Croatia’s Kalinic sent home

by Steven Clarke June 20, 2018, 10:06
Croatia’s Kalinic sent home

"If Nigeria must make any good impact against Iceland come June 22 in St. Petersburg Stadium, Russia, then our technical adviser must fortify our midfield and defence to be better than what we witnessed against Croatia, " he said.

The Vatreni won their opening match on Saturday night, defeating Nigeria 2-0.

Croatia's World Cup campaign has been thrown into turmoil after striker Nikola Kalinic was sent home in disgrace and under freaky circumstances.

There is a press conference this afternoon where Dalic will discuss the situation further.

"He wasn't fit against Brazil [in a friendly] either, and I need players that are both healthy and fit".

Kalinic had been asked to enter the match in the 85th minute but refused to do so, citing a back injury.

Croatian media reported that Kalinic had been axed for his refusal to play, suggesting he was not happy to be left of out of the starting XI.

Kalinic's removal will come as a blow to Dalic and Croatia for the remainder of the competition as it weakens the striker options for the remainder of the campaign.

Kalinic has helped the Croatian side to success in recent years, including scoring in the team's upset win over Spain in the group stage of Euro 2016.

Kalinic, who was on loan at AC Milan from Fiorentina last season, said he had a back injury.

The news is particularly disappointing as Croatia are lacking in other No. 9 presences bar Mario Mandzukic, the player whom Kalinic was set to replace against Nigeria.

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