Belfast Telegraph

Magic moment from Modric tames Turkey to secure Croatia win

Turkey 0-1 Croatia

By Robert Jones

Croatia manager Ante Cacic hailed Luka Modric's match-winning goal "magic" and praised the midfielder's all-round performance in the 1-0 victory against Turkey.

Modric struck a looping 25-yard shot into the bottom corner of the net late in the first half to give his team the early initiative in Group D.

Croatia created opportunities throughout the game, hitting the crossbar twice in the second half, but could not find a second goal. But Turkey never really looked like making them pay and with Spain up next, could already find it tough to make the knockout stages.

Cacic said: "Luka Modric deserves to be talked about - this was one of his best matches. He really played well, he was our leader. He scored this magic goal and it turned out to be the only one of the game."

Prior to Modric's superb 41st-minute strike, despite being on the back foot for most of the game, Turkey had the best opportunity to take the lead.

Gokhan Gonul put a fabulous cross into a dangerous area and Ozan Tufan powered a header straight into the midriff of goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, who dropped the ball on to the goal-line before smothering it at the second attempt.

Turkey head coach Fatih Terim knows there is plenty of room for improvement from his team. He said: "I'm upset, but we'll take our lessons from this. Our big players need to deliver more. It's a team game but I have high expectations from them and, if they deliver enough, we'll get some good results."

Turkey: Babacan, Gonul, Topal, Balta, Erkin, Calhanoglu, Tufan, Inan, Ozyakup (Sen 46), Turan (Yilmaz 65), Tosun (Mor 69).

Subs Not Used: Kivrak, Kaya, Calik, Sahin, Sahan, Koybasi, Malli, Ozbayrakli,Tekin.

Booked: Tosun, Balta, Sen.

Croatia: Subasic, Srna, Corluka, Vida, Strinic, Modric, Badelj, Brozovic, Rakitic (Schildenfeld 89), Perisic (Kramaric 86),

Mandzukic (Pjaca 90).

Subs Not Used: Vargic, Vrsaljko, Jedvaj, Kovacic, Lovre Kalinic, Rog, Nikola Kalinic, Coric.

Booked: Strinic.

Goals: Modric 41.

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden).

Belfast Telegraph