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Croatia 2-2 Australia
Thursday, 22 June 2006


D Srna 3
N Kovac 57


C Moore 39 (pen)
H Kewell 79


D Simic 32yellow card
I Tudor 38yellow card
J Simunic 62yellow card
S Pletikosa 70yellow card


B Emerton 81yellow card

Sent off:

D Simic 85red card
Sent off:

J Simunic 90red card

Sent off:

B Emerton 87red card



46% 54%

Shots on target

6 7

Shots off target

5 7


5 10


17 21


  • 01 S Pletikosa yellow card
  • 07 D Simic yellow card red card
  • 05 I Tudor yellow card
  • 13 S Tomas (84 I Klasnic )
  • 03 J Simunic yellow card red card
  • 02 D Srna
  • 10 N Kovac
  • 08 M Babic
  • 19 N Kranjcar (65 J Leko )
  • 09 D Prso
  • 18 I Olic (73 L Modric )


  • 21 B Balaban,
  • 22 I Bosnjak,
  • 23 T Butina,
  • 12 J Didulica,
  • 17 I Klasnic,
  • 15 I Leko,
  • 16 J Leko,
  • 14 L Modric,
  • 20 A Seric,
  • 11 M Tokic,
  • 06 J Vranjes


  • 18 Z Kalac
  • 02 L Neill
  • 03 C Moore
  • 14 S Chipperfield (75 J Kennedy )
  • 07 B Emerton yellow card red card
  • 13 V Grella (63 J Aloisi )
  • 05 J Culina
  • 04 T Cahill
  • 21 M Sterjovski (71 M Bresciano )
  • 10 H Kewell
  • 09 M Viduka


  • 15 J Aloisi,
  • 16 M Beauchamp,
  • 23 M Bresciano,
  • 12 A Covic,
  • 19 J Kennedy,
  • 11 S Lazaridis,
  • 22 M Milligan,
  • 06 T Popovic,
  • 01 M Schwarzer,
  • 08 J Skoko,
  • 17 A Thompson,
  • 20 L Wilkshire

Ref: Graham Poll
Att: 52000


FULL-TIME: Australia see Cahill's goal disallowed and Simunic awarded a third yellow card as referee Graham Poll blows the final whistle on this Group F decider. But it is Australia who go through to the last 16 as runners-up to Brazil.

90 mins: Croatia escape another sending off as Simunic is booked for a foul but the referee forgets that he had already given the player a yellow card.

86 mins SENT OFF:
Both sides now have 10 men as Emerton is sent off for his second yellow card after a deliberate handball. His mistake happens just after Australia replacement keeper Kalac denies Prso from inside the box.

84 mins SENT OFF:
It is more misery for Croatia as Simic is red-carded for a second bookable offence after his rash challenge on Kewell. Srna also gets a yellow card after complaining to the referee.

81 mins: Ronaldo grabs his second of the night in Group F's other game as Brazil lead 4-1 against Japan 1-4 Brazil

79 mins GOAL: Croatia 2-2 Australia
Australia are back in the runners-up spot after a dramatic equaliser from Kewell. Bresciano crosses in from the right before fellow substitute Aloisi flicks on in the box for Kewell to finish at the far post.

73 mins: More changes for both sides as Croatia striker Ivica Olic is replaced by midfielder Luka Modric, while Australia bolster their attack further with Joshua Kennedy coming on midfielder Scott Chipperfield.

72 mins: Yet another close call for Croatia as Australians Cahill and Aloisi bundle in during a goalmouth scramble but Pletikosa smothers the ball on the line.

70 mins: Lightning reactions from keeper Pletikosa protects Croatia's narrow lead as he blocks Kewell's close-range shot.

70 mins: Another change for Australia, replacing Mile Sterjovski with fellow midfielder Marco Bresciano.

69 mins: Tensions are running high as the referee hands out a yellow card to Croatia keeper Pletikosa for time-wasting.

65 mins: Croatia opt for a tactical substitution of their own as they seek to defend their slender 2-1 lead, bringing on defender Jerko Leko for midfielder Kranjcar.

61 mins: Australia make a tactical change with striker John Aloisi replacing midfielder Justin Grella as they stare down the barrel of elimination.

60 mins: Gilberto rifles home an absolute cracker as Brazil go 3-1 up against struggling Japan.

56 mins GOAL: Croatia 2-1 Australia
Nico Kovac stuns Australia as his weak drive from just outside the box bobbles past replacement keeper Kalac. Cahill looks partly to blame after failing to close down Kovac. Croatia can claim second place in Group F if they hold on for the win.

53 mins: Juninho makes the most of goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi's mistake to give Brazil a 2-1 lead against Japan.

53 mins: Another opportunity for Croatia goes awry with Olic failing to make a good connection with his head after a cross from right side.

49 mins: Kranjcar raises Croatia's hopes with a rare a solid effort on goal, blasting the ball over the crossbar.

48 mins: Australia go in search of a winning goal with midfielder Brett Emerton making a long charge from the halfway line before shooting wide.

45 mins: No changes to either side as the second half kicks off with Croatia needing to break the 1-1 deadlock to make it through to the next round.

"It's been an absorbing, thrilling contest and, if I was the Croatia coach, I'd be telling them to put some crosses in because their goalkeeper looks very suspect."
BBC Sport match summariser Gavin Peacock.

