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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 20 April 2021
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Magnificent Luka Modric strike gives Croatia a winning start against Turkey

The Real Madrid midfielder proved the game-winner in today’s Group D opener.

Updated at 16.15

IN A TIGHT and often scrappy affair in Paris, it was a moment of magic that separated Group D rivals Croatia and Turkey.

Shortly before the break, Luka Modric popped up to thump a right-footed volley to the bottom corner as a clearance dropped perfectly for him on the edge of the area.

The technique was perfect, particularly with the ball dropping to him from such a height, though it bounced just in front of Volkan Babacan.

The keeper may have done better but with the ball travelling at such pace and hitting the turf right in front of him, it would’ve been a difficult stop to make.

http://vine.co/v/iLiVgHBIq39

The Croatians dominated proceedings and created a litany of chances with captain Darijo Srna smacking the crossbar from a well-struck free-kick in the second half.

Ivan Perisic struck the woodwork too while, with 10 minutes remaining, Marcelo Brozovic was denied by Volkan Babacan, who managed to scramble back and tip over the looping header.

Turkey’s best chance came in the opening period when Ozan Tufan put his header straight at Danijel Subasic with the goal at his mercy.

Modric was the standout performer though and ultimately proved the difference between the sides as Croatia issued a statement of intent to get Group D up and running.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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