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Wednesday, 10 September 2008
World Cup 2010 UEFA Group 6 qualification match

Croatia 1 England 4 [0-1]
 

Stadion Maksimir, Maksimir, Zagreb
Attendance: 35,218; Kick-off: 9.00pm CEST, 8.00pm BST;
Live on
Setanta Sports One (UK) - commentator: Jon Champion

England - Theo Walcott (ten-yard shot across goal 26 25:34, twelve-yard shot 59 58:21, thirteen-yard placed shot 82 81:18 hat-trick), Wayne Rooney (twelve-yard side-footed shot 63 62:37).
Croatia - Mario Mandzukić (twelve-yard side-footed shot 78 77:36).
Match Summary
Croatia Squad
England Squad
Results 2005-2010 Croatia - Josip Šimunić (39), Darijo Srna (47),
England - Emile Heskey (61).
Red Card: Croatia - Robert Kovač (52 51:47)

Croatia kicked-off. 93 minutes (45 & 48).

 

Match Summary

 

Officials from Slovakia

Croatia

Type

England

Referee (red) - Ľuboš Micheľ
40 (16 May 1968),
Stropkov, FIFA-listed 1994;

Assistant Referees - Martin Balko, 36 (8 March 1972) & Roman Csabay, 43 (15 January 1965).

Fourth official - Richard Havrilla, 42 (31 March 1966), FIFA-listed 2003;

UEFA delegate - René Eberle, Switzerland.
UEFA referee observer - Hugh Dallas
, Scotland.

7 Goal Attempts 9
4 Attempts on Target 6
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
5 Corner Kicks Won 2
0 Offside Calls Against 3
19 Fouls Conceded 26
38.6% Possession 61.4%

Croatia Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (3rd Sept 2008) 5th
ELO rating 7th to 10th
Colours: Made by Nike - Blue shirts with white/red chequered side panel/red collar, blue shorts with white trim, blue socks with red/white chequered hoop.
Capt: Niko Kovač, 36 years, 332 days Coach: Slaven Bilić, 39 (11 September 1968), appointed 25 July 2006.
Croatia Lineup
1 Pletikosa, Stipe 29 8 January  1979 G FC Spartak Moskva, Russia 75 0
3 Šimunić, Josip 29 18 February 1979 CD Hertha Berliner SC von 1892 eV, Germany 67 3
Josip Šimunić was cautioned in the 39th minute for Unsporting Behaviour, after tripping Walcott.
4 Kovač, Robert 34 16 April 1974 CD BV Borussia 1909 eV Dortmund, Germany 80 0
Kovač was dismissed in the 52nd minute for Violent Conduct after he and Joe Cole jumped for the same ball in the centre-circle. Kovač rose the higher and his elbow contacted Cole's head, causing a bloody injury. Suspended.
5 Ćorluka, Vedran 22 5 February 1986 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC, England 27 0
6 Pranjić, Danijel 26 2 December 1981 LB SC Heerenveen, Netherlands 18 0
14 Modrić, Luka 23 9 September 1985 M Tottenham Hotspur FC, England 31 5
7 Rakitić, Ivan 30 10 March 1988 M FC Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 eV, Germany 14 3
18 Olić, Ivica, off 73rd min 28 14 September 1979 F Hamburger SV eV, Germany 60 10
9 Petrić, Mladen, off 56th min. 27 1 January 1981 F Hamburger SV eV, Germany 30 10
10 Kovač, Niko, off 62nd min. 36 15 October 1971 M FC Red Bull Salzburg, Austria 82 15
11 Srna, Darijo 26 1 May 1982 M FC Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine 61 17
Srna was cautioned in the 49th minute for Unsporting Behaviour, after kicking Ashley Cole's ankle.
Croatia Substitutes
15 Knezević, Dario, on 56th min. for Petrić 26 20 April 1982 D Juventus FC SpA FC, Italy 11 1
13 Pokrivač, Nikola, on 62nd min. for N. Kovač 22 26 November 1985 M AS de Monaco FC, France 4 0
8 Mandzukić, Mario, on 73rd min. for Olić 22 21 May 1986 F NK Dinamo Zagreb 2 1

unused substitutes:

2-Ivica Krizanac, 12-Vedran Runje, 16-Jerko Leko, 17-Ivan Klasnić.
 
