Croatia beats Ireland 3-1 at Euro 2012
POZNAN, Poland — Playing in a difficult group with Spain and Italy, it’s Croatia at the top.
The Croats took advantage of a frail Ireland defense to win their opening match at the European Championship, getting two goals from Mario Mandzukic in a 3-1 victory Sunday night at rainy Municipal Stadium.
“I still can’t believe what we just did. It was a fantastic victory,” Mandzukic said. “We knew it would be a tough match, but we responded excellently and we achieved a great victory.”
Croatia leads Group C with three points, while Spain and Italy each have one point after their 1-1 draw in Gdansk. Ireland, which is playing at a major tournament for the first time in 10 years, is last. The Croats next face Italy on Thursday.
Ireland: Shay Given; John O’Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St. Ledger, Stephen Ward; Damien Duff, Keith Andrews, Glenn Whelan, Aiden McGeady (Simon Cox, 54); Robbie Keane (Shane Long, 75), Kevin Doyle (Jon Walters, 53).
Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa; Darijo Srna, Vedran Corluka, Gordon Schildenfeld, Ivan Strinic; Ivan Rakitic (Tomislav Dujmovic, 92), Ognjen Vukojevic, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic (Eduardo, 89); Nikica Jelavic (Niko Kranjcar, 72), Mario Mandzukic.
Short URL: http://woodlawnpost.com/?p=51969