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EC Qualification

  • November 15, 2011
  • • 2:05 PM
  • • Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb
  • Referee: Pedro Proença
  • • Attendance: 26371
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Croatia win Aggregate 3 - 0

Croatia 0-0 Turkey (Agg. 3-0): Stalemate in Zagreb secures progression to Euro 2012 for Slaven Bilic's men

The two sides play out a dull draw as the hosts sealed their place in the Ukraine and Poland showpiece next summer.

Croatia's drab 0-0 draw against Turkey was enough for the hosts to secure qualification for Euro 2012 on Tuesday.

Slaven Bilic’s men had triumphed 3-0 in Istanbul on Friday, and their heavy first-leg lead was enough to seal their place in Ukraine and Poland next summer.

Guus Hiddink had gone into the match saying that he was hoping for a miracle, and almost got a god-sent gift just minutes into the match.

Selcuk Inan let fly from distance, his strike eluded everyone and bounced off the post. The sprawling Stipe Pletikosa managed to get up in time to save Colin-Kazim Richards’ follow up as the Croatian defense looked on, completely static.

The former Sheffield United man should have buried his chance, and minutes later the hosts almost made the Turks regret missing such an easy opportunity.

A tame back-header from Selcuk Sahin almost let Ivica Olic in, but Sinan Bolat charged off his line to claim the ball before the Bayern Munich man could capitalize on the error.

The visitors dominated possession, as they did on Friday, but had nothing in the way of real chances. Gokhan Tore was thrown on for a visibly unhappy Caner Erkin, but was able to swing the tie in Turkey’s favor.

As in the first leg, Turkey was vulnerable on the counterattack, and the lead was almost extended when Olic pulled the ball back Ivan Rakitic, but the Sevilla man skied his shot.

If the visitors were to pull off the fairy tale result, they would have to come out after the restart all guns blazing. However, the early part of the second half was characterized by more cautious approach play with little end product.

Gokhan Tore touched the ball back to Hamit Altintop, who sent in a powerful shot wide that clipped the bottom of the post and went wide.

Seconds later, Sinan Bolat’s mistimed punch almost came back to haunt him, but the Standard Liege goalkeeper got down well to save a deflected shot from Rakitic.

In truth, there was little in the way of clear-cut chances. Rakitic and Srna came close to rubbing salt into Turkish wounds with long range efforts, but 0-0 was enough for Croatia to seal qualification, Turkey, meanwhile, is left to rue another failed campaign.

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