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Well we put ourselves in a position where Croatia haven't been many times. The past two qualifying cycles have been smooth sailings in general terms, sure there were some points dropped but they both times qualified with one game left to play.

The last time Croatia put themselves in a hole was the Baric era (Euro 2004 qualifiers) where they dropped a point at home to Estonia, lost to Bulgaria in the opening month and they even lost to Belgium away later that qualifying cycle yet still managed to qualify for the playoffs.

With the loss at home to England (again something Croatia not accustomed to, losing at home!) Croatia put themselves in a position where they may have to run the table, and these tricky away matches are must-wins almost.

I think Croatia need to run the table at home now, not even a draw at home is good enough. Away from home I still think they can afford a few draws, though a loss can be trouble.

It stinks that already the third match of the qualifiers can determine Croatia's destiny in the qualifiers, but that's life and it's never easy to qualify and they themselves put their selves in this position. Time to step up and show why they are top 10 in the world.
 

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i would have assumed that we would have had to win on the road anyway, I'm not too worried, I hope this game against the English was a wake up call for our players that we wont be handed the group.
 

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well in 98 we did just squeek in the playoff for a birth in france98. One thing is for sure is that qualification is a long process, to say its done for us is rediculous. Theres alot more games to play relax guys.
 

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well it all depends on other results really.

the lesser the better

oh and hs...position where we haven't been in many times? dude qualis for euro96, euro08 and wc06 are the only qualis ever that have gone smooth.
every other we had a hard time. in qualis for wc98 only reason why we saw playoffs against ukraine was because on the last day of the qualis peter schmeichel had one of the best games of his career as he kept the clean sheep and hade fantastic saves against greeks in greece.
 

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HS it sounds like we are doomed two games into the campaign, but this is not the reality.

I would have rather that this loss was vs englad at home than vs say Belarus or Ukraine at home (Infact if I had to chose a loss I would rather that it was Eng away)

Basically lets get the positives out of this and there are many.

1. No Robert Kovač in the next game, lets give Križanec the chance to CEMENT a spot!

2. Big loss, huge margin, brought us back down to earth with a cold shower and it means we will never underestimate anyone again, especially not England.

3. It came early in the campaign so it gives us a chance to fix it!

Lets take the pozitive out of it like coreuptrec said !!!!
 

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only reason why we saw playoffs against ukraine was because on the last day of the qualis peter schmeichel had one of the best games of his career as he kept the clean sheep and hade fantastic saves against greeks in greece.
Yes I remember we had a 1 on 1 with him and he saved it. Game ended in a draw.
 

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Knezevic made a terrible mistake not marking Rooney for the third goal also...10 men really fcuked us this game, it seemed like england would score everytime down the pitch.

We need 3 points in the Ukraine to save face, gain some confidence, show that this was an off day and put the english under pressure in their "easy" fixtures.
 

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Knezevic made a terrible mistake not marking Rooney for the third goal also...10 men really fcuked us this game, it seemed like england would score everytime down the pitch.

We need 3 points in the Ukraine to save face, gain some confidence, show that this was an off day and put the english under pressure in their "easy" fixtures.
I can't really agree with this, if its anyone's fault its Corluka's and Srna. Corluka was going up the field when Srna was stripped on the side line there(why the hell he was playing with the ball like that is anyone's guess :rollani:). Pokrivac(was just subbed on seconds ago) came down toward Jenas, but Knezevic had to wait and see if Jenas was gonna go bye Pokrivac, because there was same space, or was he gonna cut the ball back(and let Pokrivac go bye him) and try for a shot himself. He had to wait for a decisive move by Jenas. I think he was positioned as well as he could be, he was in no mans land- its was by inches that he missed that ball. You would think Niko Kovac would have moved somewhere into that area by then- because he should have responsibilites at the top of the box area.

edit: I forgot Niko Kovac came off for Pokrivac, I guess i can't hold that one on him. Sorry I forgot, me bad, I was making something just now when it occurred to me that Kovac was substituted . We'll let N.Kovac go this time :smileani:
 

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Let's just imagine that England will drop a few points along the way?
 

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I can't really agree with this, if its anyone's fault its Corluka's and Srna. Corluka was going up the field when Srna was stripped on the side line there(why the hell he was playing with the ball like that is anyone's guess :rollani:). Pokrivac(was just subbed on seconds ago) came down toward Jenas, but Knezevic had to wait and see if Jenas was gonna go bye Pokrivac, because there was same space, or was he gonna cut the ball back(and let Pokrivac go bye him) and try for a shot himself. He had to wait for a decisive move by Jenas. I think he was positioned as well as he could be, he was in no mans land- its was by inches that he missed that ball. You would think Niko Kovac would have moved somewhere into that area by then- because he should have responsibilites at the top of the box area.
He placed himself between the man with ball at feet and the goal, thus acting like a second keeper instead of marking the open man, that open man then got the back pass in a central position and scored.

Had Knezevic kept between his man (Rooney) and the ball, he would have forced a bad pass or a much more difficult shot from a tighter angle from Jenas. Clear mistake IMO.
 

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He placed himself between the man with ball at feet and the goal, thus acting like a second keeper instead of marking the open man, that open man then got the back pass in a central position and scored.

Had Knezevic kept between his man (Rooney) and the ball, he would have forced a bad pass or a much more difficult shot from a tighter angle from Jenas. Clear mistake IMO.
I've looked at the replay about 10 times now I'm not sure he could of done better(unless he had longer legs or bigger feet then maybe :howler:) Plus the ball was tailing away slightly from Knezevic, and kicked at that pace, the only way he could have gotten to that ball was if he had left Pokrivac to fend for himself. Because Pokrivac had to take a steeper angle to stop Jenas and was further away, thus Knezevic needed to be an intial deterent and play the passing lane at the same time. Even if he got a greater touch on the ball, Lampard was right on the edge of box a slight distance behind Rooney and he may of ended up with it(if it deflected off Knezevic somehow or jenas passed to him because Corluka wasn't on top of him). Either way, the blame should rest with Srna and Corluka for heading up field before the ball was properly controlled/cleared IMO.
 

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yeah maybe, this way Rooney was unmarked and Knezevic was marking Pletikosa.
 

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Absolutely correct HS... they may win a lot of games... but they won't impress in doing so.

But I guess "results" is what matters most.
 

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We're really behind the 8-ball in terms of direct qualification. Only England and Ukraine stumbling unexpectedly can get us back in the race for top spot. Realistically we need 7 points from the two UKR games and the ENG return fixture. Obviously winning both ties against Belarus is a must as well as I'm certain one of the big 3 in this group will drop serious points against Hleb and company somewhere along the way.

Basically, when things are no longer in your own hands you can't afford ANY slip-ups. We're very close to that situation even if it's only 2 games into the campaign.
 
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