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Delač injury spoils Croatia win

Croatia 2-1 Belgium
Filip Ozobić and Anton Maglica were on target, but victory for the Group 1 hosts was overshadowed by injury to goalkeeper Matej Delač.

Delač injury spoils Croatia win
Delač injury spoils Croatia win ©Getty Images

Filip Ozobić and Anton Maglica were on target as Croatia made a winning start to Group 1, though their victory against Belgium was tainted by a head injury to goalkeeper Matej Delač.

NK Inter Zaprešić stopper Delač was replaced by Dante Stipica on 18 minutes after suffering concussion as he dealt with a Sebastien Dewaest free-kick. It was a rare foray into Croatia territory for Belgium as the hosts attacked from the off, finally getting their reward deep into first-half added time when Anton Maglica latched onto a superlative pass from Dario Rugašević and fired in.

Yet the hosts did not have it all their own way in this UEFA European Under-19 Championship Elite round opener. Five minutes after the restart Lukas Van Eenoo equalised following good work from Ziguy Badibanga but, spurred on by a crowd of 500, back came Croatia. Much of their better play was coming from Ozobić and Mario Tičinović, and fittingly the two combined for the winner midway through the second period, Ozobić turning in Tičinović's pass from close range.

The home side had to survive some nervous late moments as fatigue set in, with Ozobić admitting "there was a lot of panic in the last few seconds". They held on but news that Delač will miss the rest of the Elite round, starting with Friday's game against Montenegro, meant victory came at a price.