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Category: Croatia

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World Cup 2018 draw – live!

Russia 2018 groups decided at draw in Moscow, from 3pm GMTStadium guide | Create your own draw | How the draw worksAnd feel free to email Simon or tweet him @Simon_Burnton 2.13pm GMT Update: Diego Maradona has located a razor. And a suit. And a comedy …

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Russia World Cup 2018 draw: team-by-team guide to all 32 countries

With the draw taking place in Moscow on Friday, here is everything you need to know about the teams, from star players to tactics and the ones to watch Continue reading…

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Croatia draw with Greece in second leg to qualify for 2018 World Cup

Croatia are in the World Cup finals after a 0-0 away draw on Sunday night put them through with a 4-1 aggregate across the two legs of their qualifying play-off with Greece.Zlatko Dalic’s side made sure of a place in Russia next summer by closing out a…

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Nikola Kalinic puts Croatia in control of World Cup playoff against Greece

Croatia edged closer to next year’s World Cup with a 4-1 home win over Greece in the first leg of their two-legged playoff.The result left the Greeks with a huge task in Athens on Sunday if they are to reach their third successive finals. Continue read…

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World Cup play-offs, final qualifiers and friendlies: 10 things to look out for

Republic of Ireland walk disciplinary tightrope, Italians seek revenge, Morocco and Senegal look for final step and will Wilfried Zaha be Ivory Coast’s saviour?Northern Ireland and Switzerland last met in a competitive fixture in 1964, when a home team…

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World Cup 2018: fans from around Europe preview the play-offs

Fans from Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland fill us in on their teams before the play-offsIt was disappointing to finish behind Iceland in our group. We are a strong team with promising young…

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World Cup play-offs: where the four European ties will be won and lost

Will Switzerland build on their form in qualifying? Are Italy going to a 15th straight World Cup? Will Croatia beat Greece? And will the Irish enjoy some luck?By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport NetworkSwitzerland have a right…

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World Cup 2018 play-off draw in full – video report

The Republic of Ireland will face Denmark and Northern Ireland will take on Switzerland in the World Cup play-offs after the draw for the games was made on Tuesday. Northern Ireland last qualified in 1986 while the Republic of Ireland last appeared at …

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World Cup 2018 play-offs: how do you rate your team’s chances?

Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Greece are vying for four places at the World Cup. Who will make it?Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Greece a…

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World Cup play-offs: Denmark v Rep of Ireland, Northern Ireland v Switzerland

• Four-time winners Italy will face Sweden for place in finals • Croatia will play their first-leg match at home to GreeceThe Republic of Ireland have been drawn against Denmark in the play-offs for the 2018 World Cup while Northern Ireland will face S…

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World Cup 2018 play-off draw – live!

Eight European teams competing for four Russia 2018 placesSwitzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark in Pot 1Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Greece in Pot 2How Croatia, Italy and Ireland fared in Europe’s first World Cup play-offsEmail d…

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How Croatia, Italy and Ireland fared in Europe’s first World Cup play-offs in 1997

A few of the teams facing play-offs for next summer’s World Cup have been here before. Croatia and Italy qualified 20 years ago … unlike the Republic of IrelandBy Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport NetworkOf the eight …

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Iceland become smallest nation ever to qualify for World Cup finals

• Win over Kosovo secures place at World Cup 2018 in Russia
• Serbia seal qualification, Croatia confirm play-off place

Iceland sealed a place in Russia with a 2-0 victory against Kosovo in Reykjavik, becoming the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup finals.

Heimir Hallgrimsson’s team knew a win against Group I’s bottom side would guarantee top spot and an automatic qualifying place, and Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson settled their nerves with a superbly taken goal five minutes before half-time.

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Croatia sack coach Ante Cacic on eve of final World Cup 2018 qualifier

• Zlatko Dalic appointed as Cacic’s successor after 1-1 draw with Finland
• Croatia face Ukraine on Monday, when a win would seal play-off berth

Croatia have sacked coach Ante Cacic and named Zlatko Dalic as his replacement ahead of their crunch World Cup Group I qualifier in Ukraine, the Balkan nation’s Football Association (HNS) president Davor Suker confirmed on Saturday.

“Dalic is the new coach and will be in charge for the last game away to Ukraine,” Suker told a news conference in the Croatian capital. “The HNS executive board made a unanimous decision after a long night to terminate cooperation with Cacic. We took only four points in the last four games and had no choice but to take this course of action.”

