(E) Croatia cruise to 3-0 victory over unadventurous Hungary
Croatia cruise to 3-0 victory over unadventurous Hungary
Sunday September 5, 06:42 AM
ZAGREB, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Croatia opened their World Cup qualifying campaign with a well deserved 3-0 win over a defence-minded Hungary on Saturday. Hungary made it even easier for Croatia than it might have been with the 11th minute dismissal of defender Szabolcs Huszti, red carded for elbowing Darijo Srna in the head.
Croatia striker Dado Prso opened the scoring in the 32th minute, seizing only a loose ball from Balazs Molnar in the box to hammer the ball home. Ivan Klasnic made it 2-0 in the 57th minute with a left-foot shot from the edge of the box and Gabor Gyepes put through his own net when he mis-judged Croatia substitute Jerko Leko's fine cross in the 80th minute.
The Hungarians best chance came five minutes into the second half when goalkeeper Tomislav Butina saved a close-range header from Zoltan Gera.
"We showed decent creativity for most of the game and it boosts our confidence," said Croatia coach Zlatko Kranjcar who took over in July after Croatia's disappointing first-round exit from Euro 2004 in Portugal.
Croatia play away against Sweden, while Hungary meet Iceland in Budapest in their second qualifying matches next Wednesday.