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Thread: LIVE: Škotska - Hrvatska U19 live stream FREE - 24.5. online TV European U19 Champio

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    Default LIVE: Škotska - Hrvatska U19 live stream FREE - 24.5. online TV European U19 Champio

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    Škotska - Hrvatska U19 live stream

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    Pre-independence

    Football was introduced to Croatia by English expatriates in Rijeka and Županja in 1873; the official rulebook was recognized in 1896. By 1908 local clubs had been established in Croatia and a modern edition of the sport's laws was published.[11] FIFA records document a Croatian national team playing a full-length fixture against domestic opposition in 1907.[2] Before the nation's independence, Croatian footballers played for the national teams of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1919–39) and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945–90), though during periods of political upheaval, ethnically Croatian sides sometimes formed to play unofficial matches.[12] A hastily-arranged national side, managed by Hugo Kinert, played a few private domestic matches in 1918–19.[13][14]
    The first recognized Croatian team played against Switzerland in 1940.

    In 1940, Jozo Jakopić led an unofficial national team representing the Banovina of Croatia in four friendly matches: two against Switzerland and two against Hungary.[1] Croatia made their debut as an independently sanctioned team by defeating the Swiss 4–0 in Zagreb on April 2, 1940.[note 1] Following invasion by the Axis powers, the Croatian Football Federation became briefly active, joining FIFA on July 17, 1941 as the Independent State of Croatia. The national side, under the direction of Rudolf Hitrec, played fifteen friendly matches, fourteen as an official FIFA member.[2][15] Croatia's first recorded result as a FIFA associate was a 1–1 tie with Slovakia on September 8 in Bratislava.[1] Further matches were played until 1945 when the Independent State of Croatia was abolished and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia assumed control, thereby ending the team's affiliation with FIFA.[15]

    From 1950 to 1956 another unofficial Croatian team was briefly active; it won games against Indonesia and a Yugoslav team playing as "Serbia".[14] The Yugoslavia squad at the 1956 Summer Olympics included Croatian footballers,[16] as did Yugoslavia in World Cup and European Championship tournaments up to 1990.[17][18]
    [edit] Official formation

    The last Yugoslav team to field a considerable Croatian contingent played against Sweden on May 16, 1991, days before Croatia's independence referendum.[19] Another Croatian team formed during this time; it played its first modern international game, against the United States, on October 17, 1990 at Maksimir Stadium. The game, which Croatia won 2–1,[20] was one of three games played under original manager Dražan Jerković. Croatia won twice more under his direction before Stanko Poklepović and Vlatko Marković each briefly headed the team. The match against the American side also marked the introduction of Croatia's national jersey. Designed with unique chequers, the initial kit was widely acknowledged for its originality.[21] Croatia was still considered part of Yugoslavia until its independence declaration on October 8, 1991, but this team already served as a de facto national team.[22][23]

    In mid-1992 the team joined FIFA and UEFA. The team's performances before Croatia's independence were not recorded by FIFA, so they entered the World Rankings in 125th place.[3][10] Miroslav Blažević was appointed manager and oversaw the team's qualifying campaign for Euro 96, beginning with Croatia's first officially recognized post-independence victory: a 2–0 win over Estonia on September 4, 1994. Their first competitive defeat came on June 11, 1995, with a 1–0 away loss to Ukraine during the same qualifying campaign.[1] They finished on top of their qualifying group[24] and won FIFA's 1994 Best Mover of the Year award as their international rankings rose.[25]
    [edit] "Golden Generation"

    Soccer.Field Transparant.png
    Vlaović
    Šuker
    Asanović
    Boban
    (c)
    Soldo
    (Prosinečki)
    Stanić
    Jarni
    Bilić
    Šimić
    Štimac
    Ladić
    Croatia's 3-5-2 lineup during the 1998 World Cup. Initial striker Alen Bokšić was withdrawn due to injury.

    Goran Vlaović scored the team's first goal at a major tournament, a late winner against Turkey at the City Ground during Euro 96.[26] After their opening victory Croatia beat reigning champions Denmark 3–0,[27] a match in which striker Davor Šuker scored with a lob from 12 yards after receiving a long pass. He later described the goal as a favourite.[28] Croatia lost 3–0 to Portugal in their final group fixture[29] but still advanced to the knockout stages, where they were beaten by eventual champions Germany in the quarter finals.[30]

