament.  Suker stressed that they will be the competition’s “surprise.”


Meeting the Socceroos

Speaking of preparation, Croatia shall go against Australia  a week before the tournament. The friendly shall be held at Brazil.


It was in 1998 when Croatia competed as a separate entity from Yugoslavia. It was also the year when they stunned the crowd as they bagged the third spot of the competition. Although they did not qualify in 2010, this did not dampen their hopes and ambition to replicate or even outlast their previous performance. Now that they are back on track,  one can only expect a stronger and better Croatia.




Image Source : RTE

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