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Wednesday, 8 May, 2002, 20:01 GMT 21:01 UK
Crowd trouble mars Croatia win
Croatia's Davor Vugrinec is challenged by Norbert Toth of Hungary
Croatia took control early against a weak Hungary side
Hungary 0-2 Croatia

Croatia gave their World Cup hopes a boost with a comfortable win over Hungary, despite a first-half hold-up when crowd trouble erupted in the stadium.

The match was stopped for five minutes midway through the first half as police waded into a group of around 150 Croatia fans who were taunting home supporters and threatening stewards.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests and the game finished without any further trouble.

The match was Hungary's first international fixture at a small stadium in Pecs close to the southern border with Yugoslavia.

Croatia, a surprise third in the last World Cup in 1998, cruised to victory over a Hungarian side who have lost six of the last eight games.

Early injury

The visitors, who lined up without many of their first-team players, including defender Igor Tudor who is likely to miss the World Cup, took control of the game with two goals in the first 25 minutes.

The home defence, disrupted by an early injury to Tamas Bodog, was in real trouble in the 12th minute when Hertha Berlin defender Pal Dardai nudged a Niko Kovac effort into his own net.

Robert Waltner went close for Hungary, but Kovac, the busy Bayern Munich winger, put the visitors 2-0 up in the 24th minute, latching on to a long free kick to volley past Gabor Kiraly from close range.

Hungary enjoyed more of the possession after the break, with substitutes Miklos Feher, Gabor Korolovszky and Zoltan Boor all forcing good saves from keeper Vladimir Vasilj.


Teams:

Hungary: Gabor Kiraly, Tamas Bodog, Tamas Juhar, Zsolt Low, Attila Dragoner, Zoltan Pinter, Thomas Sowunmi, Pal Dardai, Norbert Toth, Robert Waltner, Attila Tokoli

Croatia: Tomislav Butina, Daniel Saric, Robert Jarni, Filip Tapalovic, Goran Sablic, Josip Simunic, Davor Vugrinec, Jerko Leko, Niko Kovac, Tomislav Maric, Milan Rapaic

Referee: Fritz Stuchlik (Austria)

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