Davies’ lightning goal is an illusion. The Croatian midfield takes the match and the Hoffenheim forward does not forgive: the final 4-1
Sometimes, to solve life’s problems, you just need to change your point of view. Croatia searched for a centre-forward throughout November and found him when he moved Kramaric from center to right wing. Atypical second striker, let’s say. Kramaric scored twice as Croatia came from behind to win 4-1 over Canada, who took the lead after two minutes through Davies. The ranking speaks for itself: Croatia and Morocco 4, Belgium 3, Canada 0. The North Americans are eliminated, the Croatians will only need a draw in their last match against Belgium.
To understand how the match went, you need to zoom between minute 2 and minute 36. Croatia, down by a goal, has two paths: a nervous breakdown or a composed reaction. It’s too far to go into boarding mode. Modric and Kovacic, at that point, take the game in hand: they remain calm, control the pace and raise the quality of the dribble, with the 8 from Madrid essential for their ability to accelerate and find the free man. Brozovic, third man in the middle, completes the picture. Livaja misses the target in the 35th minute – right from Kovacic’s ball – but those minutes are decisive for extinguishing Canada’s enthusiasm and setting the record straight. The goals are almost a consequence.
Here they are, the goals. In the 36th minute Kovacic-Perisic-Kramaric combination, with a freeing left foot on the 9th minute. In the 44th minute action by Juranovic – punctual redemption after the fool on Davies – who switches to the right, wins a rebound and, on the frontline, frees Livaja for a right-footed shot ‘angle. The third goal, 20 minutes from the end, was another shot by Kramaric, now with confidence at the height of the Aspire Tower, one of the tallest skyscrapers in Doha. The assist, courtesy of Ivan Perisic. The fourth, a counter-attack closed by Lovro Majer on an assist from Orsic, with Miller’s worldwide fool. The recurrence of certain names makes it clear that Croatia in 2018, even if with a large generational turnover, is alive and fighting for the round of 16. Dalic knows that against Belgium he will start as favourite. If this is enough, ask De Bruyne.
Canada, it’s early
Canada, on the other hand, greets the World Cup sadly. The great match against Belgium and the first few minutes here made us think that the team was ready and Herdman was a great coach. We’ll see soon about Herdman, as for the team well, it’s still early. Buchanan, Davies, Osorio showed single moments of good football but Croatia’s personality, ability to manage the match was too superior. Other than that, the defensive mistakes. Miller made a bad impression in two and a half goals, Hutchinson at 1-0 didn’t read the situation and let Kramaric go for goal, desolately only in the small area. “Four more years”, another four years, say the American neighbors when they want to confirm a president. In four years we’ll talk about it again and the Canadians already know they’ll be there: they’ll play at home.
November 27, 2022 (change November 27, 2022 | 19:08)
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