Croatia kept up the pressure on UEFA EURO 2004™ Group 8 leaders Bulgaria with a comfortable win against Andorra.
One point behind
The Balkan side have taken 13 points from six matches and remain one point behind Bulgaria, 2-0 winners at home to Estonia, with two games left. Croatia are three points ahead of third-placed Belgium whom they play away on Wednesday.
Croatia triumphed this afternoon thanks to goals from Nico Kovac, Josip Šimunic and Giovanni Rosso - ensuring that Andorra's record of never having earned a point in three UEFA European Championship campaigns continued.
Otto Baric's side were in front after just four minutes as Hertha BSC Berlin midfield player Kovac was allowed to rise unmarked to head in from a corner.
A defensive error allowed the Croatians to double their lead after 12 minutes when Kovac's Hertha colleague Šimunic found the target from close range after Andorra had failed to clear a loose ball inside their penalty area.
The visitors dominated the opening spell but lost some of their momentum after Kovac was forced to leave the field through injury at the end of the first half. None the less, they continued to pen their opponents inside their own half in the second period.
Rosso on target
A third goal seemed inevitable, and it was Maccabi Haifa FC midfield player Giovanni Rosso who scored it, rising highest to head in from six metres from a corner midway through the half.
But for some good goalkeeping, the score could easily have been higher, but with that vital game away against Belgium on Wednesday, three goals was a satisfactory return for Croatia. Andorra, meanwhile, face Bulgaria on Wednesday in their final game.