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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Dinamo Stadion 12th August 2009 - Kick off 19:15 Ref: F Brych

Belarus Belarus vs Croatia Croatia

Belarus 1

D Verkhovtsov (81)

ft

Croatia 3

I Olic (27, 83)
Eduardo (69)

Croatia close on England

Olic brace keeps the pressure on Three Lions

Last Updated: 12/08/09 10:57pm

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Olic: Brace for Croatia

Olic: Brace for Croatia

Croatia have closed to within seven points of England in European World Cup qualifying Group 6 after winning 3-1 in Belarus.

The visitors took control of the game in the 27th minute through Ivica Olic, a lead they never surrendered en route to a crucial three-point haul.

Arsenal striker Eduardo doubled Croatia's lead before Belarus attempted to set up a grandstand finish by pulling one back through Dimitry Verkhovtsov.

However, those hopes were dashed within minutes as Olic bagged his second of the game as Croatia moved three points clear of third-placed Ukraine.

Started brightly

The visitors started brightly and could have taken the lead in the 10th minute but when Luka Modric was presented with a decent opportunity the Tottenham midfielder opted to pass instead of shoot and his ball to Olic was woeful.

Belarus almost took the lead against the run of play in the 18th minute as a mistake by Josip Simunic let in Vitaly Kutuzov but Croatia escaped unscathed.

That seemed to give them the boost they needed and Olic headed Niko Kranjcar's corner home four minutes later.

The Bayern Munich new boy could have doubled their lead five minutes later but smashed his effort off the crossbar.

Quick out of the blocks

Croatia came out of the blocks quickly after the break but could not find the back of the net.

They eventually doubled their tally in the 69th minute when Darijo Srna crossed from the right and Eduardo coolly slotted the ball home.

Belarus looked to have set up a nervy finale when Verkhovtsov latched onto Srna's mistake and pulled one back for the hosts.

However, two minutes later Eduardo picked out Ivan Rakitic on the right flank who crossed in for Olic to seal the three points.

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Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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