Croatia played with class and precision to secure their 3-1 win over the republic of Ireland.
Slaven Bilic’s team played with an energy and directness which could cause problems for the other group C teams Italy and Spain.
Two of the Croatian goals came via the head of Mario Mandzukic, the first just three minutes in was a cross by Darijo Srna from just inside the box which was quickly headed to the right of goal out of reach of the Irish keeper..
Sean St. Ledger scored Ireland’s only goal of the game in the 19th minute, but before the half was out Croatia had scored again, a strike by Nikica Jelavić taking the game to 2-1. This goal caused some controversy as it appeared two of Croatia’s players may have been offside.
Three minutes into the second half Bilic’s side scored for a third time with a textbook manoeuvre. Ivan Perišić making a powerful strike into the box that Mandzukic was once again able to get his head to.
The header actually hit the post but was knocked in by unlucky Irish keeper, Shane Given. After the 1-1 draw between Italy and Spain Croatia sit comfortably at the top of their group.