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3 vs 1
Played
May 26, 2012 2:30 AM SGT
Stadion Aldo Drosina — Pula
Referee:‬ F. Mihaly‎
Attendance:‬ 7000‎
 

Croatia 3-1 Estonia: Bilic's side begin Euro 2012 preparations with impressive victory

Goals from Corluka, Kalinic and Vukojevic sealed a comfortable victory over Tarmo Ruutli's men

By Livio Caferoglu

Vedran Corluka of Croatia
Getty
Croatia commenced their final preparations for European 2012 with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Estonia at Stadion Aldo Drosina in Pula on Friday evening.

A quickfire double from Vedran Corluka and Nikola Kalinic saw the hosts power into a first half lead. After a second half which was punctuated by a steady flow of substitutions, Ognjen Vukojevic made it 3-0 with nine minutes to go before Amkar Perm's Konstantin Vassiljev grabbed a late consolation as Croatia wrapped up an easy victory.

Slaven Bilic opted to use the international friendly to test a few inexperienced players named in his preliminary squad. The likes of Ivo Ilicevic, Milan Badelj, goalkeeper Danijel Subasic and substitute Sime Vrsaljko given time to stake their claims, with a few seasoned internationals also on show.

Estonia, who missed out on Euro 2012 with a play-off defeat to the Republic of Ireland, who are incidentally, Croatia's first opponents in Group C, began proceedings in lethargic form. The hosts dominated the early stages, though they themselves almost took a shock lead with Oliver Konsa's effort narrowly flying over the bar.

However, it was to be the only high point on a disappointing first half from Tarmo Ruutli's men. Eduardo lead the line magnificently in the first half and he came mightily close, but for the exploits of Sergei Pareiko between the sticks.

The hosts continued to surge forward at will, stringing move after move together, and not before long, they got their just reward from a free kick. Corluka was at the right place at the right time, putting the crucial touch past the Estonian custodian.

Croatia were in no mood to stop there. Perisic then came closest with a spectacular overhead kick which whistled just wide of the post. As unfortunate as the Borussia Dortmund man was, the Croats doubled their lead shortly after.

Kaarel Kidron was criminally dispossessed near the Estonia goal, allowing Eduardo to take control of the situation with a delightful backheeled pass into Perisic, and then into Kalinic, who made it 2-0 for the remainder of the first period.

The second half brought a steady flow of changes as Bilic tinkered with his side, and that provided the visitors to test Monaco's Subasic in the opposing goal. Despite their best efforts, only a Vassiljev free-kick came close to troubling the goalkeeper as a resolute defence largely held sway.

Towards the end, the match saw further goal action. Mario Mandzukic delivered a sting effort from inside the box which was well parried by Pareiko. Vukojevic tripled the advantage on 81 mins to make it 3-0 but Estonia scored a late consolation through Vassiljev's 14th international goal, but to no avail.

Croatia continue their preparations with a friendly against Norway next Friday, before their Group C opener against Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland in Poznan on June 10.


Croatia

1
Danijel Subasic
Goalkeeper
 - 
17
Domagoj Vida
Defender
 - 
-
 - 
17
Ivan Strinic
Defender
 - 
22
Vedran Corluka
Defender
16′ 80′
 - 
11
Ivo Ilicevic
Midfielder
60′
 - 
9
Ivan Perisic
Midfielder
20′ 46′
 - 
14
Milan Badelj
Midfielder
 - 
-
Tomislav Dujmovic
Midfielder
46′
 - 
11
Eduardo
Striker
60′
 - 
9
 - 

Estonia

 - 
25
Sergei Pareiko
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
5
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
Tarmo Kink
Striker
73′
 - 
11
 - 
-
 - 
-

Substitutes

4
 - 
21
Niko Kranjcar
Midfielder
46′
 - 
5
 - 
11
Ivan Rakitic
Midfielder
60′
 - 
9
 - 
20
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
14
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
Gerd Kams
Defender
62′
 - 
13
Martin Vunk
Midfielder
73′

Coach/Manager

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Coach/Manager

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  • Own Goal
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  • 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
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  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
A. Pulido A. Pulido
Striker
Tigres
4 0
Chris Wondolowski Chris Wondolowski
Striker
Earthquakes
3 0
Neymar Neymar
Striker
Barcelona
3 0
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
2 0
Ivica Olic Ivica Olic
Striker
Wolfsburg
2 0