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Madjer scores two goals for Croatia – first presentation for former Dortmund player Pasalic

Madjer scores two goals for Croatia – first presentation for former Dortmund player Pasalic

Croatia easily won their last home match before the European Championship in Germany, 3-0 against North Macedonia. But the next tough test will be tough.

In focus: Lovro Mager scored a brace against North Macedonia.
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A 3-0 win in Rijeka, where the Croatians are holding a two-week training camp, sparked home European Championship euphoria on Monday night. From the beginning, national team coach Zlatko Dalic relied on the duo of Union Juranovic and former Stuttgart player Sosa in the defensive aspects. Offensively, Wolfsburg's Madjer, former Wolfsburg player Perisic (currently Hajduk Split) and Hoffenheim's Kramaric rushed behind striker Petkovic (Dinamo Zagreb).

Before half-time, the focus was on Madjer in particular: just ten minutes later, the left-footed player converted a free-kick from a right-half position just next to the right post – and North Macedonia goalkeeper Dimitrievski didn't even jump. Seconds before the end of the first half, the 26-year-old made it 2-0 (45th place) after brilliant backheel work from Petkovic with his weaker right hand.

After the break, individual matches began for both teams, with former Dortmund player Pasalic notably being substituted. In the 79th minute, a cross from the left wing flew to the second post, where former St. Pauli striker Budimir's shot was blocked by Dimitrievski – but Pasalic shot powerfully under the crossbar. For the Karlsruhe player, who now plays for HNK Rijeka, it was his first ever international goal.

“A real test awaits” in Lisbon

But it is already clear that Croatia will have to put in more effort in the last test match: on June 8th, a comparison awaits us with Portugal, which won the European Championship in 2016. Dalic recently explained: “This friendly match in Lisbon is a real test before… The opening match of the European Championship against Spain.

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The day after the Portugal match, the Croats moved to the tournament headquarters in Neuruppin, Brandenburg. In the second group, Spain (June 15 in Berlin), Albania (June 19 in Hamburg) and defending champion Italy (June 24 in Leipzig) are also waiting.