Euro 2012: Croatia beat Ireland 3-1June 11th, 2012 - 3:57 am ICT by IANS
Poznan (Poland), June 11 (IANS / RIA Novosti) Two headers by Mario Mandzukic made the difference as Croatia took the lead in Euro 2012’s Group C after a 3-1 win over Ireland.
Mandzukic scored the fastest goal of the tournament so far when he opened the scoring in the third minute, with a header from Darijo Srna’s deflected ball.
Ireland responded fifteen minutes later with a close-range header from defender Sean St Ledger, who used his strength to beat Vedran Corluka to Aiden McGeady’s free kick.
Everton forward Nikica Jelavic restored Croatia’s lead on 43 minutes, flicking the ball over the onrushing Shay Given from Luka Modric’s pass.
The Irish claimed the strike was offside, but the referee dismissed their appeals. The match was then stopped for around a minute as Croatian fans celebrated by throwing pyrotechnics.
Mandzukic scored three minutes into the second half as well, with a header from Ivan Perisic’s cross that ricocheted in off the post and Given’s head.
Earlier Sunday two goals in three minutes saw Spain and Italy share the points with a 1-1 draw in their Euro 2012 opener, as Cesc Fabregas canceled out Antonio Di Natale’s strike with a goal of his own.
Ireland: Shay Given, John O’Shea, Sean St Ledger, Stephen Ward, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Keith Andrews, Glenn Whelan, Robbie Keane (Shane Long, 75′), Kevin Doyle (Jon Walters, 53′), Aiden McGeady (Simon Cox, 54′).
Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa, Gordon Schildenfeld, Vedran Corluka, Ivan Strinic, Darijo Srna, Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, Ognjen Vukojevic, Nikica Jelavic (Niko Kranjcar, 72′), Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic.
- Croatia dark horses of Euro 2012 - Jun 03, 2012
- Euro 2012: Last-gasp Navas goal sends Spain through, Croatia out - Jun 19, 2012
- Euro 2012: Cassano and Balotelli send Italy to quarters - Jun 19, 2012
- Euro 2012: Mandzukic strike help Croatia draw 1-1 with Italy (Lead) - Jun 15, 2012
- Euro 2012: Torres on song as Spain knock out Ireland - Jun 15, 2012
- Euro 2012: Mandzukic strike help Croatia draw 1-1 with Italy - Jun 15, 2012
- McGeady eyes revenge against Alania - Jul 17, 2012
- Euro 2012: Italy won't cramp Croatia's attacking style, says Bilic - Jun 14, 2012
- Euro 2012: Ireland to again play on the big stage - Jun 03, 2012
- Euro 2012 Group C Preview: Ireland may decide who survive - Jun 05, 2012
- Champions League: Messi's brace sinks brave Spartak - Sep 20, 2012
- Corluka's health woes solvable: Lokomotiv coach - Sep 19, 2012
- Spartak beat Fenerbahce in Champions League playoffs - Aug 22, 2012
- Euro 2012: Torres wins Golden Boot - Jul 02, 2012
- Spartak seal passage to Champions League group stage - Aug 30, 2012
Tags: aiden mcgeady, antonio di natale, damien duff, darijo srna, euro 2012, fabregas, ivan rakitic, john o shea, kevin doyle, luka modric, niko kranjcar, ognjen vukojevic, perisic, ria novosti, richard dunne, robbie keane, simon cox, st ledger, stipe pletikosa, vedran corluka