The Croatian national football team will face their final group stage match of the Euro qualifiers against Armenia on Tuesday at Maksimir Stadium. A win for Croatia will secure them a spot in the Euro finals next year, while a loss could mean missing out on the tournament altogether.
In the last match against Latvia, which they won 2-0 in cold Riga, HRT’s expert commentator Tomislav Ivković analyzed the situation and the team’s performance. According to him, it was a very important victory for Croatia as they knew that Wales had drawn with Armenia, putting additional pressure on them to win.
Ivković noted that Dalić was clearly on edge and everyone was motivated to perform at their best. Despite playing on a poor pitch, Croatia scored two quick goals and controlled the game from start to finish, creating no chances for Latvia. The early goals helped prevent nervousness and allowed the team to focus on their tactics.
When discussing Modrić’s goal, which was widely regarded as one of the best in the world, Ivković pointed out how he handled the pressure of being tied 2-2 and how he reacted when a stone fell from his heart as it looked like Croatia would miss out on qualification. The team played in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Brozović and Modrić never advancing forward together to prevent possible counterattacks. They played fantastically and tactically intelligently throughout the match.
Kramarić brought Croatia back into contention with his goals, while Guardiol played well in his left back position despite not typically playing there. Pašalić and Baturina made their debuts against Latvia and impressed Ivković with their performances. Pašalić has great potential as a right winger in Croatia’s limited options for that position, while Baturin showed promise as he replaced Modrić in the second half.
As Croatia prepares for their final match against Armenia, they will need to play tactically disciplined if they want to secure qualification for next year’s Euro finals. France is currently seen as the first favorite for the tournament by Ivković and others in Europe’s footballing community.