Croatia vs Turkey

Highlights and Full Match | Video

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This is a match of UEFA Euro 2024 Qualification, Group D – Matchday 7.
Kick off: 18:45 UTC Thursday Oct 12, 2023.

Referee: Anthony Taylor, England
Venue: Opus Arena, Osijek

Croatia vs Turkey Full Match Reports

Turkey seized the top spot in Group D of the European Championship qualifying (ECQ) with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Croatia at the Opus Arena, extending their impressive record in away ECQ matches to just one defeat in their last 12 encounters (with 8 wins and 3 draws).

As they aimed for their third consecutive appearance in the European Championship finals, the visitors began the match with an edge, particularly in the closely-fought opening 15 minutes. Kerem Aktürkoğlu had two early attempts, both of which were expertly parried by Dominik Livaković, the goalkeeper for Croatia. Bolstered by the momentum, Turkey continued to push for an opening goal as the first half unfolded. Their persistence paid off around the half-hour mark when Barış Yılmaz sprinted onto a through ball from Salih Özcan, executing a superb first-time finish by lifting the ball over the advancing Livaković.

Croatia, stunned by the dominance of the visitors, sought to regain a foothold in the game before half-time. Nevertheless, the home side struggled to create clear-cut opportunities during the first half. Their attempts were largely underwhelming, with Petar Musa’s half-chance comfortably handled by Uğurcan Çakır. Turkey deservedly held the lead at halftime. Croatia’s manager, Zlatko Dalić, chose to resist making changes during the break. Still, it wasn’t long before they introduced reinforcements, with the team struggling to find an effective attacking edge in the final third. Croatia brought on Bruno Petković and Nikola Vlašić in a bid to find an equalizer, but Çakır, guarding Turkey’s goal, proved tough to beat, making a crucial save to deny Dion Drena Beljo from close range.

As full-time approached, Turkey missed a chance to increase their lead when Yunus Akgün unleashed a powerful shot, which narrowly missed the target. Despite this, they maintained their strong defense, securing an impressive victory. This win propelled Turkey three points clear at the top of Group D. In contrast, Croatia will be eager to bounce back in their upcoming match against Wales on Sunday, as their extraordinary record of never losing a home ECQ fixture ended after 38 attempts (with 28 wins and 9 draws).

Salih Özcan of Turkey was named the Man of the Match for his outstanding performance.