    Miroslav Blažević remained as manager during Croatia's 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign, which ended successfully with victory over Ukraine in the play-offs. In the group stage of the World Cup, Croatia beat Jamaica and Japan but lost to Argentina, before defeating Romania to reach a quarter final tie against Germany, then ranked second in the world.[31] Though regarded as underdogs, Croatia won 3–0, with goals from Robert Jarni, Goran Vlaović and Davor Šuker after Christian Wörns was sent off for Germany. Croatia faced the host nation, France, in the semi-final: after a goalless first-half, Croatia took the lead, only to concede two goals by opposing defender Lilian Thuram and lose 2–1. Croatia won third place by defeating the Netherlands, and Davor Šuker won the Golden Boot award for scoring the most goals in the tournament.[32] This was among the best debut performances in the World Cup, and as a result, Croatia were placed third in the January 1999 FIFA World Rankings, their highest ranking to date.[10][17] Croatia again won the Best Mover of the Year award in 1998.[7] For their achievements the team of the 1990s was dubbed the "Golden Generation".[33][34] Many of these players were also in the former Yugoslavia under-20 team which won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile.

    Despite these successes in their first two major competitions, Croatia finished third in their Euro 2000 qualifying group, behind Yugoslavia and Republic of Ireland, and thus failed to qualify.[35] Both fixtures between Croatia and Yugoslavia ended in draws; this fuelled the politically-based tension between fans of the two teams, and political protests broke out during the fixture in Belgrade.[36] The return match in Zagreb ended in a 2–2 draw, preventing Croatia from qualifying for the tournament.[28]
    [edit] Decline under Jozić and Barić (early 2000s)

    Coach Blažević resigned in autumn 2000 and Mirko Jozić was appointed his successor. Despite the retirement of many "Golden Generation" players, Croatia were unbeaten in their qualifying matches for the 2002 World Cup. They commenced the tournament campaign with a narrow loss to Mexico before producing a surprise 2–1 victory over Euro 2000 finalists Italy in the next fixture.[37][38] At the tournament the team blamed the pressure of high expectations[39] for their final fixture loss to Ecuador which prevented their progression to the knockout stages.[40] Jozić resigned and was replaced in July 2002 by former Fenerbahçe coach Otto Barić, the team's first manager born outside the Balkans.[41][42]

    Under Barić Croatia performed indifferently in the Euro 2004 qualifiers, reaching the tournament finals with a playoff 2-1 on aggregate win against Slovenia, with Dado Pršo's crucial goal in the second leg.[43] At the tournament Croatia drew 2–2 with reigning champions France[44] but lost to England and were eliminated in the group stage.[45] Barić's two-year contract ended in July 2004 and was not renewed.[46]
    [edit] Kranjčar and Bilić's revival

    Former Croatia international Zlatko Kranjčar, appointed to succeed Barić in July 2004, oversaw Croatia's qualification for the 2006 World Cup without losing a match,[47][48] but was accused of nepotism for selecting his son Niko for the national squad.[49] Croatia lost their opening game to Brazil[50] and drew 0–0 with Japan after Dario Srna missed a first-half penalty.[51] A 2–2 draw with Australia, in which three players were sent off, confirmed Croatia's elimination at the group stage.[52] The game was notable also for a mistake by referee Graham Poll, who awarded three yellow cards to Croatia's Josip Šimunić.[note 2] Poll, heavily criticized for losing control of the match, retired from refereeing shortly afterwards.[53]

    The HNS replaced Kranjčar with Slaven Bilić in July 2006.[54] Bilić appointed several younger players to the squad[55] and saw early success,[56][57][58] including a 2–0 friendly victory over Italy in his first match.[59] Having controversially suspended players Dario Srna, Ivica Olić and Boško Balaban for missing a curfew after a turbofolk nightclub outing,[60] Bilić led the team in qualification for Euro 2008; they topped their group,[61] losing only one game (to Macedonia) and beating England twice, who consequently failed to qualify for the first time since 1984.[62]

    After primary striker Eduardo da Silva suffered a compound fracture while playing in the English Premier League, Bilić was forced to alter his tournament squad significantly[63][64] and recruited Nikola Kalinić and Nikola Pokrivač, neither of whom had yet played competitive games for the national team.[65][66] The team received criticism after poor attacking performances in warm-up games against Scotland and Moldova,[67][68] but at the tournament beat Austria, Germany, and Poland to reach the quarter finals with maximum group points for the first time in their tournament history.[69] Niko Kovač remained team captain at what was expected to be his final international tournament,[70] except in the final group fixture when Dario Šimić temporarily held the position.[71] Croatia's tournament run ended dramatically when they lost a penalty shoot-out to Turkey,[57][72][73] but secured the tournament record for fewest goals conceded (2), fewest games lost (0),[note 3] and earliest goal (in the fourth minute of their opening game against Austria—this was also the all-time earliest successful penalty at the European Championship Finals).[74]

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