• FT

    Kazakhstan

    0

    Austria

    0

  • FT

    Croatia

    2

    Latvia

    0

  • FT

    Georgia

    1

    Greece

    2

  • FT

    Germany

    3

    Belgium

    1

  • FT

    Malta

    0

    Israel

    2

  • FT

    Turkey

    1

    Azerbaijan

    0

  • FT

    Macedonia

    1

    Slovakia

    1

  • FT

    Rep of Ire

    2

    Armenia

    1

  • FT

    Russia

    6

    Andorra

    0

  • FT

    Albania

    1

    Romania

    1

  • FT

    Hungary

    0

    Finland

    0

  • FT

    Moldova

    4

    San Marino

    0

  • FT

    Bulgaria

    0

    Wales

    1

  • FT

    Denmark

    2

    Portugal

    1

  • FT

    Norway

    3

    Cyprus

    1

  • FT

    Sweden

    3

    Netherlands

    2

  • FT

    Switzerland

    2

    Montenegro

    0

  • FT

    Italy

    3

    N Ireland

    0

  • FT

    Lithuania

    1

    Czech Rep

    4

  • FT

    Slovenia

    1

    Serbia

    0

  • FT

    Spain

    3

    Scotland

    1

  • FT

    France

    1

    Bosnia-Herz

    1

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING

Kantrida Stadium

Referee: Antony Gautier | Attendance: 15000

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Croatia

  • Eduardo 64'
  • Mario Mandzukic 71'

2 - 0

FT

Croatia into play-offs

Croatia must contest a play-off to qualify for Euro 2012 after finishing second

in Group F despite victory over Latvia.

Knowing only a victory would give them a chance of overhauling pool leaders

Greece, Slaven Bilic's men looked set to steal top spot when Greece fell behind

in Georgia and they eventually got on top of a stubborn Latvia side.

But news of Giorgos Fotakis' late leveller and Angelos Charisteas' subsequent

winner for the 2004 champions in Tbilisi hushed the Stadion Kantrida, and the

best they could have hoped for was to finish as the best group runner-up.

However, Sweden`s win against Holland ensured they took the best runners-up

berth, forcing Croatia into the play-offs.

That had looked an unlikely scenario for a 10-minute spell midway through the

second half when, after Georgia had taken the lead, Eduardo, the country's

second all-time leading scorer, and Mario Mandzukic put Croatia in control.

But Greece's comeback halted the celebrations that had started and quickly

switched attentions back to the play-offs.

Not to know how things were going to pan out and eager to stamp their mark on

proceedings as soon as possible, Croatia fashioned the first chance of the match

with less than 90 seconds on the clock when Eduardo's effort was tipped around

the post by Andris Vanins.

The early momentum continued and Mario Mandzukic hit wide from just inside the

six-yard box, Tottenham's Niko Kranjcar worked Vanins again and club team-mate

Luka Modric fizzed a long-range strike just over.

Darijo Srna then forced Vanins into a save with a well-taken free-kick as the

pressure almost reached breaking point for the visitors.

Eduardo twice more had the chance to release some of the tension building

inside the stadium, but failed on both occasions, first missing from the edge of

the box and then nodding Srna's cross over.

Vedran Corluka was forced out of the action with 30 minutes gone, and his

withdrawal seemed to stem Croatia's flow.

Latvia took advantage of the home side's reduced impetus, and Artjoms Rudnevs

registered their first effort with a left-footed effort than skipped just wide

three minutes before the break.

Aleksejs Visnjakovs took aim after the interval as Latvia enjoyed a rare spell

of dominance, although Modric threatened to end that when he took aim from 20

yards, only to find Vanins equal to his effort.

Kranjcar failed to find the target as Croatia regained control and Eduardo

missed another gilt-edged chance from six yards, while Rudnevs forced Stipe

Pletikosa to produce a fine block at the other end.

Finally, though, the deadlock was broken as Eduardo found his range.

Twenty-six minutes were remaining when Ivan Strinic whipped in a cross and the

Shakhtar Donetsk forward stooped to get his head to the ball and put his side in

front.

Having defended so resolutely for so long, Latvia's resolve was clearly broken

and they found themselves a further goal behind six minutes later.

Srna, an impressive performer throughout, was the creator, sending in a ball

from which Mandzukic headed home his fourth international goal.

Josip Simunic had a chance to add a third but it mattered little by then as the

reality of the situation dawned on the Croatian players.

Scoring Summary

  • Croatia
  • Latvia
Eduardo (64')
Mario Mandzukic (71')
 

Match Stats

  • Croatia
  • Latvia
15(5) Shots (on goal) 3(0)
1 Fouls 7
14 Corner kicks 2
0 Offsides 2
66% Time of Possession 34%
0 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
1 Saves 7

Teams

  • Croatia
  • Latvia
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards