Croatia's Davor Suker Returns To Form

Croatia's Davor Suker Returns To Form

Post by Barry S. Marjanovic » Fri, 05 Jun 1998 04:00:00

   Soccer-World Cup-Suker returns to form right on cue
   09:53 a.m. Jun 04, 1998 Eastern

   ZAGREB, June 4 (Reuters) - With an immaculate sense of timing,
   Croatia's Davor Suker has regained his goalscoring touch.

   Barely two days after Lazio's Alen Boksic was forced out of the
   Croatian World Cup squad, out-of-form Suker ended his barren run of
   four games without an international goal when he scored his country's
   second in the 2-0 win over Iran on Wednesday night.

   ``I did not score in the last two games and this certainly means a lot
   for my confidence,'' Suker said. He was referring to the two
   friendlies before the Iran match, but he in fact had not scored since
   a World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on October 11 -- almost eight
   months ago.

   The 30-year-old is Croatia's top scorer with 27 goals in 35
   appearances and was the hero of their Euro 96 campaign, but he has
   suffered a dismal season with Real Madrid in Spain.

   With Boksic's withdrawal following on from last week's embarrassing
   2-1 home defeat by Slovakia, Croatia's hopes of making an impression
   in France seemed to be fading fast.

   But on Wednesday Suker reminded everyone of his ability when he drove
   a fierce left-foot volley into the net from 10 metres after his first
   attempt bounced off an Iranian defender.

   Coach Miroslav Blazevic admitted his team sorely missed Boksic, whose
   speed and penetration were fundamental to Croatia's counter-attacking

   ``We miss Boksic but we have attacking options from deep through
   (Mario) Stanic on the right and (Robert) Jarni on the left. They will
   feed the strikers,'' Blazevic said.

   Croatia face Japan, Jamaica and Argentina in Group H in France. They
   play their last warm-up against Australia on Saturday before heading
   to France.