Paris: Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric scored a brilliant volley as Croatia defeated Turkey 1-0 in their Euro 2016 Group D opener yesterday.
Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates after scoring a goal during their Euro Group 'D' match against Turkey yesterday. Pic/AP,PTI
Ante Cacic's Croatia dominated throughout, twice hitting the bar in the second half. But it only Modric's 41st-minute strike — his 11th international goal — that separated the teams at the final whistle.
Victory gave Croatia revenge for their elimination on penalties by Turkey in the quarter-finals at Euro 2008, although they had previously beaten them in a qualifying play-off prior to Euro 2012. Fatih Terim's Turkey now have it all to do ahead of their meeting with defending champions Spain in Nice on Friday.
Croatia can already go into their game against the Czech Republic with one eye on the last 16.
"We are definitely in the hardest group, with Spain, so it is a perfect start to get three points," said Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
The talent in both line-ups had raised hopes of an open contest and it took Croatia less than two minutes to threaten.