2022 World Cup Qualifying - UEFA, Group Stage
  • Sandi Lovric (15')

Slovenia stun Croatia with Lovric strike in World Cup qualifying opener

Slovenia celebrated a 1-0 home win over their more heralded neighbours Croatia in their opening 2022 World Cup Group H qualifier after Sandi Lovric struck in the 15th minute to sink the 2018 tournament's runners-up on Wednesday.

Midfielder Lovric beat Croatia keeper Dominik Livakovic with a heavily deflected shot from 15 metres five minutes after Croatia forward Nikola Vlasic hit the post at the other end when he was through on goal.

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Croatia dominated the match but looked disjointed and were lucky not to fall further behind as Livakovic kept out an Andraz Sporar effort after Ivan Perisic almost scored an own goal.

At the other end, Slovenia keeper Jan Oblak had a largely quiet evening, having easily smothered tame efforts from Domagoj Vida and Mislav Orsic.

The home team's substitute Blaz Kramer missed an 89th-minute sitter to make it 2-0 before Slovenia hung on comfortably in stoppage time.