Croatia have set-up a Quarter-Final match against Japan with a 2-0 win over fellow European side Switzerland in Recife tonight, after not progressing past the Group Stage at the previous three tournaments (didn’t qualify in 2010).
Lokomotiv Moscow defender Vedran Corluka headed them in front in the 8th minute from a Rakitic corner, and they held off the Swiss for the next half an hour as Shaqiri, Barnetta, and Inler all came close to finding an equaliser.
The killer blow came five minutes before the break when Vrsaljko got a cross into the box from the right-hand side, that Eduardo poked towards goal. Benaglio made a fine point-blank save, but Mario Mandzukic was quickest to react and slotted home a second goal.
It was the new Spurs man’s third of the tournament, and 27th all-time Croatian goal, but the Swiss were unhappy at the flag not being raised for Eduardo who looked like he blocked the goalkeeper’s view from his offside position (middle, below).
Croatia did’t muster a shot on target in the second-half, and were carved open by the Swiss as they game went on, but they couldn’t beat Blazevic in the Croatian goal who put in a man-of-the-match performance to keep a clean sheet.
Croatia will play Japan in Fortaleza on Friday 04 July.
FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2014 MATCH 52: SECOND ROUND CROATIA 2-0 SWITZERLAND Corluka 8 Mandzukic 39 Recife
DORTMUND PLAYER WATCH: Ivan Perisic (CRO), On as an 86th minute sub. 3/3 passes.