England’s opponents opening Euro 2020 Croatia stutter in build-up after being held back by poor Armenia in friendlies at home
Croatia were held to a 1-1 draw by Armenia in their penultimate warm-up, before taking on England in Group D’s first game of the European Championship on Sunday week.
Ivan Perisic put the World Cup number two on his 100th appearance for the national team in the 23rd minute, but a sharp drive from Wbeymar Angulo shocked the hosts in the 72nd minute.
Zlatko Dalic’s team will visit Belgium this weekend in a last-ditch effort to fine-tune plans before meeting Gareth Southgate’s side again after numerous encounters since their semi-final in Russia nearly three years ago.
Ivan Perisic scored on his 100th appearance to give Croatia the lead in the 23rd minute
Luka Modric played 45 minutes in Velika Gorica while Dejan Lovren remained an unused substitute, but there was an injury for Josip Brekalo, who was forced out in the first half.
Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski sat out Poland’s 1-1 draw at home to Russia.
Having only recently returned from a knee problem, the striker stayed on the bench as West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski got a start in goal.
Armenia’s Wbeymar Angulo shocked the hosts with a stinging drive after 72 minutes
He couldn’t stop Vyacheslav Karavaev from equalizing in the 20th minute after Jakub Swierczok opened the scoring in the match between two teams warming up for the European Championship.
Slovakia are in Group E with Poland and they tied Bulgaria back when Laszlo Benes nullified Atanas Iliev’s opening game in the ninth minute of their friendly.
North Macedonia is another side gearing up for the European Championship, which was held in a 1-1 draw with Slovenia scoring in stoppage time.
Eljif Elmas, of Napoli, scored his third goal in a row for the national team with 55 minutes on the clock, but Domen Crnigoj found it just late to force a draw.
David Tomassini scored San Marino’s first goal in 18 months in 4-1 defeat to Kosovo
Vedat Muriqi scored four goals for Kosovo against San Marino, but despite a 4-1 loss, it turned out to be a memorable evening for the visitors as well.
The Lazio striker scored twice in each half to extend his lead at the top of the goalscoring charts for his country, but it was David Tomassini who was the hero after scoring the minnows’ first goal in 18 months.
It wasn’t until his third international appearance that the 21-year-old punished repeated mistakes to get wild parties going from the side ranked 210th in the world rankings.
Henri Anier helped Estonia score a 1-0 win over Lithuania to bolster their World Cup qualifier preparations for a planned trip to Wales in September, while the hosts will travel to Northern Ireland at the end of 2021.