Croatia 1 England 4 World Cup

September 11, 2008 | Filed Under: UK Box 
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FOOTBALL Croatia England Walcott - 0

Theo Walcott fully justified his inclusion in Fabio Capello’s line-up after netting a stunning hat-trick as England downed 10-man Croatia 4-1 in their World Cup qualifier in Zagreb.

Wayne Rooney was also on the scoresheet – his first international goal in nearly a year – as England finally put in a performance worthy of the hype that so often goes before them.

Considering that, heading into the game, Croatia were unbeaten in competitive matches at home, such a convincing victory – off the back of an uninspiring 2-0 win over minnows Andorra at the weekend – was all the more impressive.

England’s cause was slightly helped by the dismissal of Robert Kovac early in the second half – for a leading elbow on Joe Cole, who was forced off with blood gushing from a head wound – but with England already a goal to the good at the time, his departure did little to affect the result.

Substitute Mario Mandzukic netted on 78 minutes to pull Croatia back to 3-1, but it proved nothing more than consolation for the hosts as England maintained their perfect start to the qualifying campaign and took control of Group 6.


BBC World Cup 2010 Qualifiers Highlights

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