The selection of the 2018 world Cup: Draw that led to the resignation

Ante Čačić. Photo of Paul KUBANOVA, “SE”

CROATIA – FINLAND – 1:1 (0:0)

Goals: Mandzukic, 57 (1:0). Soire, 90 (1:1).

Croatia: Subašić, Vrsaljko, Mitrovic, View, Pivaric, Modric, Rakitic, Brozović (Horn, 54), Kramaric (Chop, 81), Perisic, Mandzukic (Pasalic, 86).

Finland: Gradecki, Granlund, Ojala, Arouri Moisander Sparv, Schuller (Pukki, 68), Hamalainen, Scrabb, P. Hetemaj (Seiri, 81), Pohjanpalo.

Penalties: P. Hetemaj, 75. Horn, 89 (warnings).

Judge: Stefanski (Poland).

6 Oct. Rijeka. Stadium, Rijeka.

The denouement of this match probably caused a storm of delight in Icelandic pubs. Celebrated louder than in Finland. Not exclude that is closer to the final TV Ice land increasingly switched from Rijeka to Eskisehir.

With Turkey-that it was done when the score became 3:0. After all, not “dawn” – “the Dynamo”. And there, on the shores of the warm Adriatic sea Finland put up a real fight, not wanting to accept defeat.

When I went to the 90th minute, the ball was the captain of the Finns Niklas Moisander playing in an unaccustomed left-back position. Not long thinking, player, “Bremen” has sent a ball towards gate of owners. There’s Joel Pohjanpalo successfully wrestled with Donahoe Vida. Not that won the second floor, but was expelled Croats from active participation in the episode, not allowing him to clear the ball.

And he, leaping through a cluster of players in the centre of the box flew into the far corner of the goalie, where, breaking away from the Russian of Pilarica, broke fresh Shakhter Soligorsk Pirie of Soiri. Kick in flight at close range was irresistible.


Croatia in shock: first place, which is in early September, it seemed that you slipped away for a minute. After all, no sane person can assume that Iceland in the final home game will not beat Kosovo. Although…

The Finns, too, and no one really expected. And they are to snatch victory could domi demoralized Croats in stoppage time.

With the ending of the fight back to the pre-match scenario. Bookmakers help players, supplied the information that: 1) the Croats have not played a draw in last seven matches; 2) have not played a draw in last seven matches and Finns; 3) in each of the last six games of Croatia were scored less than 2,5 goals. As you can see, preserved only the latest trend – a lot of goals was not.


In the first half, which was preceded by a ceremony of congratulations to Luka modrić with the hundredth match in the “cellular”, they do not exist. Do not forget that the Croats had to play in the weakened structure. However, the absence of the injured Vedran Corluka (he was replaced by Matej Mitrovic, but paired with Vida in the centre of defence is likely to play a Dejan Lovren) and suspended holding midfielder Milan Badelj is not supposed to affect the power of the attack quite so directly – although we do realise of course that in football everything is connected.

But injuries MATEO Kovacic and especially Nikola Kalinic is not affected. The total benefit of the Croats before the interval, 72 percent of the possession, 9 punches, then as the opponent. That’s only one target…


And benches to maneuver reserves strongly enough. The Croats! Two of the three substitutions Ante Cacica have been forced – due to injury. Only Douillet Chop was replaced by Andrei Kramaric to freshen up the attack. That, incidentally, took part in the only scoring attack of the hosts. Holding the ball in the corner of the penalty area, waited for the connection left-back Pilarica, heel gave him on the course. Well, Dynamo Kiev was already issued a pass to sighted flying on the transfer of Mario Mandzukic.

The cross could interrupt moisander, however, only helped the attacker, modifying the ball right on his foot. Well, the captain of the Finns in the 90th minute was corrected, and Pivaric for his players not follow.

Mandzukic could have scored more, but in beneficial situation is not reached properly to the ball, pulling the muscle. Was immediately replaced, giving rise to doubts that you’ll be able to play in Kiev. With him, it seems, everything is normal, doctors will have time to put the striker on the feet, as well as our doctors Yaroslav Rakitskiy. Here Marcelo Brozovich almost certainly will not. His position on the flank, most likely, will get Kramaric, and the striker will play the advancing Ivan Rakitic.


But it will be Monday. On Saturday it was decided that Croatia already said a gloomy Friday night: Ante Čačić dismissed. President of the Croatian Nogometno of Saveza Davor Suker immediately offered the vacant post to become some 50-year-old Zlatko Dalicho, the last seven working in the rich clubs in the Middle East (the Arabian “al faisaliyah tower” and “al-Hilal” to the end of January 2017, “al-ain” from UAE), and then were unemployed.

The man readily agreed. Presumably, he is ready for this in advance. Maybe just since January, when seriously swayed the chair under Suker. But that’s another story…

Markku KANERVA, head coach of Finland:

– Happy that we managed to survive in a match against one of the best teams in the world. Perhaps, a few Croats underestimated us, but maybe it’s just we are so well prepared, and balanced tactics of the game on the counter was for the opponent by surprise. To see, on the left flank of defence of Niklas Moisander opponents did not expect. Our captain, returning to the national team, played in an unusual position. The experience helped him to adjust painlessly.

Ante ČAČIĆ, the then head coach of Croatia:

– The mood can not be good, because it failed to meet the expectations of the fans. Failed to assemble the best possible team during the match injured Brozović and Mandzukic. Then this ridiculous goal. Well, now we have to make every effort to not lose in Kiev, and compete for the playoffs. By the way, if we won today, the task does not become easier.

I’m not afraid of dismissal. It’s part of my job. The fans pay the money, and our football Association has the right to the fullest extent ask the coach for the result…

Eugene BELOZEROV, Sport-Express in Ukraine

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