Shakhtar players on international duty: Croats beat Russians

On 17 November, in Rostov-on-Don hosted an international friendly match between Russian and Croatia national teams.

Russia 1-3 Croatia

Goals: 1:0 Smolov (15), 1:1 N. Kalinic (57), 1:2 Brozovic (60), 1:3 Mandzukic (83)

Russia: Lodygin (Rebrov, 46), Shishkin, Vasin (Ignashevich, 89), Semenov, D. Kombarov (Novoseltsev, 65), Yusupov, Glushakov (Mamaev, 71), Ionov (Ignatiev, 65), Shirokov (c), Cheryshev (Dziuba, 70), Smolov

Croatia: L. Kalinic (Vargic 90+2), Srna (c), (Vrsaljko, 46), Leskovic, Vida, Mocinic, Brozovic, Badelj, Perisic, Pivaric, N. Kalinic (Milovic, 75), Mandzukic (Kramaric, 87)

Shakhtar’s defender Darijo Srna was performing the captain’s duties in the Croatia team. From the opening minutes, he was in the spotlight and delivered a few dangerous crosses from the right flank. But the visitors’ enthusiasm led to Russia’s goal: on 15 minutes Fedor Smolov headed in an Alexei Ionov cross to make it 1-0.

At the end of the first thirty minutes of the game, Croatia could have equalized. First Srna put Mandzukic through on goal, but the opposition goalkeeper made a save. Then, Darijo fired a shot from outside the penalty box, only for Russia’s goalkeeper to stop a shot again. Later Perisic missed the target from a god position.

After the half time break, Vrsalko came on for Srna. It was him, who made a perfect cross to Nikola Kalinic to net an equalizer. After literally three minutes, Brozovic fired a brilliant shot from the edge of the penalty area to make it 1-2. Late on Russians dominated proceedings and created a goal scoring opportunity, but Dzyuba failed to beat Lovre Kalinic. The visitors, in turn, did not waste their chance: 7 minutes from time, Mandzukic seized on Vrsalko pass to make it 1-3.