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
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