The Croatia national team met Azerbaijan in Baku on Monday for the 6th round of the EURO 2020 qualifications, and came away with a shocking 1:1 tie.
After a crucial victory against Slovakia on Friday, Croatia came to Azerbaijan for their second match in four days. Zlatko Dalić's side was hoping for an easy victory against an Azerbaijan squad led by former Croatian national team player Nikola Jurčević who had yet to record a win in Group E.
All previous matches had been lopsided in favour of the much more talented Croatians. Before the match on Monday, Croatia had so far played Azerbaijan three times, registering two wins and one draw with a goal difference of 8:1.
Croatia came out playing the same attacking game coach Zlatko Dalić favored in the game against Slovakia - and by the third minute, Croatia seemed to be firmly in control. After a few attacks which resulted in no goals, the ref whistled to the penalty spot after a handball by an Azerbaijani defender. Team Captain Luka Modrić stepped up to the challenge and scored to put Croatia up 1:0 in the 11th minute.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan did not succumb to the pressure and had their first real chance in the 17th minute, forcing Livaković to make a stellar save.
Azerbaijan had their first corner of the game in the 54th minute, which was cleared by Croatia's defense. Croatia's kept the forceful attacking game from the first half at the start, though Azerbaijan's defense was making things difficult for Croatia's attack.
In the 66th minute, Croatia was lucky to have an Azerbaijan goal called offside to keep the result in Croatia's favor; however, that didn't last long. In the 72nd minute, Tamkin Khalilza dribbled through Croatia's defense to equalize for Azerbaijan 1:1.
Croatia's next Euro qualifier will be the decisive match against Hungary at Poljud stadium in Split on October 10th, 2019.
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