Croatia’s two strikers – Ivica Olic and Mario Mandzukic – scored a goal apiece before half-time, to win an incredibly hotly-anticipated derby.
Igor Stimac’s major decision was the surprise selection of 18-year-old Mateo Kovacic for his international debut in the centre of midfield.
Sinisa Mihajlovic used Ivan Radovanovic as a holder, and Alen Stevanovic rather than Dusan Tadic on the left. Marko Scepovic played upfront, although he lasted less than ten minutes.
Why Croatia v Serbia? Well, for both political and football reasons, this was an absolutely huge fixture – especially the meeting between fierce rivals Stimac and Mihajlovic. For the incredible background to the story, read this excellent summary – with that in mind, the main feature of the match was its surprisingly sporting nature. Read more »