Croatia beaten 3-1 by reserve team
ZAGREB, March 4 (Reuters) - Croatia suffered their first home defeat on
Wednesday, losing 3-1 in a friendly match against a reserve team chosen by
journalists unhappy with coach Miroslav Blazevic's squad.
Blazevic, whose relations with the press have frequently been frosty, has
been accused of fielding a team full of individuals with no game plan.
Wednesday's match will have fuelled the antagonism, with the journalists'
team who had not played together before looking more compact than their
opponents, who played the closing minutes with just 10 men.
Ardian Kozniku opened the scoring in the 25th minute, picking up the ball
from midfielder Ivan Juric and firing through the legs of veteran
goalkeeper Drazen Ladic.
The three combined again five minutes later, when Kozniku scored from the
edge of the area after Ladic misjugded a long ball from Juric.
Croatia captain Zvonimir Boban equalised in the 40th minute with a header
off the upright and the body of Croatia's third-choice goalkeeper Marijan
Mario Bazina put the game beyond the first team in the 61st minute with a
Shortly afterwards, Boban left the field without being replaced by Blazevic.
Croatia are in the same World Cup group H as Argentina, Jamaica and Japan
in the finals in France this summer. They are favourites to progress from
the group stage along with the South American side.
My comments: Is it too late to replace Blazevic? We are going to be
embarrassed if something is not done soon.
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_\ _\ _\ _\ Petar Kolakovic
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Hypocrisy is the vaseline of social ***