Turkey 0-1 Croatia
A sensational Luka Modric strike was all that separated Croatia and Turkey today as they played out an entertaining game in the Parc des Princes this afternoon.
Both sides were welcomed onto the field by vocal support from both ends of the stadium and the opening 15 minutes saw both sides evenly matched. Turkey were heavy in their tackles and Luka Modric was on the receiving end of a number challenges today. Croatia soon began to take control of the match with Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic all looking bright in attack. Turkey worked one chance in the 29th minute when Ozan Tufan found himself free in the Croatian box but Subašić got his body behind the ball to save. Marcelo Brozović was dangerous going forward from Croatia but his efforts were wide of the target when he took on a shot.
A Croatian corner was badly cleared by Selçuk İnan with five minutes left in the half. Modric who was loitering outside the area raced forward striking the ball on the volley from 25 yards out sending it into the bottom left corner of Volkan Babacan’s goal propelling Croatia into the lead in spectacular fashion. Turkey were stunned and headed down the tunnel trailing by one at the break.
Turkish coach Fatih Terim opted to replace Oğuzhan Özyakup for Volkan Sen hoping the change would help Turkey back into the game. That wasn’t the case as Croatia once again took control of the game. Ivan Rakitic set off on an individual solo run that culminated in the Barcelona man winning a free kick just outside the area. Croatian captain Darijo Srna stood over the free. He whipped the ball towards goal and Babacan was merely a spectator in the Turkish goal as the ball rattled off the crossbar. The right-back soon had a chance to make it two nil when Perisic’s shot was spilled but he missed wide of the post.
Croatia were creating far more chances than the Turks but failed to convert them into goals. Perisic and Mandzukic both fired wide of the mark. Turkey only began to look threatening in the last 10 minutes of the game both centre-back Vedran Corluka made a fantastic block to snuff out a potentially dangerous Turkish attack.
All in all Croatia were the better side for most of the game and showed great skill throughout the game today. They sit at the top of Group D and could be joined by Spain or the Czech Republic who play each other tomorrow.
Man of the Match – Luka Modric (Croatia)
- Volkan Sen replaces Oguzhan Ozyakup 45 mins
- Burak Yilmaz replaces Arda Turan 65 mins
- Emre Mor replaces Cenk Tosun 69 mins
- Andrej Kramaric replaces Ivan Perisic 86 mins
- Gordon Schildenfeld replaces Ivan Rakitic 89 mins
- Marko Pjaca replaces Mario Mandzukic 90+ mins
Turkey – Cenk Tosun, Hakan Kadir Balta, Volkan Sen.
Croatia – Ivan Strinic.