Croatia beats Israel 3-1 in Euro qualifier
Luka Modric and Eduardo were both on target as Croatia came from a goal down to beat 10-man Israel 3-1 in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Tuesday and stake its claim to advance from Group F.
Croatia dominated the match, but Israel was the first to takes its chances on the counterattack, with Tomer Hemed scoring his first goal for the national team in the 44th minute.
However, Croatia made a stunning comeback in the second half, scoring three times in just 12 minutes.
Modric scored first in the 47th, with an impressive shot from some 23 meters, giving no chance to Israeli goalkeeper Guy Haimov, who was substitute for injured Dudu Aouate.
The Israelis were reduced to 10 players in 51st minute when Tal Ben Haim received a red card for fierce challenge on Eduardo.
From that moment on, Croatia was dominant. Eduardo struck in the 55th and 57th to seal the victory.
''We were not bad in the first half, had some chances, but it was important to score early in the second half,'' Croatia captain Darijo Srna said. ''We are looking forward to the remaining matches.''
Croatia is top of the group with 19 points, a point clear of Euro 2004 champion Greece with two games left. Third-place Israel has 13 points and is out of the running with only one game to play.
Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa, Ivan Strinic, Josip Simunic, Dejan Lovren, Vedran Corluka (Eduardo da Silva, 46), Ognjen Vukojevic (Tomislav Dujmovic, 46), Nikica Jelavic (Nikola Kalinic, 88), Luka Modric, Darijo Srna, Mario Mandzukic, Niko Kranjcar.
Israel: Dudu Aouate (Guy Haimov, 46), Tal Ben Haim, Rami Gershon, Beram Kayal, Talb Twatha, Tomer Hemed, Yossi Benayoun, Eran Zahavi (Etey Shechter, 68), Iyad Khutaba, Omri Ben Harush, Tamir Cohen (Eyat Golasa, 57)