Luka modrić gol Hrvatska turska croatia turkey euro 2016.jpg
Celebration after Luka Modric goal
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR/ lsd

Luka Modric scored with a stunning volley shortly before half-time as Croatia beat Turkey 1-0 at Euro 2016 on Sunday in a match rated crucial for progression from Group D.

Man-of-the-match Modric found the net from some 25 metres out in the 41st minute, with Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Babacan not looking good although the ball was well-placed into the bottom right corner.

Croatia captain Darijo Srna and Ivan Perisic were denied by the bar as Croatia should have increased the lead, while Turkey's only notable chance was a first-half header from Cenk Tosun.

The victory in front of a 43,842-strong and noisy crowd at the Parc des Princes will give Croatia confidence and puts them in a good position for the next games against the Czech Republic on June 17 and title holders Spain on June 21.

Spain are considered group favourites, and the winner of Sunday's match rated the top contender for second place. Spain start Monday against the Czechs.

But Modric insisted this was "only the first step" and coach Ante Cacic said "I am more afraid of the Czech Republic than Turkey."

However there was huge satisfaction overall in the Croatia camp which also saw defender Vedran Corluka play on despite a head injury which required treatment several times.

"We are really confident from the first to the last player and showed this on the pitch today. We had lots of possession. We played like a big team and I think we are a big team," Modric said.

Cacic said that the Real Madrid star Modric had played a key role in what he said was one of his best national team showings.

"He was really our leader and scored this magical goal. Luka in this form makes the team look better and more aggressive," Cacic said.

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic had an early chance at the far left post but soon the two high-class midfield rows neutralised each other and chances became sparse in the drizzle.

Turkey had the first major chance in the 29th when Gokhan Gonul's floating cross into the area was met by the unmarked Tosun who however headed into the arms of Danijel Subasic.

Then came Modric's big moment.

Selcuk Inan cleared high out of the Turkish penalty area, and Real Madrid's Modric volleyed into the bottom left corner from some 25m, a well-placed effort which also took a bounce but still should have been kept out by Babacan.

It was the latest blunder by a goalkeeper at the tournament after Romania's Ciprian Tatarusanu, Matus Kocacik of Slovakia and Albania's Etrit Berisha had also made mistakes in recent days which led to goals.

Croatia then dominated after the break against a fading opponent who failed to threaten again against a firm Croatia defence.

Srna hit the top of the bar with a free-kick in the 52nd and Perisic was later also denied by the bar in just two of almost half a dozen chances.

Not even the introduction of super talent Emre Mor helped the Turks as coach Fatih Terim lamented defeat in yet another Euro opener.

"Unfortunately we never start well into these big tournaments. I am upset but we will learn our lessons," Terim said. "I didn't expect us to drop so much in the second half."

 

Related stories

Latest news

Francis, first pope to visit Anglicans in Rome, weighs S Sudan trip

Pope Francis became the first leader of the Catholic Church to visit the Anglican community in Rome on Sunday, where he said he was considering a trip to famine-struck South Sudan.

Ibrahimovic lifts Man United past Southampton in League Cup final

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an 87th-minute winner as Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 in an exciting League Cup final on Sunday.

London screens Iranian director's film amid Oscars boycott

Thousands of people watched a free screeening of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's film "The Salesman" in London on Sunday to coincide with the Oscars.

Messi grabs winner as Barcelona go top with victory over Atletico

Lionel Messi scored the winner as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Sunday to move top of the Spanish first division.

Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel member of The Leading Hotels of the World

The Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel has joined the Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., a global hospitality consortium of more than 375 hotels and resorts in over 75 countries.

Biggest Bosnian Serb party ceases all contact with Izetbegovic over ICJ judjment review request

The main committee of the biggest Bosnian Serb party which makes up the ruling majority in Bosnia and Herzegovina decided o Sunday that its officials would cease all contact with member of the Bosnian President Bakir Izetbegovic until the crisis occurred following the submission of a request to the International Court of justice (ICJ) to review its ruling against Serbia is resolved.

Egypt court adjourns Morsi retrial over prison escape

An Egyptian court adjourned a case against former president Mohamed Morsi until March 29 on Sunday, during the first session of his retrial over orchestrating a prison escape during the 2011 uprising.

Hamas rejects Netanyahu's proposal for international forces in Gaza

The Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to send international forces to the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave that Hamas has been ruling since 2007.

Deloitte: Growing optimism among CFOs

Chief financial officers (CFOs) in Croatia are more optimistic about growth and financial prospects in 2017 than they were last year, with most of them expecting increases in their company's revenue, a survey shows.

Russian agents main suspects for attempted coup in Montenegro

Russian citizens Eduard Shumakov and Vladimir Popoc, suspected of organising terrorist activities in Montenegro and forming a criminal organisation, are agents of Russia's Main Intelligence Agency (GRU), British, U.S. and other intelligence agencies confirmed, the Podgorica-based media reported on Sunday.

Six injured, 96 detained in Berlin fan clashes

Six people were treated in hospital and 96 detained in clashes in Berlin between fans of Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt, police said Sunday.

Croatian government condemns extremism

The Croatian government on Sunday condemned all forms of extremism and acts of provocative nature aimed against the Serb minority in Vukovar as well as the rally organised by the Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP) in Zagreb on Friday.