Croatia's Davor Suker Is GOLD

Croatia's Davor Suker Is GOLD

Post by Barry S. Marjanovic » Sun, 12 Jul 1998 04:00:00

BBC News Online: Sport: Football

Saturday, July 11, 1998 Published at 21:20 GMT 22:20 UK

Suker sees gold

Davor Suker fired himself in line for the Golden Boot with his sixth goal of
France 98 as Croatia sealed third place.

The striker, who cannot hold down a first-team place at Real Madrid, became
the tournament's leading scorer with a 36th-minute winner in the Parc des

Ronaldo had four going into Brazil's final against France.

In a skilful and entertaining game, there was no sign of any lack of
commitment among the two beaten semi-finalists.

FIFA has hinted that the third-place play-off may be scrapped but a full-house
got into party mood for this tussle.

Suker put himself top of the scoring charts with a first-time left-foot shot
into the corner to cap a superb move involving Robert Prosinecki and
Slaven Bilic.

The goal restored Croatia's lead in the Parc des Princes after Boudewijn
Zenden had cancelled out Prosinceki's 13th-minute opener.

Prosinecki, of Croatia Zagreb, collected Robert Jarni's pass, swivelled free
of a defender and shot low into the corner in his team's first attack.

But seven minutes later Zenden ran at the Croatian defence and let fly from
outside the area.

His swerving shot confused keeper Drazen Ladic and nestled in the net.

The Netherlands, beaten by Brazil on penalties in Tuesday's semi-final,
brought on Marc Overmars, despite hamstring problems, for the second half
in a bid to find more room down the flanks.

Patrick Kluivert wasted their best chance to level 12 minutes before the end
when he wrong-footed the defence but shot hopelessly wide.

Two minutes later Clarence Seedorf was denied by Ladic's leg.

Seedorf had had the ball in the net on 52 minutes but his crisp first-time
volley was ruled offside.

Croatia sat back for most of the game, absorbing Dutch pressure. But in a
breakaway Suker nearly snatched his second at the far post, just failing
to reach Prosinecki's 67th-minute free-kick.

The Dutch had made the running early in the first half. Kluivert turned Slaven
Bilic after eight minutes but was bailed out by Ladic who blocked the
striker's shot.

Wim Jonk then hit a free-kick over but was closer minutes later after Clarence
Seedorf rolled another free-kick into his path.

Ladic also had to race out to beat Kluivert again in the 19th minute.

Bilic, blamed for getting France's Laurent Blanc sent off in Wednesday's
semi-final, was roundly booed by French fans every time he touched the


Croatia: Drazen Ladic, Igor Stimac, Slaven Bilic, Zvonimir Soldo, Robert Jarni,
Aljosa Asanovic, Robert Prosinecki (Goran Vlaovic, 78), Zvonimir Boban
-captain (Igor Tudor, 85), Mario Stanic, Krunoslav Jurcic, Davor Suker.

Netherlands: Edwin van der Sar, Phillip Cocu (Marc Overmars, 46), Jaap Stam,
Frank de Boer (captain), Arthur Numan, Clarence Seedorf, Wim Jonk, Edgar
Davids, Boudewijn Zenden, Dennis Bergkamp(Pierre van Hooijdonk, 58),
Patrick Kluivert.

Referee: Epifanio Gonzalez Chavez (Paraguay).