In the first match of the Under 19 qualifiers, Gibraltar fell to a 7-0 defeat to Croatia U19.
A Marko Kolar hat trick, along with goals from Tin Jedvaj, Mario Pasalic, Toni Mujan and Jakov Biljan ensured Gibraltar did not pull off any upsets in Ostrava.
Croatia, who entered the game as 1/100 favourites on the back of seven games unbeaten, would have expected to win the game, but had to wait 40 minutes to take the lead. Soon after though, Anthony Hernandez saw red, and from there Croatia’s experience, alongside the numerical advantage, saw them take full control of the game.
Gibraltar managed to stem the flow of goals, but an injury that saw them left with 9 men on the field for the last 20 minutes, when the score was 4-0, helped Croata boost their goal difference, which could be vital at the end of the group, especially with the Czech Republic beating Cyprus 4-1 in the other game.
Whilst the statistics don’t read too kindly for Gibraltar (Croatia had 42 shots to Gibraltar’s 2), they should take heart in holding a team that had drawn with Spain in its last game for 40 minutes, and that had they kept 11 men on the field, the scoreline would not have read how it does.
For Gibraltar, they now have to move on to Saturday’s game against hosts Czech Republic. That game kicks off at 2:30 pm Gibraltarian time.