Luka Modric’s wonderful strike in the 41st minute was the difference as Croatia opened up their EURO campaign with a 1-0 win over Turkey.
Croatia temporarily sit atop Group D with three points. Spain and the Czech Republic will face off on Monday.
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Croatia created more moving forward in the opening stages of the match, but Turkey had the best chance to take the lead just around the half hour mark. Ozan Tufan found himself unmarked in the box with the whole goal in front of him, but his header went straight at Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic as the match remained scoreless.
Nearing halftime, Croatia continued to press and eventually found an opener through a brilliant Luka Modric strike. As a high clearance dropped from the sky, the Real Madrid midfielder connected on a perfect volley from 30 yards out, dropping into the bottom corner as the Croatian fans erupted.
Croatia nearly doubled their lead just after the break, but captain Darijo Srna saw his free kick rattle off the crossbar in the 51st minute. Ante Cacic’s side continued to look the better team although they struggled to find a second goal, with an Ivan Perisic header also being denied by the woodwork.
Turkey never punished Croatia for failing to convert their chances, unable to find an equalizer in a disappointing showing for the 2008 semifinalists.