A 58th minute goal from Hull City striker Nikica Jelavic was enough to win the game but there were plenty of encouraging signs for Ange Postecoglou ahead of the opening World Cup Group B match against Chile next week.
The only disappointment was that they lacked any real cutting edge in front of goal but Postecoglou’s side played high tempo, used the ball well and showed composure against a side ranked 18th in the FIFA world rankings.
At times some of the challenges were perhaps a little over the top for a friendly (from both sides), and Croatia’s Daniejl Pranjic was on the end of a particularly bad one from Ivan Franjic in the first half which saw him stretchered off.
Jelavic’s second half goal was well taken, although there was an element of luck in the way Luka Modric’s pass ran straight into the striker’s path – his shot though was a beauty, flying in off the bar.
Tommy Oar had a chance to level things up, almost embarrassing Stipe Pletikosa in the Croatia goal with a freekick, but the keeper managed to push it onto the post.
Alex Wilkinson also had a chance with a header.
Despite the scoreline, Postecoglou will be pleased with many aspects of the performance. And Marc Bresciano returned to the fray after his back injury. Lots of positives.
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