Zagreb (AFP) – Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfield star Luka Modric regretted being held 1-1 by Turkey in their opening World Cup qualifier at an empty Zagreb stadium on Monday.
“We were much better as a team and we created much more chances … No one is to blame but ourselves,” Modric told state-run HRT television after the match played in the Maksimir stadium.
But he estimated it was a “rather good match in such an enviroment.”
“It is difficult … These are not football conditions, it is more like a training,” the 30-year-old added.
FIFA has ordered Croatia to play two World Cup qualifying matches behind closed doors for repeated chanting of fascist slogans by fans.
Croatia coach Ante Cacic echoed Modric’s view.
“We expected a difficult match, it is not easy to play in such conditions.”
“We were much closer to a victory” than Turkey, he estimated.
Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic gave Croatia a 1-0 lead from a 44th minute penalty after Modric drew a foul.
But, Turkey equalised with Hakan Calhanoglu’s free kick from 25 metres, which was the last kick of the first half in extra time.
Apart from Croatia and Turkey, Group I features Finland, Iceland, Kosovo and Ukraine.
Despite Croatia’s attractive performances at Euro 2016 they were eliminated by Portugal at the last-16 stage in extra time.