Croatia goes to World Cup at the expense of Russia after an own goal by veteran Kudryashov


Croatia besieged the Russians’ goal throughout the match, but without much success, in search of the victory that the 2018 runner-up needed to secure her automatic place in Group H and send Russia to the playoffs.

However, the opening goal, in the 81st minute, came from the ice of a Russian. The Croatian Borna Sosa sent a cross far too deep, which surpassed his teammates. Russian defender Fedor Kudriashov has sent the ball into his own net, trying to intercept it.

In a torrential downpour, in front of an exuberant crowd, Croatia started with the hope of making a pass game, with midfielder Luka Modric in the foreground. By the break, the increasingly waterlogged terrain made this impossible and turned the game into a succession of crosses, long speculative shots and uncontrolled sliding attacks.

Russia would have qualified with a draw and had little ambition other than to survive the 90 minutes. The Russians did not register a shot to the goal until the 74th minute, and the Croatian goalkeeper Ivo Grbic did not have to make any parade. Even after Kudriashov’s own goal changed the fate of the match, Russia had a single shot from distance, over the goal, by defender Vyacheslav Karavaev.

The defeat was the first for the new coach of Russia, Valery Karpin, in his first seven matches on the technical bench of the Russians.

Slovakia, third in the standings, won without any problems, 6-0 against Malta. Slovenia defeated Cyprus 2-1.

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