Substitute Darijo Srna scored one and made another as Croatia came from behind to claim three points and stay top of Group E with a 2-1 win against ten-man F.Y.R. Macedonia.
Goce Sedloski, who would later be sent off, put the visitors in front in the first half but that lead was cancelled out shortly after the interval by Srna. The midfielder then laid on the winner for Eduardo da Silva late on, to keep Croatia in the driving seat on 13 points.
Show of intent
Despite the exciting climax, it took ten minutes before the game's first goal attempt, a Milan Rapaić effort for Croatia that sailed harmlessly over. F.Y.R. Macedonia then signalled their intent as Goran Maznov's floated corner found its way to Ilco Naumoski in the six-metre box, but he failed to connect cleanly, allowing a thankful Josip Šimunić to clear. Rapaić was wayward from distance again, yet he almost turned provider, finding Marko Babić in the area, who headed over.
On 38 minutes, the Macedonians shocked the home crowd by breaking the deadlock. Dario Šimic fouled Naumoski and from the resulting free-kick, Sedloski thumped the ball low past Croatia keeper Stipe Pletikosa from 25 metres. The goal knocked Croatia out of their stride as the half wound down. Rapaić was subsequently replaced by Srna at half-time and he hauled the hosts level on 58 minutes, smashing a free-kick high into the centre of the goal. Sedloski was then dismissed for a second bookable offence with little over 20 minutes left. Croatia smelt victory and they breached a retreating defence two minutes from time when Srna crossed for Eduardo to convert from close range.