EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING

Ramat Gan Stadium, Israel

Referee: Wolfgang Stark | Attendance: 21000

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Israel

  • Itey Shechter 83'

1 - 2

FT

Croatia

  • Niko Kranjcar 38' PEN
  • Niko Kranjcar 42'

Kranjcar double seals win

Niko Kranjcar's first-half double proved enough to send Croatia top of Group F

in the Euro 2012 qualifiers with victory over Israel in Ramat Gan.

Kranjcar got his first from the penalty spot in the 38th minute and added a

second from open play four minutes later to put the visitors in control.

Israel gave them something to worry about late on after Itay Shechter's 82nd

minute strike, but they could not find an equaliser.

Israel wasted no time in testing Croatia goalkeeper Vedran Runje with

Shechter's shot coming with only 11 seconds on the clock, but Runje was able to

tip it over.

Moments later, Gil Vermouth tried his luck from the edge of the area but fired

wide.

Croatia were struggling to create anything too dangerous early on, with Ivan

Rakitic's shot never threatening Dudu Aouate's goal as it sailed wide.

Instead it was the hosts who continued to dominate but Shechter was off-target

before Runje tipped Yoav Ziv's close-range effort over the crossbar.

Aouate did not have a save to make until the 35th minute when he pushed Ivica

Olic's shot over. Josip Simunic headed wide from the resulting corner.

But Croatia were ahead moments later when Dekel Keinan brought down Eduardo in

the area and Kranjcar made no mistake with the penalty kick.

Kranjcar's Tottenham team-mate Luka Modric then tried to get in on the action

but saw his long-range effort held by Aouate.

Vermouth failed to trouble Runje with a shot from the edge of the area, and

moments later Croatia doubled their lead when Modric teed up Kranjcar to fire

home from the centre of the area.

Aouate was now much the busier goalkeeper and had to save again from Eduardo in

first-half stoppage time.

Croatia continued to dominate in the second half, but their shooting touch had

somewhat deserted them as Kranjcar, Ivan Rakitic and Danijel Pranjic all fired

wide.

They did not register a shot on target in the second half until the 81st minute

when Pranjic's shot was held by Aouate.

And those misses came back to haunt them when Israel got a goal back with eight

minutes left, with Shechter slotting home from close range.

The hosts suddenly looked revitalised and moments later Lior Rafaelov went

close from long-range before Vermouth forced a save out of Runje.

They had one last chance by forcing a corner deep into injury time, but Bebars

Natcho's cross did not find a team-mate as Croatia hung on.

Scoring Summary

  • Israel
  • Croatia
(pen 38') Niko Kranjcar
(42') Niko Kranjcar

Match Stats

  • Israel
  • Croatia
8(5) Shots (on goal) 11(5)
15 Fouls 6
9 Corner kicks 2
4 Offsides 0
50% Time of Possession 50%
4 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
5 Saves 5

Teams

  • Israel
  • Croatia
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards