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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 3, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    Croatia fail to impress against Norway

    Carl O'Malley

    A 1-1 draw with Norway in Oslo was not what Slaven Bilic had in mind for his final friendly before facing the Republic of Ireland in Poznan on June 10th.

    Croatia were without playmaker Luka Modric and weren’t at their fluid best as a result. The Spurs midfielder, is not a concern ahead of the Ireland game, having also been rested in training on Friday.

    They were also missing Modric’s clubmate Vedran Corluka (on loan at Bayer Leverkusen), whose absence with a back strain may have contributed to a rather shaky looking Croatian defence.

    All the action came late in the game, when Eduardo gave the visitors the lead with a 79th minute header before Tarik Elyounoussi’s near post header from a corner caught the visitors off guard.


    Elsewhere, the Netherlands pummeled an inexperienced Northern Ireland side 6-0.

    Arsenal’s, Robin van Persie scored twice, once from the spot, while Ibrahim Affelay also got a brace, with the other goals coming from Wesley Sneijder and Ron Vlaar.

    In Copenhagen, Denmark, who are in the same Group as the Dutch in Euro 2012, put their run of two successive defeats behind them with a win over Australia.

    Liverpool defender Daniel Agger won and converted a penalty, before Andreas Bjelland netted his first international goal.

    Portugal, also in Group B with Germany, were beaten 3-1 in Lisbon by Turkey.

    Umut Bulut’s brace put the Turks 2-0 ahead and, after Nani got one back, the visitors increased their lead with Pepe’s own goal.

    Co-hosts Poland enjoyed a routine win too, beating Andorra 4-0 in Warsaw.

    Ludovic Obraniak got them on their way and Robert Lewandowski made it two before penalties from Jakub Blaszczykowski and Marcin Wasilewski sealed the rout.

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