"It was an enthralling half. Australia played the better football putting crosses in and piling into the box. But then it was a stupid handball that gets them back into the game."
BBC Sport pundit Lee Dixon.

"Viduka was rugby-tackled to the ground, I have no idea how the referee didn't give a penalty." Adrian Chiles, BBC Sport.

HALF-TIME: Australia are back level with Croatia at 1-1 after Craig Moore's equaliser from the penalty spot cancelled out Darijo Srna's early strike. The Australian's merely have to hold on to ensure their place in the next round.

45 mins: It looks as though Japan's hopes of sneaking the second qualification spot in the group have been dampened by a Brazilian goal. Ronaldo gets the equaliser to neutralise Japan's surprise lead.

41 mins: Dado Prso fails to make the most of one of Croatia's few chances, blasting a long-range effort over the crossbar.

40 mins: Croatia survive another scare as Cahill's scrambled header is saved by keeper Pletikosa.

38 mins GOAL: Croatia 1-1 Australia
Australia take a step closer to the second round of the World Cup as Newcastle defender Craig Moore slots home a penalty after Stjepan Tomas's handball in the area. To add to Croatia's troubles, Igor Tudor is booked after complaining to the referee.

33 mins: Keiji Tamada scores in the other group match to give Japan a surprise 1-0 lead against Brazil. As it stands, Croatia are still ahead on goal difference to take second spot in the group.

32 mins: Croatia earn the first yellow card of the game as Dario Simac is penalised for throwing the ball away when Australia are awarded a throw-in.

30 mins: It's another chance for Australia as Kewell's long drive is blocked by the Croatia keeper.

29 mins: Harry Kewell sends in a long looping ball from the right but Cahill's weak header is easily saved by Croatia keeper Stipe Pletikosa.

23 mins: Australia are enjoying the majority of possession as they search for an equaliser to Srna's early goal. The midfield are knocking it around in midfield but Croatia have plenty of men behind the ball.

21 mins: A long right-footed ball by Australia's Vince Grella is pushed out for another corner. Scott Chipperfield fires the ball in but the Croatians comfortably clear the ball.

17 mins: Croatia survive a barrage of chances by Australia. Tim Cahill's drive is deflected wide for a corner but the Australians see two more of their efforts blocked by some desperate Croatian defending.

13 mins: Harry Kewell takes his first shot at goal but it is a poor long-range effort, going well wide of the left post.

10 mins: Tension levels continue to rise as Croatia have a chance to go two-up as Srna sends Niko Kranjcar through but the Australian keeper reacts quickly enough to smother the ball.

5 mins: Australia miss out on a penalty decision as Viduka, keen to make up for his earlier mistake, is brought down by Josip Simunic.

2 mins GOAL: Croatia 1-0 Australia
Croatia get off to a perfect start with Darijo Srna sending a blistering free-kick into the top left-hand corner. Mark Viduka is left to rue his mistake after conceding the free-kick with his challenge on Nico Kovac and setting up Croatia's first goal of the tournament.


1956: The anthems end with a massive roar from the crowd in Stuttgart. Australia will qualify for the next round with a win, while even a draw could see the Aussies through although only if Brazil do not lose against Japan. Croatia must win to proceed to the next round, and even then they are not certain.

1952: The teams are in the tunnel, waiting to come on the pitch for this crucial decider. In a bizarre twist, seven of the Australian squad are of Croatian descent, while three of Croatia's team are Australian-born.

1940 BST: "Our problem is that we haven't scored for four games and I don't know why because Croatia played exceptionally well in the qualifiers. I talked with the players the day before and they know what they have to do here."
Former Croatian international Igor Stimac, Five Live Sport.

1934 BST: "I expect a little bit more from Croatia today. Australia are doing a lot of defending and Guus Hiddink has got them well organised, but I think it will be quite open."
BBC Sport pundit Leonardo

1915 BST: "This has so much riding on it in a city which has the biggest Croatian population of any in Germany. And this stadium will be full."
Alan Green, Five Live Sport.

1900 BST: The teams are in and both sides have opted for two changes each as they go all-out for the victory they need to have a chance of qualifying.

Australia have opted for a surprise switch of goalkeepers, opting for AC Milan's second choice keeper Zeljko Kalac over Mark Schwarzer. Defender Tony Popovic is dropped to the bench because of a calf injury, while winger Harry Kewell starts as Mark Viduka spearheads a 3-4-2-1 formation.

Croatia coach Zlatko Kranjcar, meanwhile, has brought in Ivica Olic to replace Ivan Klasnic as Dado Prso's strike partner in the hope of the team scoring its first goal at the tournament. Stjepan Tomas comes in for suspended Robert Kovac at right-back.


Croatia: Pletikosa, Simic, Tudor, Tomas, Simunic, Srna, Nico Kovac, Babic, Kranjcar, Prso, Olic.
Subs: Balaban, Bosnjak, Butina, Didulica, Klasnic, Ivan Leko, Jerko Leko, Modric, Seric, Tokic, Vranjes.

Australia: Kalac, Neill, Moore, Chipperfield, Emerton, Grella, Culina, Cahill, Sterjovski, Kewell, Viduka.
Subs: Aloisi, Beauchamp, Bresciano, Covic, Kennedy, Lazaridis, Milligan, Popovic, Schwarzer, Skoko, Thompson, Wilkshire.

Referee: Graham Poll (England)

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