A superb goal from Luka Modric separated the two rivals and earned Croatia three points in their opening Group D fixture on Sunday. The Real Madrid midfielder found the back of the next after volleying a high clearance from 25 metres out.
Turkey had a handful of chances as Darifo Srna hit the bar with a free kick, while Ozan Tufan’s header was blocked on the line by Danijel Subasic.
Croatia’s quality in midfield overall outshone Turkey’s as they were largely held back and overrun. Yet overall the Turks dealt reasonably well with the constant attacks launched by the Vatreni.
Volkan Babacan– 6– The goalkeeper made a number of routine saves throughout the game, but was at fault for Modric’s goal. While the midfielder’s strike was fantastic had the Babacan not stepped back he would have been able to catch the strike easily as it bounced.
Gokhan Gonul- 6- The right back was effective going forward and provided some great crosses into the box which should have been scored. However, Gonul was given a hard time by winger Ivan Perisic, pinning him back for a lot of the game.
Mehmet Topal- 5- The centre-back was giving a tough time in the air by Mario Mandzukic but coped reasonably well to limit the damage from Croatia, making six clearances in total.
Hakan Balta- 6- The Galatasaray defender was cautioned early on in the game meaning he was reasonably quiet throughout the 90 minutes. Yet, Balta won 100% of his aerial duels and made seven clearances in the game.
Caner Erkin- 6- The left back had his work cut out while chasing Marcelo Brozovic and Srna but was tidy in defence. He also failed to score one of Turkey’s best chances from a free kick but did draw a solid save.
In midfield and attack
Hakan Calhanoglu- 6- The Bayer Leverkusen showed glimpses of promise, but was largely out maneuvered by Croatia’s superior midfield and so faded out of the game.
Ozan Tufan- 6- The midfielder kept the ball well, completing 93% of his passes, but Tufan missed, arguably, Turkey’s best chance as he headed Gonul’s perfect cross straight at Croatian goalkeeper Subasic.
Selcuk Inan- 7- The Galatasaray midfielder covered his defence well and dealt well with Croatia’s constant attacks. However, like the rest of Turkey’s midfield he had little impact going forward.
Oguzhan Ozyakup- 5- The midfielder was replaced at the break after making little impact on the team.
Arda Turan- 6- Turkey’s star man and captain had a bigger impact dropping deep through out the game, but it was obvious that he lacked game time as he was dealt with easily. The captain was withdrawn after 65 minutes.
Cenk Tosun- 5- The lone striker didn’t manage a shot on goal but he battled hard for any opportunities that did come about. He was left isolated up front as his teammates fought to deal with Croatia’s constant attacks.