Croatia edge out Russia to qualify for 2022 World Cup | Football News – Times of India

SPLIT (Croatia): Croatia secured their place on the 2022 World Cup with a 1-0 win over Russia on Sunday, a late personal aim from Fedor Kudryashov swinging the sport of their favour after a tough-fought battle in boggy circumstances in Split.
Finalists on the final World Cup in 2018, Croatia seemed sure for the play-offs for a lot of Sunday’s sport, as they toiled on a waterlogged pitch towards a resolute Russian defence.
But Kudryashov’s error noticed them snatch prime spot from the guests eight minutes from time and safe their passage to subsequent 12 months’s event in Qatar.
An early header from Andrej Kramaric set the tone for a primary half through which Croatia had the lion’s share of possession and piled on the stress in search of an opener.
Marcelo Brozovic additionally shaved the bar with a protracted-vary effort, earlier than each he and Josip Juranovic pressured saves from Russian keeper Matvey Safonov.
Safonov beat away one other Kramaric header with a reflex save simply after the break, earlier than denying substitute Bruno Petkovic on the hour mark.
The circumstances made it tougher and tougher for Croatia because the second half progressed, with the pitch changing into ever extra boggy below the heavy rain.
The probabilities had all however dried up when Borna Sosa despatched a hopeful ball into the field on 82 minutes.
Though below no stress, Kudryashov struggled to management the ball because it skidded on the moist floor, and watched helplessly on because it bounced off his knee and contained in the submit.
While Croatia qualify routinely as Group H winners, Russia can nonetheless make it via by way of the play-offs.

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