The Slovak national football team lost in Saturday’s home match of the H-group of the World Cup 2022 qualification with Croatia 0: 1. In the fifth round she suffered the first loss and with the gain of 6 points she is in the fourth place. At the end of the September three-match, he will welcome Cyprus again at the National Football Stadium in Bratislava on Tuesday (8.45 pm).
After the draw in Slovenia 1: 1, the Slovaks reached another draw, but four minutes before the end of regular playing time, they collected from Marcel Brozovič. Thanks to a better score, Russia leads the table, scoring ten points as well as Croatia. The third position belongs to Slovenia one point ahead of Slovakia. Only the winners of the groups will advance directly to Qatar for the final tournament, the teams from the second places will fight in the draw.
Slovakia – Croatia 0: 1 (0: 0)
Goal: 86. Brozovič
ŽK: Pekarík, Boženík – Ivušič.
They decided: Frankowski – Boniek, Winkler (all Poland), 9047 spectators.
Slovakia: Rodák – Pekarík (88. Strelec), Šatka, Škriniar, Hancko – Lobotka – Mak (79. Jirka), Kucka, Hamšík (62. Duda), Weiss (79. Koscelník) – Schranz (62. Boženík)
Croatia: Ivušič – Juranovič, Lovren, Vida, Sosa – Vlašič (55. Pašalič), Brozovič, Kovačič (84. Majer) – Ivanušec (55. Perišič), Čolak (55. Livaja), Oršič (62. Kramarič)
The first shooting opportunity for the indistinct start of the match was made by the Croats, Brozovič finished the combination in the vicinity of the penalty area over Rodák’s goal. Much more dangerous was a shot from behind the penalty area by Oršič, who “licked” the crossbar. The native was also checked by Ivanušec, the Slovak goalkeeper covered his ground attempt. At first, the Slovaks did not get too involved in offensive activities, at least a little excitement in the middle of the opponent caused the attack of Schranz, but the chance was not born. After 19 minutes, Čolak got through on the right and was very close to equalizing for the home side, but didn’t get the shot away. The Slovaks threatened for the first time three minutes later, after a quick action Weiss sent a technical shot right next to Ivušič’s goal. Soon the Slovak cooperation on the right wing came out, sent Maka to a chance, his tough shot was kicked by the Croatian goalkeeper to the corner. After half an hour of play and a foul on Lobotka, the home team signaled from a direct kick to a more distant pole, after the head-on scarf, the guests blocked Schranz’s shot and Kuck’s shot.
Slovaks with the increasing time of the first half showed potential in the offensive phase and were able to get into the lead several times, but the second act was started by more active Croats. Nevertheless, their coach Dalič mixed the line-up after only ten minutes and put up to three fresh footballers into the action at once. His counterpart Tarkovič did not linger with the substitutions for a long time, after more than an hour of play, a post for Dud’s place came instead of Hamšík, and Schženíz was replaced by Boženík, the author of the goal from the previous duel in Slovenia. The fate of the match still hung in the air, in the 73rd minute Božík could tilt the scales to the home side, but after Maka’s pass he did not direct the ball from the immediate vicinity into the space of the three poles. The situation of three against three was not successfully completed by Duda and Kuck, and later Ivušič guarded the shot of the substituting Jirka from the second wave. The Slovaks were sorry for the unused possibilities, in the 86th minute they collected, after a direct kick, Kucka turned the ball only to the limit of the penalty area and from there, Brozovič opened the score without preparation. The home team did not lay down their arms and pushed the favorite, the shots of Boženík and Kuck were close to equalizing, but in both cases Ivušič hit brilliantly and Škriniar scored the goal in the last action of the even match.