Mladen Petrić took his international tally from one to five in Croatia's record-equalling 7-0 victory against Andorra last night - but admitted his thoughts have already turned to Wednesday's crucial visit of England.
It took only 12 minutes for the FC Basel 1893 striker to open the scoring in Zagreb, and by the 50-minute mark he had single-handedly made the scoreline 4-0. Petrić was withdrawn on the hour, but the emphatic result has only been matched once by Croatia with a 7-0 triumph in a June 1998 friendly against Australia.
Beyond his dreams
The 25-year-old Petrić, who is being identified as the long-term successor to the retired Dado Pršo, was understandable delighted. "I hoped I would play and that we would win," he said. "But that I would score four goals, I could never even have dreamt." The win leaves Croatia three points behind UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying Group E leaders England - and able to take over first place themselves when Steve McClaren's men, who were held 0-0 at home by F.Y.R. Macedonia on Saturday, visit Zagreb.
That fixture, of course, will go much further to determining whether Croatia will play in Austria and Switzerland in summer 2008, and Petrić knows individual feats will count for nothing if the result is wrong. He said: "This is great, but against England I will not think about how many goals I will score - the most important thing will be to win the match."
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