Home wins for Croatia, Romania in Euro warm-up games

Croatia and Romania warmed up for Euro 2016 in good style Wednesday, with home defeats of minnows Israel and Lithuania in attractive friendly international games.

Croatia beat Israel 2-0; Romania edged Lithuania 1-0.

Ivan Perisic gave Croatia the lead against Israel in the fourth minute with a powerful high left-foot drive. Marcelo Brozovic made it 2-0 in the 34th minute with another left-foot shot after more good work by the impressive Perisic. 

Croatia lost their rhythm in the second half as coach Ante Cacic brought on several reserves. However, Israel - who failed to qualify for the Euros - didn't manage to take advantage of the hosts' loss of cohesion.

"We were very effective in the first half and should really have scored more goals," said man-of-the-match Perisic.

"We seemed to lose our way a little bit in the second half ... Even so, this was a useful preparation match for us, against good opponents."

The game was played under heavy security as a result of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Brussels.

Croatia have been drawn into Group D at the Euros, along with holders Spain, Czech Republic and Turkey.

Later on, Romania beat Lithuania thanks to a solitary goal from Nicolae Stanciu.

Stanciu struck in the 65th minute with a low drive from just outside the penalty area. Previously, Lithuania keeper Emilis Zubas had kept Romania at bay with a string of sharp saves.

Romania will face hosts France in the opening match of Euro 2016 in Group A, which also contains Switzerland and Albania.

Also Wednesday, Slovenia edged Macedonia 1-0 thanks to a goal on the hour from Roman Bezjak, who broke the deadlock with a handsome low left-foot drive.

Slovenia narrowly missed out on qualification for the Euros, losing in the play-offs to Ukraine.

Later Wednesday, Gibraltar were to face Liechtenstein and Poland were to take on Serbia.

Last update: Wed, 23/03/2016 - 22:10


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