Having upset Uruguay in the first round at the U20 World Cup in Turkey, Croatia are brimming with confidence ahead of clash against Uzbekistan,
who faced no difficulties in their opener against New Zeland.
Since Croatia declared indepedence in 1991 their national team have established themselves as a top football side. Croatia missed no more than one major tournament over the years and the team are likely to secure their place at the World Cup 2014. Young Croats are also doing a great job. The team have started their World Cup U20 campaign with an impressive 1:0 victory over strong Uruguay side. Thanks to Ante Rebicˈs fine goal Croatia picked up vital three points in their race for the last 16 round. Croatia could even double their lead, but Livaja failed to score from the penalty spot. Croatia should face easier task in the next round as they square off against Uzbekistan, but this clash will be everything but a walk in the park for the Croats. With a win over Uzbekistan Croatia would secure their place in the last 16, and I tempted to back them to clinch yet another victory at the World Cup. Croatia and Uzbekistan U20 sides have never met before.
Uzbekistan did remarkably well to trash New Zeland in their opener at the World Cup in Turkey. Abbosbek Makhstaliyev, Igor Sergeyev and Diyorjon Turapov scored for Uzbekistan who were very aggressive on offence from the start of the match. Akhmadjan Musaevˈs team took an early lead thanks to Makhsatallievˈs goal and than they tripled their lead in the second half when Turopov and Sergeev both found the net. Nevertheless, the Uzbeks face more difficult task in the second round of the competition as they take on in-form Croatian side. Even if Uzbekistan fail to pick up from the game against Croatia they would stay in the race for the last 16 round, meaning that a defeat should not hurt them too much. The Uzbeks are playing as a team and that is their biggest quality, but that should not be enough for them to outplay the Croats who have several amazing players in their squad.