Dani Olmo turned in Alejandro Balde's driven low cross on 13 minutes in Malaga and Joselu scored twice on his Spain debut to give new coach Luis de la Fuente a victory in his first match in charge
As Croatia and Morocco pick up the pieces after their World Cup semi-finals defeats, the two teams will welcome the prospect of potentially leaving Qatar on a high when they square up in the third-place playoff on Saturday.
Morocco may have seen their dreams of a maiden World Cup final crushed at the hands of defending champions France, but coach Walid Regragui is happy to have guided his side to the stage, which was beyond the wildest imagination of the most fervent supporters before the tournament.
Win and you have a seat at the finals. Lose and you go home. In this high-risk and high-reward situation, we have only four teams left at the FIFA World Cup 2022 and Croatia amongst them have earned our respect a while ago. They have dismantled some big teams on their way to the road to the final. Here are 5 reasons why Croatia is a force to be reckoned with.
Croatia and Morocco are the surprise guests in the World Cup's final four but, as the Croatians discovered in 2018 and many other long-shot semi-finalists have before them, the two remaining steps to become world champions can be the steepest.
Legendary German footballer and a member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG), Jurgen Klinsmann, opined that Brazil made a mistake by not sending their best penalty takers in their quarterfinal defeat against Croatia.
Real Madrid stalwart Luka Modric after yet another fine performance against Brazil in the quarter-final of FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar revealed that he sees glimpses of his club mentality in the Croatian side.
Croatia will not attempt to stop Argentina superstar Lionel Messi by man-marking him but instead will focus on immobilising the entire team in their World Cup semi-final on Tuesday, they said.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic pledged "this is not the end" after his team sensationally dumped Brazil out of the World Cup on penalties at the quarter-final stage on Friday.
Croatia have performed wonders to punch above their weight for so long in international football and are determined to keep their reputation going against Japan in their last-16 match at the World Cup on Monday, coach Zlatko Dalic said.
Croatia reached the last 16 of the World Cup after a tension-filled 0-0 draw with Belgium on Thursday that ensured the last hurrah of the Belgian 'golden generation' ended in a dismal group-stage exit.
No wins in their opening two matches, including a 2-1 shock against Japan, have left Germany reeling at bottom of Group E, meaning they must win against Costa Rica and then rely on 2010 champions Spain to beat Japan in order to remain in contention for qualification.
Canada manager John Herdman said on Saturday his team was fired up for a test against 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia after the Canadians fell to Belgium 1-0 despite outplaying them.
Germany begin their path to World Cup redemption on Wednesday after the 2018 horror show in Russia, with Spain and Croatia also kicking off their campaigns in Qatar.
Croatia take on Morocco to begin their World Cup campaign as they hope to not only execute a repeat of an astonishing 2018 World Cup run but aspire to go a step further this time around.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic named his World Cup squad on Wednesday, with the 2018 runners up led by veteran captain Luka Modric.
If surprise 2018 runners-up Croatia take the World Cup by storm again in Qatar, in the thick of it this time will probably be Mateo Kovacic, one of the beating hearts of their midfield.
France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final of the World Cup in Moscow to win the world title for the second time.
Croatia, a small east European nation with a population of just 4 million, become the smallest and lowest ranked team ever to reach a World Cup final.