Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic both played in Croatia’s friendly win over Senegal today. Luka Modric started the match, while Kovacic, as is custom with him and Croatia, came off the bench in the second half. Today, it was Ivan Rakitic whom Mateo replaced in the 65th minute.
Like the match against Brazil earlier this week, Modric started in an advanced role as a ‘10’ just behind the striker. Though, unlike the Brazil game, he did not stay up the pitch long, nor was he the one leading the frontline in pressing. Senegal had really strong shape without the ball in the first half and pressed Croatia high. While the Croats did keep a lot of possession, they found it difficult at times to escape their half, and Modric had to drop deep not only to help with build-up, but also to help more defensively, as Senegal were dangerous on the counter-attack, and both Sadio Mane and Diafra Sakho gave Croatia a lot of trouble on the flanks.
Modric did eventually normalize into his more familiar right-central-midfield role that he plays in with Real Madrid. He had some nice touches and turns all over the pitch (frequently fouled, at that), took long range shots, and did some defensive work deep on the right flank. He also provided a key pass in the lead-up to Croatia’s winning goal from Andrej Kramaric.
Not much else to write home about here. It was a humdrum throughout, as most of these friendlies tend to be. We even saw the wave break out at points throughout the match, which, umm, is never a good sign.
A nice win from Croatia here after their disappointing result against Brazil.