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Delight for Croatian trio

Posted on 12 November 2011  - 12:00

Vedran Corluka may have headed Croatia into the Euro 2012 finals.

Vedran Corluka may have headed Croatia into the Euro 2012 finals.

The full-back - nicknamed 'Charlie' at Spurs - headed home the third goal as Croatia beat Turkey 3-0 in the first leg of their play-off in Istanbul on Friday night.

It's a huge advantage for Slaven Bilic's team who are rarely beaten in qualifying action at home.

Vedran was joined by Luka Modric in the Croatia line-up with our third Croatian, Niko Kranjcar, ruled out by injury. However, Niko told us earlier in the week that he intended to travel to the matches.

Starting at left-back, Vedran played a huge part as Croatia took a grip on procedings inside two minutes at the Turk Telekom Arena.

His cross from the byline was spilled by Turkey goalkeeper Turkan Demirel into the path of Ivica Olic, who tapped home.

Mario Mandzukic headed home for 2-0 before the break and Vedran's goal-den moment came six minutes into the second half when he glanced Darijo Srna's free-kick into the top corner.

Luka tested Demirel a couple of times and fired just past the post as Croatia completely dominated - Turkey mustered just one effort at goal compared to Croatia's 13.

The teams now meet again in the second leg in Zagreb on Tuesday with the winners through to next summer's finals in Poland/Ukraine.