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Modrić magic helps Croatia down Turkey

Modrić magic helps Croatia down Turkey

India Blooms News Service | | 12 Jun 2016, 09:32 pm
Paris, June 12 (IBNS) Croatia opened their UEFA EURO 2016 campaign with a slender Group D success over Turkey in Paris which owed much to a brilliant long-range volley from Luka Modrić.

The Real Madrid playmaker struck four minutes from half-time at the Parc des Princes and his team-mates went on to protect the statistic that says Croatia have never lost when Modrić has scored – now winning ten and drawing one.

Turkey had two opportunities to clear a right-wing corner but the second attempt only sent the ball looping towards Modrić 25 metres out. His aim was unerring, his volley bouncing past Volkan Babacan into the corner of the net. The resulting defeat was Turkey's sixth in as many tournament-opening fixtures.

Ante Čačić's team had started positively, pushing back Turkey for much of the first half. Mario Mandžukić and Marcelo Brozović, twice, had presentable headed chances although it was from a similar route that Turkey almost broke throuogh.

Ozan Tufan met a delicious delivery from Gökhan Gönül five metres out only to nod straight at Danijel Subašić. Fatih Terim's side, however, were having their own problems dealing with crosses, unrepairably so – it transpired – close to the interval.

It might have got worse for Turkey as Darijo Srna's free-kick rattled their crossbar early in the second period, before Croatia's captain pulled a shot wide after Volkan had pushed Ivan Perišić's centre into his path.

Brozović then volleyed over before Mandžukić teed up Perišić with a delicate cross the midfielder headed against the bar. Babacan also denied Perišić to keep Turkey in the contest, but their lack of an attacking threat undermined his resistance.

Man of the match: Luka Modrić