2018 World Cup Qualifying - UEFA, Group Stage
  • Ivan Rakitic (44' PEN)
  • Hakan Calhanoglu (45'+3')

Croatia 1-1 Turkey

Croatia were held to a 1-1 draw in their World Cup qualifying opener against Turkey in Zagreb.

The hosts started brightly and could have taken the lead after 10 minutes but Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic was denied by the woodwork and Marko Pjaca was unable to convert the rebound.

Croatia hit the frame of the goal twice more in the opening 35 minutes, with Pjaca's header after 22 minutes and Ivan Perisic's effort nine minutes later both hitting the crossbar.

Ante Cacic's side finally took the lead in the 44th minute when Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic fired in from the penalty spot after Luka Modric had been tripped in the box. But they were not ahead for long.

Turkey hit back in first-half stoppage time when Bayer Leverkusen's Hakan Calhanoglu's 30-yard free-kick was deflected into the back of Lovre Kalinic's net.

Cenk Tosun had a long-range effort saved by Kalinic five minutes after the break before Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Babacan produced a superb save to keep out Pjaca's header in the 75th minute.

And Milan Badelj could have won it for Croatia in the second minute of added time but his effort from the left side of the box was well saved by Babacan.