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Luka Modric could face up to five years in prison for suspected perjury in trial

• Investigation into Real Madrid midfielder over suspicion of false testimony
• Case relates to deals with former Dinamo Zagreb director Zdravko Mamic

Croatian prosecutors have launched an investigation into suspected perjury against Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric on on suspicion of him giving false testimony in a criminal trial about his financial deals with a former Dinamo Zagreb director charged with embezzlement and tax fraud. If charged and found guilty, he could face up to five years in prison.

Related: All hail Luka Modric, the maestro who makes Real Madrid’s superstars tick | Barney Ronay

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Dejan Lovren: ‘I know what refugees are going through – give them a chance’

In a new documentary, the Liverpool defender opens up about being forced out of his childhood home during the Balkans conflict, losing a member of his family and then being asked to leave Germany and settle in Croatia

There is only one moment, recounting the horrors that shaped his childhood and life as a refugee from the Bosnian war, when it all seems like it might be too difficult for Dejan Lovren to continue.

Lovren is telling the story of how he and his family had to flee their home in Kraljeva Sutjeska, the village where he grew up outside Zenica, and what happened to those who were left behind. “Zenica was attacked because it was a bigger city,” the Liverpool player explains, “but it was in these small villages where the most horrific things happened …people being brutally killed. My uncle’s brother was killed in front of other people with a knife. I never talk about my uncle because it’s quite a tough thing to talk about, but he lost his brother, one of my family members. Difficult …”

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Juan Martín del Potro inspires Argentina to first Davis Cup title in Croatia

• Del Potro comes back from two sets down against Marin Cilic to level tie at 2-2
• Federico Delbonis sweeps past Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to seal win

Argentina have won the Davis Cup for the first time after Juan Martín del Potro, playing with a broken finger in his left hand, inspired a stirring comeback against the hosts, Croatia, in the final.

Heading into the final day in Zagreb 2-1 ahead, Croatia were on the verge of victory when Marin Cilic surged into a two-set lead against Del Potro but the 2009 US Open champion battled back to level the match at 2-2 with a 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 win. That set the stage for a deciding rubber and Federico Delbonis swept past Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to seal victory for Argentina, who had lost their four previous finals. It is the seventh time in Davis Cup history that a country has come from 2-1 down in the final to become champions. Out of the game for nearly two years and forced to undergo three wrist operations Del Potro’s comeback has been the feelgood story for tennis in 2016.

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International football: 10 things to look out for in World Cup 2018 qualifying

Ramsey’s Wales return, Yiadom’s controversial Ghana inclusion, Southgate and Strachan heading in opposite directions and a fairytale comeback for Falcao

Gareth Southgate is at the beginning, Gordon Strachan could be approaching
the end. But both managers are under pressure before Friday night’s
qualifier at Wembley. While Southgate has shown that he is not afraid to
make big calls, dropping Wayne Rooney for the fortunate goalless draw in
Slovenia, England’s caretaker oversaw underwhelming performances in his
first two matches and would not be seen as an inspiring permanent appointment
if his team fails to convince against Scotland. The return of Harry Kane
and Raheem Sterling should enhance England’s threat, however, and it is
Strachan who has bigger problems. Robert Snodgrass has been in fine form
for Hull City and the jinking winger could give England’s defence plenty to
think about, yet Strachan’s stock is perilously low after last month’s
defeat to Slovakia
and defeat in this match would surely be the final straw. JS

Players can land Southgate the England job full-time, says Lallana
Pitches, coaches and iPads: what are the reasons for Scotland’s talent decline?Kane calls for ‘calm heads’ in England clash with Scotland
Daniel Taylor: Wilshere raring to go after rediscovering love for game

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Ciro Immobile double takes Italy past Macedonia, Spain beat Albania

• Italy win 3-2 while Diego Costa and Nolito score in Spain’s 2-0 win
• Dusan Tadic orchestrates Serbia’s 3-2 home win over Austria in Group D

Ciro Immobile scored twice in the last 15 minutes to earn Italy a 3-2 win in Macedonia after the four-times champions were on the brink of a humiliating defeat.

Andrea Belotti gave Italy a 24th-minute lead after the visitors, who have not lost in a qualifying competition for 10 years, had made a shaky start.

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Ciro Immobile double takes Italy past Macedonia, Spain beat Albania

• Italy win 3-2 while Diego Costa and Nolito score in Spain’s 2-0 win
• Dusan Tadic orchestrates Serbia’s 3-2 home win over Austria in Group D

Ciro Immobile scored twice in the last 15 minutes to earn Italy a 3-2 win in Macedonia after the four-times champions were on the brink of a humiliating defeat.

Andrea Belotti gave Italy a 24th-minute lead after the visitors, who have not lost in a qualifying competition for 10 years, had made a shaky start.

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