Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Northern Ireland 0-3 Croatia: Cop-inspired visitors coast to victory

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Nov 2016

19 Views

An outstanding performance from Duje Cop saw Croatia secure an easy 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland on Monday, ending the host’s run of 11 internationals without a home defeat.

It was the Sporting Gijon forward’s action which forced the opening goal, with the 26-year-old forcing a save from Alan Mannus who could only palm into the path of Mario Mandzukic for the striker to force home.

Cop then got on the scoresheet with a close-range volleyed finish from a free-kick before Andrej Kramaric sealed an impressive win in the second half with a spectacular 25-yard blockbuster.

Northern Ireland applied some early pressure with Josh Magennis looking dangerous down the right, but they soon found themselves behind.

Alan Mannus could only push Cop’s shot from the left-hand side of the box straight to Mandzukic who eventually scrambled the ball over the line for his 29th international goal, moving him up to joint-second with Eduardo in the country’s all-time scoring list.

Marin Leovac headed wide from a Kramaric cross five minutes later before Croatia opted to slow the tempo.

Ante Cacic’s team eventually went in search of a second and, after Mandzukic put his foot through an advertising hoarding following a slight nudge from Johnny Evans, they got it 10 minutes before half-time.

Northern Ireland’s defence was static when an unopposed Matej Mitrovic flicked Kramaric’s corner into the six-yard box, where a free Cop stole in to volley home.

There was controversy nine minutes after the restart when Mannus picked up a pass from Evans to concede an indirect free-kick near the penalty spot.

It was quickly teed up for substitute Marcelo Brozovic who found the back of the net, but referee Mark Clattenburg pulled play back for an infringement and the Inter midfielder blasted over at the second attempt.

Lafferty struggled to trouble the Croatia defence upon his introduction and the visitors extended their advantage in the 67th minute.

Kramaric received the ball in space and sent a sensational strike from distance beyond Mannus and into the top-right corner.

Cop fired narrowly wide from a free-kick before Lafferty was denied a consolation for the hosts by substitute Croatia goalkeeper Ivan Vargic with two minutes remaining.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshock???cooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsad!?ideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
wpDiscuz
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

  • Football_888sport betting
Become a Writer
More More
Top