Luka Modric gave dominant Croatia a 1-0 victory over Turkey with a stunning volley, but they also hit the bar twice in Paris.
Croatia therefore currently lead Group D, as Spain and the Czech Republic play tomorrow.
These sides famously clashed in the Euro 2008 quarter-final, which saw Turkey go through on penalties after a 1-1 draw, and Croatia took revenge by winning the Euro 2012 play-off 3-0 on aggregate. There were five Serie A players in the Croatian XI, while new Inter full-back Caner Erkin featured for Fatih Terim’s men.
Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic had a couple of early chances, but couldn’t keep his headers on target, while Fiorentina man Milan Badel’s volley was straight at the goalkeeper.
Turkey were pegged back into their own half, but had a fantastic opportunity on 29 minutes, Danijel Subasic struggling to stop an Ozan Tufan header crossing the line.
Croatia did finally break through with a stunning volley from Luka Modric, who waited for a clearance to drop down and smacked it from a good 20 metres. In a sign of more issues with stadium security, a Croatian fan ran on to the pitch to celebrate with the players.
After the restart, Darijo Srna’s free kick bounced off the crossbar, then Ivan Perisic’s cross was beaten into the path of Srna only to fire wide.
Brozovic hit another fine volley inches over, then it was an all-Inter move as Brozovic sliding in just failed to meet a Perisic cross from four yards.
Croatia had numerous scoring opportunities, including a Brozovic header palmed away with one hand and Perisic hitting the frame of the goal yet again with a header from Mario Mandzukic’s cross.
Vedran Corluka earned credit for bleeding heavily from a head injury for over an hour, having to change his bandages twice, and making a last-gasp block in the box.
Turkey 0-1 Croatia
Modric 41 (C)
Turkey: Babacan; Gonul, Topal, Balta, Erkin; Tufan, Selcuk Inan, Ozyakup (Volkan Sen 46); Calhanoglu, Arda Turan (Burak Yilmaz 65); Tosun (Emre Mor 69)
Croatia: Subasic; Srna, Corluka, Vida, Strinic; Modric, Badelj; Brozovic, Rakitic (Schildenfeld 89), Perisic (Kramaric 86); Mandzukic (Pjaca 92)
Ref: Eriksson (SWE)
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