A double from Andrej Kramaric propelled Croatia to a 4-1 victory over Canada in the Group F rivalry game on Sunday in Doha, restarting their World Cup campaign.
The first goal from Alphonso Davies at the Khalifa International Stadium in the second minute stunned Zlatko Dalic’s team.
Prior to halftime, Marko Livaja gave the World Cup runner-ups the lead after Hoffenheim attacker Kramaric had tied the score.
Croatia’s first encounter ended in a scoreless draw with Morocco, but goals in the second half from Kramaric and Lovro Majer allowed them to enjoy their first victory of the competition.
Croatia leads Group F, surpassing Morocco on goal differential, and a draw against Belgium in their final match on Thursday will ensure that they advance to the round of 16.
It was a particularly sweet victory for Croatia since John Herdman, the manager of Canada, irritated Dalic’s team with his crude attempt to motivate his team following a 1-0 loss to Belgium in their group opener.
On Sunday, the Croatians let their play speak for itself, taking charge of a group that had been completely upended by Morocco’s unexpected 2-0 victory over Belgium earlier in the day.
Although they gave it their best shot, Canada has now lost all five of their World Cup games, and their only previous appearance in 1986 also ended in group-stage elimination.