Turkey 0-1 Croatia
An astonishing first half volley from Luka Modric was enough for a dominant Croatia to see off Turkey in the opening match of Group D. In a battle where Turkey were pinned back for the majority of the time, Croatia should have won by a more comfortable margin.
The last time these two nations met in a competitive environment, Turkey stole the show in extremely dramatic circumstances in a Euro 2008 quarter-final for the ages. A 118th minute Ivan Klasnic goal seemed to have won the game for Croatia, before Semih Senturk fired back with the last kick of the game, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic went on to miss as Croatia crashed out on penalties.
This time round, the occasion was a group stage clash in Paris, and after the devastating events in Marseille between groups of Russian and English supporters, it was uplifting to notice a lack of hostility between the two sets of fans in the capital.
Instantly, the Croats attacked, and within a minute they could have been ahead - Ivan Rakitic inches away from poking in Darijo Srna's low, driven cross.
Try as they might, the vociferous support for Turkey could not quite spur on the players to perform in the early exchanges, as Marcelo Brozovic threatened with a couple of headers. It was then Milan Badelj troubling Volkan Babacan in the Turkish goal, his rasping effort stinging the palms of the 27-year-old.
However, a solitary moment could have gifted Turkey the lead, Ozan Tufan rose highest to meet a cross from the right, but his header lacked the conviction to throw Subasic off guard. The competitive nature of this game was personified with an accidental elbow to the head causing defender Vedran Corluka to bleed heavily. The ex-Spurs man continued to play on though, with a bandage veiling his entire head.
The deadlock was broken moments before half-time, as Turkey failed to clear a cross effectively, and Modric smashed home a precise volley into the bottom corner, a finish of supreme excellence by the Real Madrid man.
New Borussia Dortmund starlet Emre Mor was introduced to the action, greeted with a standing ovation by the fans - the stage was set for the youngster to deliver and become a hero.
Eventually it was the bruised and battered Corluka who made a clattering challenge on Hakan Balta to extinguish the Turk's hopes and help Ante Cacic's side over the line.
The result means Croatia sit on top of Group D, while the other game - Spain vs Czech Republic - takes place tomorrow in Toulouse. There is still hope for Turkey's young guns in the competition though, as even a third place finish could see them through to the knockout phase of the competition.
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