Jakarta (ANTARA) – Croatia recorded a crucial win to ensure Qatar’s chances of advancing to the 2022 World Cup Round of 16 remained open when Andrej Kramaric’s brace inspired a 4-1 victory and eliminated Canada in their Group F qualifier in Doha on Sunday.
Zlatko Dalic’s side were surprised by Alphonso Davies’ goal after the match at the Khalifa International Stadium lasted just two minutes.
But Hoffenheim striker Kramaric equalized and Marko Livaja added to the 2018 World Cup runners-up advantage before half-time.
Second-half goals from Kramaric and Lovro Majer gave Croatia their first win of the tournament after managing only a goalless draw against Morocco.
Croatia are currently top of Group F, ahead of Morocco on goal difference, and a draw in their last game against Belgium on Thursday guaranteed them qualification for the knockout stages.
Early on, John Herdman’s Canada needed just 68 seconds to shake Croatia up when Tajon Buchanan pushed into the Croatian penalty area and Davies headed home perfectly past goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic from close range.
Canada’s first World Cup goal came as redemption for Davies after the Bayern Munich star’s penalty was saved by Thibaut Courtois in their loss to Belgium.
The record fastest goal to date at the 2022 World Cup didn’t dampen Croatia’s enthusiasm and they started to fire up their spirits to win the game.
With Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic stretched far forward, the Croatian players’ quick passing and movement gradually started to impact the Canadians until the equalizer in the 36th minute.
The goal started when Kramaric received a pass from Ivan Perisic in the Canadian zone and he gave a brief touch before firing a clean shot into the far corner of the Canadian goal.
The second goal was created by the feet of striker Hajduk Split Livaja who was chosen to replace Nikola Vlasic. Livaja was able to restore Dalic’s confidence with a goal in the 44th minute.
An attack built up by Josip Juranovic was blocked by the Canadian defender outside the penalty area, but Livaja was able to pounce on the loose ball and deftly sent a clean low shot past Milan keeper Borjan.
Early in the second half, Canadian substitute Jonathan Osorio had a golden opportunity when he unleashed a long-range shot inches from the bar.
A number of golden chances were created by both teams but were successfully countered by their respective goalkeepers. Borjan managed to fend off Kramaric’s close-range shot attacking from the right, before Jonathan David’s close-range shot was also parried by Livakovic.
Kramaric delivered a fatal blow with a goal created in the 70th minute.
Perisic’s cross met Kramaric in the Canadian penalty area and he took advantage of the tight space to finish with his left foot and the ball went through Atiba Hutchinson’s legs in the bottom corner.
Majer’s goal completed Croatia’s victory after hanging on to Mislav Orsic’s pass in injury time.
This news was published on Antaranews.com with the title: Winning 4-1, Croatia brought Canada back from World Cup stop in Qatar
“Typical zombieaholic. General twitter fanatic. Food fanatic. Gamer. Unapologetic analyst.”