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2 vs 0
Played
March 22, 2013 1:00 PM EDT
Stadion Maksimir — Zagreb
Referee:‬ C. Çakιr‎
Attendance:‬ 35722‎
 
 
37′ Ivica Olic
 
Top of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly
Ivica Olic
Ivica Olic
Croatia
Flop of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly

Croatia 2-0 Serbia: Mandzukic and Olic claim impressive Group A victory

Igor Stimac's side secured a routine three points in Zagreb to see it move closer to a place at Brazil 2014, while Serbia lost ground in Group A

By Ben McAleer

Mario Mandzukic - Croatia v Serbia (World Cup Qualifiying)
Getty

Croatia's 2-0 win over Serbia saw it, temporarily at least, leapfrog Belgium to the summit of Group A following a heated encounter between the two sides in Zagreb.

Mario Manduzkic opened the scoring midway through the first half for the hosts, before Ivica Olic doubled the advantage in the 35th minute to ensure Igor Stimac's side all three points.

It took until the 20 minute mark for the first clear cut opportunity to be mustered after Niko Kranjcar dragged his effort wide following some good link-up play between Luka Modric and Darijo Srna.

The hosts were the better of the two teams in the opening exchanges and deserved their goal in the 23rd minute after a defensive mistake by Aleksandar Kolarov was capitalised upon by Olic, the striker pressed forward and squared for Mandzukic to sidefoot into the Serbia net from six yards out.

Croatia made it 2-0 with 10 minutes of the first half remaining, as Olic turned goalscorer with the simplest of finishes having been picked out with Srna's free kick to chest in from close range.

Serbia finally sprung into life at the beginning of the second half through Kolarov, as the left back strode forward and forced a good save from Stipe Pletikosa as the visitors looked to force a way back into the encounter.

Modric attempted to add a third in the 50th minute, but his long distance effort drifted wide as Croatia looked to wrap up all three points in the minutes after the restart.

The Real Madrid midfielder came closer moments later after pushing towards the Serbia goal and unleashing a teasing effort that drifted inches wide of Brkic's near post.

Ivan Rakitic and Olic both tested Brkic on the hour mark, as Croatia continued to press Serbia in a bid to add a third goal of the evening and secure three vital points in its quest to confirm a place at Brazil 2014.

Filip Djuricic forced Pletikosa into action with 15 minutes remaining after the Serbia midfielder saw his curling effort denied by the Croatia goalkeeper.

Croatia held out for the 2-0 win despite some late Serbia pressure to earn a deserved victory that moves it onto 13 points in Group A.



Croatia

-
Stipe Pletikosa
Goalkeeper
 - 
33
Darijo Srna
Defender
37′
 - 
17
Ivan Strinic
Defender
82′
 - 
4
Josip Simunic
Defender
 - 
22
Vedran Corluka
Defender
 - 
11
Ivan Rakitic
Midfielder
 - 
19
Luka Modric
Midfielder
 - 
10
Mateo Kovačić
Midfielder
 - 
21
Niko Kranjcar
Midfielder
63′
 - 
11
Ivica Olic
Striker
23′ 37′ 83′
 - 
9
Mario Mandzukic
Midfielder
23′
 - 

Serbia

 - 
1
Zeljko Brkic
Goalkeeper
 - 
13
 - 
33
 - 
4
 - 
2
 - 
17
 - 
14
 - 
10
Filip Djuricic
Midfielder
 - 
8
 - 
21
Zoran Tosic
Midfielder
 - 
44

Substitutes

1
 - 
15
Dario Kresic
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
 - 
17
 - 
-
 - 
14
Milan Badelj
Midfielder
 - 
5
 - 
10
Sammir
Midfielder
 - 
11
Eduardo
Striker
 - 
10
 - 
18
 - 
9
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
1
 - 
-
 - 
5
 - 
40
 - 
2
 - 
24
 - 
8
 - 
5
Ljubomir Fejsa
Midfielder
 - 
17
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
10
Nenad Krsticic
Midfielder
 - 
-
Dusan Tadic
Midfielder
54′
 - 
9
 - 
-

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
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  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Group A Matchday 5
Times In EDT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man. United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Man City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0