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Croatia made an important move in UEFA EURO 2008™ Group E with victory against England in Zagreb.

466419_mediumsquare.jpgOwn goal
Eduardo da Silva headed in on the hour and soon after a bizarre Gary Neville own goal put the game beyond England, who had reacted to their 0-0 home draw with F.Y.R. Macedonia by introducing a new 3-5-2 formation. Both teams have seven points but unbeaten Croatia have played a match less and can take the outright lead on 15 November when they go to Israel, while England must wait until March for their next fixture.

Robinson saves
The sides looked evenly-matched in the early stages and it was 24 minutes before the first real chance, with Frank Lampard shooting over. At the other end Milan Rapaić forced Paul Robinson to save with a strong shot. The England goalkeeper was also on hand to deny Niko Kranjčar on the rebound after the initial effort was blocked by Rio Ferdinand.

Croatia ahead
Mladen Petrić scored four times for Croatia in their joint-record 7-0 win against Andorra four 046400720.jpgdays ago and within two minutes of the restart he nearly had his sixth international goal as he got his head to a corner but Robinson tipped the ball over. Seven minutes later England had their best opportunity as Wayne Rooney burst clear but his shot sailed over. It was Croatia who broke the deadlock on the hour, however, after Niko Kovač’s high cross from the left was met by Eduardo’s looping header which dropped out of reach of Robinson.

England embarrassment
England had not previously conceded since Steve McClaren took over after the FIFA World Cup, but another Croatia goal followed in bizarre circumstances. Neville’s backpass seemed innocuous enough but Robinson’s kick missed the ball, which rolled into the net. Shell-shocked England never looked like recovering and the last minutes passed in a carnival atmosphere.

One Comment

  1. Ja sam, dragi Miki, bio u Zagrebu od utorka do četvrtka. U srijedu prije utakmice sam na Jelečićevom placu najprje gledao “susret” Torcide i BBB. Policije, kao toga dana, u Zagrebu nisam vidio od demostracija 1971. godine. Gledao sam karikaturu hrvatskog jedinstva. Donekle bih razumio da je taj antagonizam prisutan kad jedan klub igra protiv drugoga, ali kad igra Hrvatska, mislim, trebali bi biti zajedno. Zbog toga sam bio poprilici žalostan. Sjedio na terasi, pio kavu i razmišljao o toj ružnoj slici ali i o komentarima ljudi okolo.Njima je to očito već sve normalno, nitko se ne uzbuđuje. A bilo mi je žao i policajaca. Težak im je život. Na Maksimir nisam namjerno htio ići jer od utakmice vjerojatno nebih puno vidio. Ovako sam na miru uživao gledaćuji TV u mojoj hotelskoj sobi. U “mom” hotelu je bio dosta Engleza ali su u holu sjedili pognute glave. Te je noći bio mir. A i u avionu ih je bilo dosta. U Stuttgartu ih je policija posebno kontrolirala. Svaka čast našim dečkima.


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