Croatia absorbed an early blow earlier than revving into gear on the World Cup with two targets from Andrej Kramaric securing a 4-1 victory over Canada on Sunday that moved them a degree away from the final 16 and dashed their opponents’ knockout-stage hopes.
The 2018 runners-up had fallen behind after 68 seconds on the Khalifa Worldwide Stadium when Alphonso Davies thumped a header into the web, however a doubtlessly grim night turned of their favour with two targets late within the first half.
After their dour opening draw with Morocco had instigated a autopsy into whether or not this Croatia aspect lacked a killer intuition, Kramaric and Marko Livaja discovered the web earlier than the break to take the wind out of Canada’s sails.
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Kramaric then doubled his tally after the break and Lovro Majer netted in stoppage time to wrap up a victory that moved Croatia to the highest of Group F on 4 factors. They now want solely a draw of their last sport towards third-placed Belgium, who’re a degree behind, to ensure a knockout spot.
After two defeats, Canada’s exit on the group stage was confirmed, leaving them to face Morocco, additionally on 4 factors, of their last sport.
Canada had flown out of the blocks with the quickest purpose of the match thus far and their first within the World Cup, after drawing a clean of their solely earlier look in 1986.
An extended clearance from the keeper finally discovered its method to Tajon Buchanan, who formed an excellent cross from the suitable into the field the place Davies was arriving like an categorical prepare to rise excessive above his marker and head powerfully down into the web.
But it was a half of two halves, as Croatia — completely outplayed within the early phases — finally shifted into gear.
They had been stage within the thirty sixth minute when Ivan Perisic, a rising affect on the left, slid the ball by way of to Kramaric who fired first time into the far nook.
They took the lead eight minutes later when a beautiful build-up from the again ended with Livaja firing right-footed low into the web from the sting of the world after being fed by Mateo Kovacic.
Canada’s hopes of getting again into the competition had been dashed when a curling cross from Perisic on the left was managed by Kramaric, who shifted the ball on to his left foot and dispatched it low into the underside nook within the seventieth minute.
Deep into stoppage time, Croatia added a last blow when Mislav Orsic broke clear and unselfishly squared for Livaja to faucet house.