Croatia at the 1998 FIFA World Cup

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At the 1998 FIFA World Cup Croatia participated for in the event for the first time. The country went on to finish third place in the tournament.

Qualifications[edit]

Croatia was drawn into Group A of UEFA's World Cup qualifications along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Greece, and Slovenia. Croatia finished second, behind Denmark, and qualified for the World Cup. The team had the following results:

Results
Date Venue Opponent Score
October 8, 1996 Stadio Renato Dall'Ara,
Bologna
Bosnia and Herzegovina 4:1
November 10, 2004 Maksimir Stadium,
Zagreb
Greece 1:1
March 29, 1997 Poljud Stadium,
Split
Denmark 1:1
April 2, 1997 Poljud Stadium,
Split
Slovenia 3:3
April 30, 1997 Toumba Stadium,
Thessaloniki
Greece 1:0
September 6, 1997 Maksimir Stadium,
Zagreb
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3:2
September 10, 1997 Parken Stadium,
Copenhagen
Denmark 1:3
October 11, 1997 Bežigrad Stadium,
Ljubljana
Slovenia 3:1

The final standings were the following:

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Denmark 17 8 5 2 1 14 6 8
 Croatia 15 8 4 3 1 17 12 5
 Greece 14 8 4 2 2 11 4 7
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 9 8 3 0 5 9 14 -5
 Slovenia 1 8 0 1 7 5 20 -15

Croatia at the World Cup[edit]

At the World Cup, Croatia was drawn into Group H along with Argentina, Jamaica, Japan. The team advanced to the round of sixteen, finishing in second place in the group. The team had the following results:

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Argentina 9 3 3 0 0 7 0 +7
 Croatia 6 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2
 Jamaica 3 3 1 0 2 3 9 -6
 Japan 0 3 0 0 3 1 4 -3
Croatia 3 - 1 Jamaica
Croatia 1 - 0 Japan
Croatia 0 - 1 Argentina

June 14, 1998

Jamaica  1 - 3 (1-1)  Croatia 21:00 - Stade Félix Bollaert, Lens
Ref: Vítor Pereira (Portugal)
Attendance: 38,058
Earle 45' Stanić 27'
Prosinečki 53'
Šuker 69'

June 20, 1998

Japan  0 - 1 (0-0)  Croatia 14:30 - Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
Ref: Ramesh Ramdhan (Trinidad and Tobago)
Attendance: 35,500
Šuker 77'
 

June 26, 1998

Argentina  1 - 0 (1-0)  Croatia 16:00 - Parc Lescure, Bordeaux
Ref: Said Belqola (Morocco)
Attendance: 31,800
Pineda 36'

Croatia went on to face the Romanian squad in the round of sixteen.

June 30, 1998

Romania  0 - 1 (0-1)  Croatia 16:30 - Parc Lescure, Bordeaux
Ref: Javier Castrilli (Argentina)
Attendance: 31,800
Šuker (p) 45'+2'

Croatia then played the heavily favoured German squad in the quarter-finals after their victory over Romania.

July 4, 1998

Germany  0 - 3 (0-1)  Croatia 21:00 - Stade Gerland, Lyon
Ref: Rune Pedersen (Norway)
Attendance: 39,100
Jarni 45'+3'
Vlaović 80'
Šuker 85'

After this surprise victory, Croatia played the host French team.

July 8, 1998

France  2 - 1 (0-0)  Croatia 21:00 - Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Ref: José Garcia Aranda (Spain)
Attendance: 76,000
Thuram 47' Šuker 46'
Thuram 69'

Croatia lost the match against France, ending their World Cup dreams. However, they entered the third place consolation match against the Netherlands.

July 11, 1998

Netherlands  1 - 2 (1-2)  Croatia 21:00 - Parc des Princes, Paris
Ref: Epifanio Gonzalez Chavez (Paraguay)
Attendance: 45,500
Zenden 21' Prosinečki 13'
Šuker 35'

With this victory, Croatia finished in third, becoming the surprise of the tournament. Striker Davor Šuker also earned the tournament's Golden Boot for his six goals.

Croatia Squad[edit]

Head coach: Miroslav Blažević

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Club
1 1GK Dražen Ladić 1 January 1963 Croatia Croatia Zagreb
2 4FW Petar Krpan 1 July 1974 Croatia NK Osijek
3 3MF Anthony Šerić 15 January 1979 Croatia Hajduk Split
4 2DF Igor Štimac 6 September 1967 England Derby County
5 2DF Goran Jurić 5 February 1963 Croatia Croatia Zagreb
6 2DF Slaven Bilić 11 September 1968 England Everton
7 3MF Aljoša Asanović 14 December 1965 Italy Napoli
8 3MF Robert Prosinečki 12 January 1969 Croatia Croatia Zagreb
9 4FW Davor Šuker 1 January 1968 Spain Real Madrid
10 3MF Zvonimir Boban 8 October 1968 Italy AC Milan
11 3MF Silvio Marić 20 March 1975 Croatia Croatia Zagreb
12 1GK Marijan Mrmić 6 May 1965 Turkey Beşiktaş
13 3MF Mario Stanić 10 April 1972 Italy Parma
14 2DF Zvonimir Soldo 2 November 1967 Germany VfB Stuttgart
15 2DF Igor Tudor 16 April 1978 Croatia Hajduk Split
16 4FW Ardian Kozniku 27 October 1967 France Bastia
17 3MF Robert Jarni 26 October 1968 Spain Real Betis
18 2DF Zoran Mamić 30 September 1971 Germany VfL Bochum
19 4FW Goran Vlaović 7 August 1972 Spain Valencia
20 2DF Dario Šimić 12 November 1975 Croatia Croatia Zagreb
21 3MF Krunoslav Jurčić 26 November 1969 Croatia Croatia Zagreb
22 1GK Vladimir Vasilj 6 July 1975 Croatia NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac

References[edit]