Croatia took another step towards qualifying for the World Cup with a 1-0 win over a spirited Ukraine. The goal, scored in the 38th minute, came from Nikola Kalinić, getting a rare start for the national side. Our boy Niko did a nice job of sealing off his man in the area, then corralled a neat flick from Ivan Rakitić, turned, and lashed his shot into the far corner. Basically, it was the sort of goal we’ve seen him score for Fiorentina many, many times.
This being Kalinić, of course, he did miss a few other excellent chances, including a graceful diving header that soared over the cross bar, as well as a drive off the upright when he was through one-on-one with the goalkeeper. However, he got the decisive score, so it’s hard to fault him to much. For a player who’s so inconsistent, finding the back of the net for his country can only help his confidence at the club level, so we’re very okay with it.