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Mandzukic: Early goal vital

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 11 Jun 2012

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Mario Mandzukic believes his goal inside the opening three minutes against the Republic of Ireland played a huge part in Croatia’s 3-1 win.

The Wolfsburg forward was in impressive form, scoring two headers as Slaven

Bilic’s team secured a valuable three points to go top of Group C following

Italy and Spain’s draw earlier on Sunday.

“It was very important we scored an early goal,” Mandzukic said in

the post-match press conference.

“It was not an easy match, it was a hard match. Our coach showed us

everything about the Irish team, we did our best and deserved a victory.

“I still can’t believe what we just did, it was a fantastic victory. We

knew it would be a tough match but we responded excellently and we achieved a

great victory.

“Is this the best match of my life? I must thank the coach first because

he gave me a chance to play and then I really played a good match. I scored

twice but I also must thank my great team-mates.”

Bilic’s side have a fantastic chance to progress to the quarter-finals and will

hope for another positive result when they return to Poznan to play Italy on

Thursday.

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