Croatia beats Macedonia 1-0 in World Cup qualifier


ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) -A header by Nikica Jelavic gave Croatia a 1-0 victory over Macedonia on Friday and a winning start in the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Croatia had several chances before substitute Jelavic scored in 63rd minute, but the hosts were far from dominating.

Captain Darijo Srna said that "it was really tough ... it has to be better."

Croatia had a chance in the first minute when Eduardo hit the post, but Macedonia had more promising chances for the rest of the first half, and Goran Pandev hit the bar with a powerful shot from 22 meters.

Croatia improved in the second half and Jelavic scored after Marijo Madzukic assisted from the right side.

Croatia plays against Belgium in Group A on Tuesday.

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