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Euro 2008: Croatia 2 - Macedonia 1
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/28/2007 | Sports | Unrated
Croatia Scores Big Win Against Macedonia
Euro 2008: Croatia 2 - Macedonia 1

Darijo Srna, above, scored from a superb free kick and then set up Eduardo da Silva who scored the winning goal in Croatia's match against Macedonia.
CROATIA coach Slaven Bilic was delighted after his side came from behind and scored an 88th-minute winner in Zagreb to pull them five points clear of England at the top of Group E. "We are glad England were held to a 0-0 draw in Israel, it is a major bonus for us," said former West Ham defender Bilic. "This is a big win for us because the Macedonians have shown once again they are a tough nut to crack. It came down to our character and quality." Croatia fell behind to a goal from Macedonia captain Goce Sedloski. But Sedloski was sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second half. Sub Darijo Srna drew level on the hour with a superb free kick and set up Eduardo da Silva to grab the clincher.

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/tm_headline=croatia-2-1-macedonia&method=full&objectid=18809553&siteid=89520-name_page.html


Croatia pull away from England
March 27, 2007

HE leapt in the air and jumped with joy. It was an understatement to say Croatia coach Slaven Bilic was happy with what he saw. He was absolutely thrilled. Bilic was delighted after his charges earned a late 2-1 Euro 2008 qualifying win over Macedonia on Saturday. The win pulled them five points ahead of England and kept them two ahead of Russia at the top of Group E. 'We are glad England were held to a 0-0 draw in Israel, it is a major bonus for us,' said Bilic after his side came from behind to snatch a late win. 'This is a big win for us because the Macedonians have shown once again that they are a tough nut to crack.

'It came down to our character and quality.' With the crucial win, Croatia top the group with 13 points from five matches, two ahead of Russia who kept up the pressure with a 2-0 win at neighbours Estonia. England and Israel have eight each while Macedonia, who have played a game more, are on seven points. Croatia got a rough ride in the first half when they fell behind to a goal from Macedonia captain Goce Sedloski. They settled into their rhythm only after Darijo Srna came on for the second half and Sedloski was sent off for a second bookable offence. Srna drew level on the hour with a superbly executed free-kick and then set up Eduardo da Silva to grab an 88th-minute winner. Bilic acknowledged the sending-off had made life easier for his team. He said not starting with Srna was a tactical error. 'We kept pushing on relentlessly after they were a man down and got our reward, deservedly so,' said the former Everton defender.

'MISTAKE'

'Also, it turns out that leaving Srna on the bench was a mistake as he added an extra dimension to our game. Croatia are will play Estonia away in 2 June and then at home to Russia four days later in what Bilic sees as potentially decisive encounters. 'Thankfully, we have a two-month break now before we play two crucial matches in our quest to reach the Finals,' he said. 'They are all crucial but these two could define our course. 'Our fate is in our own hands and we will concentrate on getting the job done as early as possible.' - Reuters.

Source: http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/sports/story/0,4136,125856,00.html

Formated for CROWN by Marko Pulji
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