Ivan Klasnić gives good thigh. Also scores good goals.
Hopefully this is the last time I have to tag Andorra. I mean, it's nice to have an opponent in the group that you know for sure you're going to beat, but I never liked those guys, they're too keen. Of the aggressive kind. Everyone goes on how Andorra are the weakest team in Europe, because they're the last amateur NT as far as I know. But what they lack in technical aspect they compensate in fouls and provocations. In comparison, from what I've seen of Kazakhstan, they're twice more desirable opponent, they neither play well or try as much.
The match was rather boring, not helped by the frantic camera that reminded me much of the one at Fratton Park, the one that's level with players. Great for hottyspotting, but terrible for keeping up with football as you can't link the moves. And football is the most important when NT are playing.
The little bit of excitement sadly came from a few imbeciles who thought it was a great idea to throw flares to the pitch. Križanac almost got hit. They weren't even at the terraces, but at the top of this rock that's above the pitch. I don't think I need to point out they were our "supporters". Poor Andorrans must've seen the flares for the first time as they were baffled, so Stipe the goalie had to take care of it and throw them out.
I was a bit gutted to see Slaven having to plead with them to stop as the ref was threatening to cancel the match. Although I thought he should've sent a few of his assistants up there to kick some butt.
Meanwhile, England beat Ukraine 2-1, which suit us great as now we're in a good position to win that second place and qualify for the barrage. We just need to win the match in June, which is the most important match for us this year, and beat Belarus and we should be spot on.
The match, well it best be forgotten, but there were some positives after all:
- Three points!
- NT time!
- Clean shaven Niko, yummers!
And if I had to rate them, it would go like this:
Stipe - can't rate him as he had nothing to do, but I suppose I could give him a six for looking cute and that time he yelled at that Andorran player who ran into him on purpose.
Charlie - 5.5 I don't like him much at the moment, he was barely there. Didn't lose the ball or make mistakes, but his crosses were pretty bad and he kept trying his stupid little dribbles that lead to nothing. A little more respect Charlie, is all I'm asking.
Križanac / Vejić - 6 Our centerbacks did OK seeing that they had little to do.
Čale - 5 Did alright as a substitute in Romania, but with each match he's exposing himself as not up to the NT standard. Couldn't link up with Rakitić well, kept losing the ball and was probably the weakest link. Any remotely more serious opponent and we could've been in trouble. It's hard to believe he was once first pick over Charlie. Bring back Pranjić!
Srna - 6 Well he tried. He ran. And put in some crosses. And looked angry enough arguing with the flare throwing guys. I think the armband's doing him good, mentality wise.
Jurić - 5 Not impressed with this guy. He was a waste of space in my opinion, and I can't figure out how come he gets the pick over Vukojević or even Pokrivač. Granted it's only his second match but I don't think it'll work out.
Niko - 6.5 He was playing a central role but sitting quite deep - reminding me much of Xabi. He was quite good at it, except the whole midfield couldn't really string them passes together in such a packed area. He was giving directions to the centerbacks as well, and actually put in a couple of dedicated tackles. I like this new side of him. He ran quite a lot as well!
Rakitić - 6 Off color, but I'd cut him some slack because, well it just didn't seem to be working. Also, it wasn't his fault that he had a back up in Čale.
Klasnić - 7 A goal and an assist, and a lovely goal it was. I'm always chuffed for him in particular, for everything he's been through.
Eduardo - 6 Scored so yay, but it could've been ruled out for dangerous play - there was no contact with the goalie, but his leg was high up and in his direction after all. Also, while pushing over that mouthy Andorran might've been hot, it got him in the books and it's the last thing we need before Ukraine.