Croatia did not deserve to win this game. The penalty was a penalty – no debate. After that Croatia did nothing. Modric and Kranjcar did nothing in midfield. There was no real possession or offensive threat in their movement. Elbows, tugging, Austria upset about the penalty got thrown off their game and didn’t really put pressure till the end of the first half.
The last 15 minutes were great. Austria put unrelenting pressure on Croatia and should have leveled at the death with a header by the big substitute, Kienast, flashing just past the post. Austria’s man of the match for me was Korkmaz, even though he came on only in the 69th minute. He took the right back on time and again – he should start based on this performance. Ivanschitz had a decent game in spots. Croatia’s player was Olic – slim pickings but he worked the hardest.
If Croatia plays this way, and you could see the absence of Eduardo showing in the lack of firepower upfront, I feel comfortable that Poland will see them off for second as I predicted in my previous post.
Pre-game prediction: Croatia 1 Austria 0
Result: Croatia 1 Austria 0
Scorer: Modric (Croatia)