Croatia 2-0 Serbia: Mandzukic & Olic claim impressive Group A victory

Croatia's 2-0 win over Serbia saw them, temporarily at least, leapfrog Belgium to the summit of Group A following a heated encounter between the two sides in Zagreb.

Mario Manduzkic opened the scoring midway through the first half for the hosts, before Ivica Olic doubled their advantage in the 35th minute to ensure Igor Stimac's side all three points.

It took until the 20 minute mark for the first clear cut opportunity to be mustered after Niko Kranjcar dragged his effort wide following some good link-up play between Luka Modric and Darijo Srna.

The hosts were the better of the two teams in the opening exchanges and deserved their goal in the 23rd minute after a defensive mistake by Aleksandar Kolarov was capitalised upon by Olic, the striker pressed forward and squared for Mandzukic to sidefoot into the Serbia net from six yards out.

Croatia made it 2-0 with 10 minutes of the first half remaining, as Olic turned goalscorer with the simplest of finishes having been picked out with Srna's free kick to chest in from close range.

Serbia finally sprung into life at the beginning of the second half through Kolarov, as the left-back strode forward and forced a good save from Stipe Pletikosa as the visitors looked to force a way back into the encounter.

Modric attempted to add a third in the 50th minute, but his long distance effort drifted wide as Croatia looked to wrap up all three points in the minutes after the restart.

The Real Madrid midfielder came closer moments later after pushing towards the Serbia goal and unleashing a teasing effort that drifted inches wide of Brkic's near post.

Ivan Rakitic and Olic both tested Brkic on the hour mark, as Croatia continued to press Serbia in a bid to add a third goal of the evening and secure three vital points in their quest to confirm their place at Brazil 2014.

Filip Djuricic forced Pletikosa into action with 15 minutes remaining after the Serbia midfielder saw his curling effort denied by the Croatia goalkeeper.

Croatia held out for the 2-0 win despite some late Serbia pressure to earn a deserved three points to move onto 13 points in Group A.

  • Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners 8 minutes ago
    Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners

    Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.

  • Why you can't buy America's greenest car 3 hours ago
    Why you can't buy America's greenest car

    Ask me or any auto expert what's the fastest car you can buy for any given amount, and we could easily cough up several options. Same for most luxurious, or off-roadable, or any other measurement. Yet there's one type of question that's far harder to answer: What's the greenest, most environmentally friendly car you can buy today?

  • Audi TT Offroad concept debuts as a 124-mpg hybrid with wireless charging 4 hours ago
    Audi TT Offroad concept debuts as a 124-mpg hybrid with wireless charging

    The TT. Audi's diminutive sports car. Since production began in 1998, the two-door coupe has aged with the pugnacity of a grizzled New Yorker, but not in size. And why would it, as the arrival of the TT RS proved, adding some grit makes for a rather captivating dish. And so you'll excuse us for being puzzled by the Audi TT Offroad concept.

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.

  • McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania
    McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania

    It may not be safe to enter a McDonald’s restaurant in Singapore on Mondays starting 28 April. To celebrate the iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, the fast food chain announced last Friday that it would be releasing a new collection of Hello Kitty toys in McDonald’s restaurants island wide next Monday.

  • First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy
    First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy

    He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters.