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Sunday, May 3, 1998 Published at 19:15 GMT 20:15 UK

Results and Reports
Croatia cruise past Poles

Croatia 4 Poland 1 (April 22)


[ image: Davor Sukic, Croatia]
Davor Sukic, Croatia
Croatian coach Miroslav Blazevic was purring after seeing his side beat Poland 4-1 in a World Cup warm-up.

But the Croatian media were less enthusiastic, criticising his decision to substitute all 11 players in the second half. It was then that Poland pulled one back from a free-kick.

"It was a magnificent show," Blazevic said after the game in the eastern town of Osijek. "It is not easy to score four goals against any team."

He admitted the margin of victory did not totally reflect the run of play but said the Poles were outsmarted tactically. "We scored goals in the first half during the time they appeared to dominate."

Blazevic switched Parma's Mario Stanic from the right flank to a more attacking role just behind the two strikers, Alen Boksic and Davor Suker.

Stanic netted twice after deep runs which allowed him to appear unmarked in the Polish penalty area.

His speed and agility were crucial in the area, especially as Suker, Croatia's top scorer with 26 goals from 33 matches, was below par.

Stanic's usual position on the right flank was filled by Croatia Zagreb midfielder Tomislav Rukavina, who failed to impress Blazevic.

Blazevic defended his substitutions, saying the early lead allowed him to experiment.





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