Austria 1-3 Croatia: Visitors reach Nations League semi-final

Austria 1-3 Croatia: Croats reach Nations League semi-final as Marko Livaja and Dejan Lovren net after Christoph Baumgartner cancelled out Luka Modric’s opener

  • Croatia reached the Nations League semi-final with a 3-1 victory over Austria
  • Marko Livaja and Dejan Lovren scored second half goals to send the side through
  • Christoph Baumgartner cancelled out Luka Modric’s opener early on
  • Croatia needed to match or beat Denmark’s result against France to qualify 

Croatia qualified for the Nations League semi-finals next year as defender Dejan Lovren marked his return to the team with a rare goal in a comprehensive 3-1 victory over relegated Austria in Vienna on Sunday. 

Zlatko Dalic’s side needed to match Denmark’s result against France to top the group, and, despite the Danes beating the world champions 2-0, second half goals from Marko Livaja and Lovren ensured the side will compete for the title in June next year.

Croatia seemed to be in danger of missing out on qualification as they struggled to break down a resolute home defence.

Croatia reached the finals of the Nations League with a 3-1 victory over Austria in Vienna

Dejan Lovren (left) scored the visitors’ third goal of the game to help the team qualify

The visitors got off to the perfect start and took the lead with a goal from Luka Modric, but Christoph Baumgartner squared things up minutes later to make it one goal apiece with nine minutes on the clock.

The opening goal was Mordirc’s 23rd international goal and he finished well as he took a touch to control Nikola Vlasicas pass and fired low into the net. 

Both teams pushed to take the lead in what was a good game, and Croatia finally went ahead on 69 minutes through Livaja’s back post header from Ivan Perisic’s cross.

Tottenham’s Ivan Perisic (right) provided a neat cross for Marko Livaja to head in the second

Lovren, playing his first international in almost a year, scored the third goal for the visitors, who topped League A Group 1 with 13 points from six matches, one point ahead of second-placed Denmark.

Despite the loss, it was a special night for home forward Marko Arnautovic, who won an Austrian record 104th international cap.

In doing so, he moved past Andreas Herzog at the top of the countryâs list of most appearances. 

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