4-3-1-2 Pletikosa -
Ćorluka, R. Kovač, Šimunić, Pranjić -
Srna, N. Kovač
(Pokrivač),
Rakitić -
Modrić -
Petrić
(Knezević), Olić (Mandzukić).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 28.2 Appearances/Goals 49.5 5.7

 

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (3rd Sept 2008) 15th
ELO rating 8th to 7th
Colours: The 2007 home change uniform - White shirts with red horizontal stripe with two navy Umbro diamonds/three lions abstracted side panel, white shorts with two navy Umbro diamonds, white socks with two navy Umbro diamonds and thin band.
Capt: John Terry, 17th captaincy, Rio Ferdinand from 89th min. Coach: Fabio Capello, 62, appointed 14 December 2007, effective 7 January 2008, 
7th match, W 5 - D 1 - L 1 - F 15 - A 5.
England Lineup
1 James, David B. 38 1 August 1970 G Portsmouth FC 42 36 GA
2 Brown, Wesley M. 28 13 October 1979 RB Manchester United FC 19 1
3 Cole, Ashley 27 20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 67 0
4 Barry, Gareth 26 23 February 1981 M Aston Villa FC 23 1
5 Ferdinand, Rio G. 29 7 November 1978 CD Manchester United FC 70 1
6 Terry, John G., off 89th min. 27 7 December 1980 CD Chelsea FC 47 4
7
Walcott, Theo J., off 85th min. 19 16 March 1989 F Arsenal FC 4 3
8 Lampard, Frank J. 30 20 June 1978 M Chelsea FC 64 14
9 Heskey, Emile W.I. 30 11 January 1978 F Wigan Athletic FC 48 5
Heskey was cautioned in the 61st minute for Unsporting Behaviour, after tripping Niko Kovač.
10 Rooney, Wayne M. 22 24 October 1985 F Manchester United FC 46 15
11 Cole, Joseph J., injured off 56th min. 26 8 November 1981 M Chelsea FC 53 10
England Substitutes
16 Jenas, Jermaine A., on 56th min. for J. Cole. 25 18 February 1983 M Tottenham Hotspur FC 20 1
17 Beckham, David R.J., on 85th min. (84:13) for Walcott. 33 2 May 1975 M LA Galaxy, USA 105 17
14 Upson, Matthew J., on 89th min. for Terry. 29 18 April 1979 CD West Ham United FC 9 0

unused substitutes:

12-Paul Robinson, 13-Glen Johnson, 15-Stewart Downing, 18-Jermain Defoe.
 
4-4-2 James -
Brown, Ferdinand, Terry
(Upson), A. Cole -
Walcott
(Beckham), Barry, Lampard, J. Cole (Jenas) -
Rooney, Heskey.

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 30.2 Appearances/Goals 43.9 5.0

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

After all the build up to this crucial match, with much talk of revenge for the defeat by Croatia at Wembley almost a year ago, the match belonged to the Arsenal prodigy Theo Walcott.  This was the night when England fans saw exactly what prompts so many good judges in football to extol his virtues.  This was probably England's best performance since the 5-1 win in Germany in 2001, and they shattered Croatia's 35 game unbeaten run of home qualifiers.  The start of the game was fairly even and the Tottenham player Luka Modric looked in good form for the home side.  But Gareth Barry tracked him well and England gave as good as they got.  A couple of shaky moments from David James caused a flutter or two but England should have had a penalty on 20 minutes when Emile Heskey was clearly pulled over by Josep Simunic when moving in on a Walcott cross.  But that incident seemed to spur England on and within five minutes they deservedly took the lead.  Rio Ferdinand found Wayne Rooney who, in turn, tried to find Walcott.  A lucky rebound off a defender saw the ball eventually bounce kindly for the winger.  Walcott wasted no time and confidently drilled his shot across goal and into the far corner.  It was a great finish.  There were few scares for England before the break and by now they looked comfortable and composed in defence and midfield.

Their cause was then helped when Robert Kovac was sent off for leading with his elbow in a challenge with Joe Cole, with over 30 minutes still to go.

England took full advantage and just before the hour mark the visitors took a giant step towards victory.  A lovely move involving Rooney, Heskey and Frank Lampard ended with a pass to Walcott.  For the second time he wasted no time in firing a good shot into the far corner.  Four minutes later it was even better for England as Jermaine Jenas, on as a substitute for Joe Cole, worked some good space down the right, pulled the ball back for Rooney, and the Manchester United star stroked the ball into the net.

The home crowd was stunned, the away support was stunned (but deliriously happy) and the press pack could not believe what they were seeing.  England were in complete command of the game and playing superbly.  Croatia, meanwhile, were all over the place and their shape had long since been pulled apart.  It all made what happened next a little annoying as substitute Mario Mandzukic broke away to pull a goal back.  England complained that John Terry had been fouled but in all honesty it did not make too much difference to the outcome.  In fact, England, and Walcott, put the icing on the cake with yet another goal on 82 minutes.

A fine pass by Rooney sent Walcott through and the youngster completed his memorable hat-trick with another good finish.  It put the gloss on a great night for England and left Croatia stunned.

Source Notes

BBC Sport
TheFA.com
SkySports.com/football
UEFA.com
FIFA.com
Robert Owens, Scarborough, England
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor

____________________

CG