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Croatia hit Group F summit with win against Malta

Published: Wednesday 17 November 2010, 20.45CET
Croatia 3-0 Malta
Two first-half strikes from Niko Kranjčar and substitute Nikola Kalinić's late effort propelled the hosts to the top of their section.
by Peter Murphy
from Stadion Maksimir

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Match statistics

CroatiaMalta

Goals scored3
 
0
Possession (%)0
100
Total attempts16
 
4
Attempts on target7
 
1
Attempts off target7
 
2
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners8
 
2
Offsides3
 
1
Yellow cards1
 
1
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed18
 
7
Fouls suffered7
 
18

Standings

Last updated: 13/02/2013 10:53 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 17 November 2010, 20.45CET

Croatia hit Group F summit with win against Malta

Croatia 3-0 Malta
Two first-half strikes from Niko Kranjčar and substitute Nikola Kalinić's late effort propelled the hosts to the top of their section.

Croatia will go into the new year two points clear at the top of UEFA EURO 2012 Group F following a straightforward victory against Malta in Zagreb.

Two first-half strikes from Niko Kranjčar and a late goal from substitute Nikola Kalinić were enough to give the hosts three points on a rain-sodden pitch at the Stadion Maksimir. Croatia will now start 2011 with a clear advantage over closest rivals Greece, while Malta remain rooted to the foot of the table having lost all four of their qualifiers.

Croatia toiled to unpick a well-organised Maltese defence early on, but the wet surface proved to be the visitors' biggest problem; indeed, it was from a slip by defender Massimo Grima on 19 minutes that Croatia scored their opener. Kranjčar pounced on the mistake and fired a low drive from the edge of the area into the right-hand corner of the goal.

With the visitors posing little threat up front, Slaven Bilić's men probed patiently for a second but fashioned few clear-cut chances until three minutes before the interval, when Eduardo, in space on the edge of the area, squared for Kranjčar to hammer a right-footed shot into the roof of the net. The Tottenham Hotspur FC midfielder had also registered twice in Croatia's previous qualifier, a 2-1 win in Israel.

John Buttigieg's Malta have scored just once in Group F but could have struck twice soon after the restart. A minute into the second period, Michael Mifsud cut in from the left channel and struck a fierce effort just centimetres over. Then, on 54 minutes, Daniel Bogdanovic whipped in a cross from the right which André Schembri just failed to get a touch on.

Those warning shots roused the home side. Kalinić blasted over with his left foot following a run into the area in the 78th minute but made amends three minutes later when he capitalised on confusion in Malta's penalty area. A Darijo Srna corner eventually came to Kranjčar and he fed the Blackburn Rovers FC striker to side-foot underneath Andrew Hogg for a final effort that added gloss to Croatia's success.

Last updated: 26/10/12 13.34CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1516113.html#kranjcar+leads+croatia+waltz

Lineups

Croatia

Croatia

Malta

Malta

12
RunjeVedran Runje (GK)
1
HoggAndrew Hogg (GK)
5
ČorlukaVedran Ćorluka
2
CaruanaJonathan Caruana
6
PranjićDanijel Pranjić
3
BajadaShaun Bajada
7
RakitićIvan Rakitić
Substitution69
4
SciberrasGareth Sciberras (C)
Substitution88
9
EduardoEduardo
Substitution78
5
HutchinsonJohn Hutchinson
10
ModrićLuka Modrić
6
GrimaMassimo Grima
Yellow Card84
11
SrnaDarijo Srna (C)
Yellow Card74
8
BriffaRoderick Briffa
13
SchildenfeldGordon Schildenfeld
9
M. MifsudMichael Mifsud
16
DujmovićTomislav Dujmović
11
BogdanovicDaniel Bogdanovic
Substitution82
19
KranjčarNiko Kranjčar
Goal18
Goal42
13
SchembriAndré Schembri
Substitution70
21
PetrićMladen Petrić
Substitution61
18
PaceJamie Pace

Substitutes

1
PletikosaStipe Pletikosa (GK)
12
HaberJustin Haber (GK)
2
StrinićIvan Strinić
7
SammutKevin Sammut
Substitution82
3
VidaDomagoj Vida
10
WoodsIvan Woods
14
BilićMate Bilić
14
HerreraEdward Herrera
15
IličevićIvo Iličević
Substitution69
15
J. ZerafaJoseph Zerafa
17
MandžukićMario Mandžukić
Substitution78
16
FenechRyan Fenech
Substitution70
20
KalinićNikola Kalinić
Substitution61
Goal81
17
FenechPaul Fenech
Substitution88

Coach

Slaven Bilić (CRO) John Buttigieg (MLT)

Referee

Duarte Gomes (POR)

Assistant referees

Tiago Trigo (POR), Venâncio Tomé (POR)

Fourth official

Carlos Xistra (POR)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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